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Adaptive Backup

Overview

Adaptive Backup is a laptop/remote user backup solution designed to replace Microsoft Offline Files technology. It has functionality that allows it to adapt the type and speed of the backup based on the speed of the link back to the destination server.

Detail

Adaptive backup is a client based backup utility.

Key Feature

Its key feature is that it will adapt the type of backup being executed depending on the link speed to the remote server.

On detection of a slow link, it is able to exclude certain folders, exclude certain sizes of files and to throttle the backup so as not to saturate VPN links.

Why?

For a number of years we had battled with various customer sites utilising Microsoft Offline Files to allow people with laptops to carry their My Documents and other key files offline when away from the office.

Unfortunately we constantly hit problem after problem with the various Windows 2000 and XP implementations. We held on for Vista and although it had features which looked like they might resolve some of our problems, it was not enough.

The sort of problems we encountered included:

  • All files missing when disconnected. People would leave the office, power on their laptop and none of their offline files would be available. It was as if offline files had never been enabled.
  • Unable to determine when offline. Someone visiting a branch office with VPN to head office would have files lifted from the remote server across the VPN, even although the local disk would clearly be quicker.
  • Unable to go offline. Same scenario as the VPN issue above. It was convoluted to force the laptop offline and once done, it refused to connect in any way to the remote server to resources only available online.
  • Unable to go online. Having run the convoluted "go offline" process, a full sync was required to get back online. If large offline files had been edited, they had to be fully resynchronised before the laptop would go back online.
  • VPN Saturation. One or more people visiting a branch could easily saturate a VPN link as offline files was either scanning for changes, or insisting in replicating changed files to the remote server.