Comparisons with Other Backup Systems

Within this document, encrypted and on-line are used in very specific ways to describe backup systems.

  • encrypted - The data to be backed up is transmitted and stored on the server so that the data can only be recovered if secret encryption keys are available.
  • on-line - The backup server does not use tape or any other removable archive media. All data is stored within the server file system on conventional hard discs, and every (current) file is always available.

Only backup systems which are both encrypted and on-line are compared in depth. Other systems have brief notes at the end of this document.

Please contact the developers with any systems that have been missed, or with corrections to this analysis. This is not intended to promote Box Backup, but as an objective comparison to allow you to decide which system to adopt.

Encrypted, On-Line Systems

Box Backupduplicityhdup
Development statusstable, under development, not feature complete"not stable yet" (details)stable, maintainance only
Changes only when uploading new versions of existing files (like rsync)yesyesno
Connects to server usingTLS (SSL)ssh/scp, local file access, rsync, ftpssh, local files
AuthenticationSSL certificates (client and server)Traditional file storage accounts on server (eg unix username, virtual FTP etc)Traditional file storage accounts on server (eg unix username, virtual FTP etc)
DependenciesOpenSSLPython installation, librsync, GnuPG, remote shellssh, mcrypt/GPG, GNU tar
Signed data storageImplicitExplicit with GnuPGImplicit/Explicit? with GnuPG
SchedulingSelf-contained with randomised element to avoid cyclic server loading, or cron jobcron jobcron job
Continuous backupYes - backs up files a configured time after being changed, or... No - in snapshot modeNo - takes a snapshot of the filesystem when it is runNo - takes a snapshot of the filesystem when it is run
Handling of old versions and deleted filesOld and deleted files remain on server until store reaches a set limit, after which they are removed. No particular limits on availiability apart from this size limit.Full and incremental backups, deletion by user scriptsMonthly full backups, weekly and daily incremental, deletion of archives by user scripts
Resources used on clientFew Mb of memory, very small amount of disc spaceStatus and checksums for all files backed up, plus potentially large temporary files. (however, disc space is cheap, so this is not an issue unless the clients are older machines with small hard drives)Minimal (latest versions can stream archives directly to server)
Resources used on serverDisc spaceDisc space, remote shell server, UNIX accountsDisc space, ssh, UNIX accounts
Redundant storage on serverOptional built in userland RAID storageRelies on OS to provide RAIDRelies on OS to provide RAID
RestoreFTP-like client, or simple command to restore entire directoriesSimple command to restore entire directories, fetch files or directories by name.Simple command to restore entire directories, fetch files or directories by name, will fetch entire archives for single files.
Support for Windows clients yes no no

Other Systems

AmandanonoLANThe classic network backup system
BaculayesyesLANComprehensive job control. Stores lists of backed up files in a database for faster retrieval. Can backup to disk as well as tape. Supports encrypted transfer, and storage (requires OpenSSL).
rdiff-backupnoyesRemote"The idea is to combine the best features of a mirror and an incremental backup."
rsnapshotnoyesRemotePerl script. Pulls files over ssh from the source server to the backup server. Creates efficient snapshots of the source filesystem.
rsyncnoyesRemoteRequires extra scripts for automatic scheduling and old version archival. May be less efficient than Box Backup, as it needs to check for existence of every file on the remote side, whereas Box Backup keeps an efficient record.
Mondo Rescuenonon/aBackup to local media, aimed at full system recovery.

"Network" is marked as LAN if the system uses so much bandwidth it can only be used on a LAN, Remote if it uses bandwidth conservation techniques which make it suitable for use over an internet connection.

Last modified 2 years ago Last modified on 06/09/12 17:21:34