Saturday, January 5, 2008

Personal Backup VMWare Appliance

opensource alternative to Norton Ghost Server + SyncToy in form of VMWare Appliance.

The Personal Backup Appliance (PBA) provides -TWO- crucial backup functions.

Hard Disk Clone, Backup and Restore
First, the Personal Backup Appliance provides a simple user-friendly interface to backup and restore entire hard disk drives over the network. This functionality is similar to that of commercial products such as Norton Ghost Server, but there is no added cost for additional software or hardware. This feature simplifies consumer hard disk backup, streamlines OS deployment in corporate IT environments, and provides a simple harness to backup and restore virtual machines in VMPlayer. Such a setup on physical hardware would require a non-trivial amount of time to set up on top of hardware costs. The intended audience is any consumer that wants a no-hassles backup solution. All you need to do is power on the VM, and then boot from the client on the system that you want to backup.

The Personal Backup Appliance backs up the entire hard disk. The MBR, partition table and all partitions are copied. The Personal Backup Appliance aims to be an easy and fast backup solution. Most partitions types such as NTFS, FAT16/32, and ext3 are supported by tools that understand the filesystem, so only the data is copied, and empty space is ignored. This makes copying very fast. For other partition types, raw copies are made. The technology working behind the scenes in PBA is not new. In fact, many of the open source programs and tools used in PBA have been around for a long time. The innovation in PBA is in the presentation and the integration of these programs and tools.

NAS Device
Second, the Personal Backup Appliance provides a simple NAS service for drag-and-drop incremental backup through Windows (SMB) shares. When coupled with helper backup software such as SyncToy (free download for Windows) or rsync, the PBA can provide similar functionality to commercial hardware products such as the Mirra Personal Server in addition to standard NAS services.

via The Canned OS Project
Virtual Machinez blog on Virtualization

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