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Tuesday 13 May 2014

Backing up a single server

Last week I was talking to a reseller (which is not surprising, almost all my clients are resellers or channel partners of some kind) who was asking about cost-effective options he could resell to backup a single stand-alone server for one of his clients.

Obviously, there are the built-in programs and numerous free programs, but my quick grab-bag of reseller-friendly options:

  • They have outstanding support, and only use open tools. They support all versions of Unix and Linux. You don't end up locked into anything complicated. They are the highest-priced, but offer the best reseller discounts particularly at high volumes.
  • LiveVault. This is HP's monthly-fee backup to the cloud. While the pricing looks high, it's a price for seven years of storage. And again, like the discount is based on the total across all your customers, so you can either give unbeatable discounts, or get extra margin.
  • DataProtector Single Server edition. This is the same as the enterprise version of HP Data Protector, but licensed only for a single server to write to tape. This is not the same as DataProtector Express, which was a tiny free product that used to come with HP tape drives. (Single Server edition is product number B7030BA which you can buy at
Quite often though, customers wanting a higher level of assurance around their long-term backups might well be advised also to investigate:
  • Using Google Apps + Spanning backup as this removes a huge number of localised physical threats.
  • Storing everything (including business documents) into subversion. While software developers prefer git, auditors prefer subversion and non-technical people find it easier. This automatically meets a lot of the ISO9000 documentation requirements, allows simple retrieval back to older versions, and can be hosted (e.g. by or by

Greg Baker is an independent consultant working on HP DataProtector, LiveVault and many other technologies. He is the author of the only published book on HP Data Protector ( See more at IFOST's DataProtector pages at

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