It’s been a year and a half since I mentioned Backup For Workgroups, a top notch, lightweight, low-cost, backup solution. I use it to backup the servers and workstations on my home network to a NAS (which in turn gets mirrored offsite). And it’s been working flawlessly since then, just as it is supposed to do. On a few occasions I have restored specific files, and once performed a far more complicated restore (when I replaced my wife’s computer with a new machine), and as I said, flawless.
But recently something went wrong. The backup service that runs on the server (the one that actually reads ands writes data to and from the repository on the NAS) started crashing. It took a little while to recreate the situation, but I was able to quite clearly document the problem and error messages. And then I sent an e-mail to Lockstep support on Friday explaining the problem in detail. The web site made it quite clear that their offices were closed from Friday December 22nd through Monday January 1st, and I fully expected to have to wait a while for a response for a few days. But nope, on Saturday I received a detailed response, explaining that the problem was likely that one of the system data stores had gotten corrupt, and providing a link to a utility that would verify and fix any problematic files. I was not asked for any serial numbers or support contracts or payment, I was not told to call back between specific hours, I did not even have to wait until the office reopened! One e-mail sent, one rapid response, and problem solved.
A year and a half ago I said that if you were looking for a backup solution for you small to medium network then to take a look at Backup For Workgroups. Now I repeat that endorsement, not just because the product works so well, but because support like this is a rarity.

5 thoughts

  1. Ben,
    Interesting software. I am looking for a solution to provide a lowcost remote mirror for cf and ms sql 2000, sounds like this would be it. Do you think it would work ? I checked out the companies web site and they say you can copy to a nother computer on your network, or a computer that the backup software has access too.. So you did not have any problmes setting up a share or way for the software to login to the remote machine? thanks for your feedback.
    Greg

  2. Greg, well, not really. This will mirror the backup repository, not the server itself. Years ago I used a product from Octopus Technologies to do what you are talking about, abut they got acquired and I don’t remember who bought them.
    — Ben

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