Open Source Storage: 49 Tools for Backup and Recovery -

Open Source Storage: 49 Tools for Backup and Recovery

For most medium to large companies, experiencing a single hour of downtime costs more than $100,000, and for a smaller group, the costs are likely to exceed one million dollars. With potential losses like these, it's no wonder that enterprises invest heavily in backup and recovery solutions that can get them back up and running quickly.

For small businesses and home users, losing the data on computer systems can be equally catastrophic (though not quite so costly). A hard drive crash may mean the loss of decades of family photos, important business reports, tax forms and other files that are difficult or impossible to replace. Without a recovery solution in place, it might take days or even weeks to repair the damage.

Fortunately, the open source community has a large number of solutions available that can help individuals and organizations of all sizes protect their valuable data while minimizing their costs.

We've put together a list of fifty of these applications. It includes both network and single-system backup software, as well as related tools, like encryption and compression utilities. With these sorts of solutions in place, enterprises, small business and home users no longer need to fear what will happen to their files in the case of a major event like a natural disaster or a minor event like a hardware failure.



AMANDA stands for "Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver," and it's a very popular enterprise backup system that supports disk, tape and optical media backups. A cloud-based service that utilizes the same technology is available through Zmanda, which is owned by Carbonite. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

2. BackupPC

This network backup system can archive large numbers of files to local or networked disk storage. It uses pooling and compression to make the archived files as small as possible, reducing storage hardware capacity requirements and costs. Operating System: Windows, Linux

3. Bacula

The Bacula website boasts, "According to Source Forge statistics (rank and downloads), Bacula is by far the most popular open source program backup program." It offers enterprise-grade backup, recovery and data verification capabilities. Enterprises can obtain paid support, training and services through Bacula Systems. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

4. Bareos

Forked from Bacula, Bareos (short for Backup Archiving Recovery Open Sourced) offers features like LTO hardware encryption, efficient bandwidth usage and practical console commands. The link above connects to the open source project, but there is also a commercially supported version at Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

5. Box Backup

This automatic backup solution copies files to disk only, not tape or other media. It includes encryption capabilities and features that minimize bandwidth use. Operating System: Windows, Linux


Short for "BackUp And Restore Program," BURP is a network backup tool based on librsync. Note that the server version runs on Unix-based systems, but the client can run on Windows systems as well. Operating System: Windows, Linux

7. Clonezilla

Clonezilla actually comes in two different versions: Clonezilla live for single systems and Clonezilla SE (Server Edition) for network backup. It addition to backup and recovery, it can also do multicasting, which is ideal for deploying many new systems at once. Operating System: Linux

8. Duplicati

Designed to be used in a cloud computing environment, Duplicati is a client application for creating encrypted, incremental, compressed backups to be stored on a server. It works with public clouds like Amazon, Google Drive and Rackspace, as well as private clouds and networked file servers. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

9. FOG

Like Clonezilla, FOG is a disk imaging and cloning tool that can aid with both backup and deployment. It's easy to use, supports networks of all sizes and includes other features like virus scanning, memory testing, disk wiping, disk testing and file recovery. Operating System: Linux, Windows

10. FreeFileSync

Very highly rated, FreeFileSync is a file and folder synchronization tool that can be used for many purposes, including local or network backups. Noteworthy features include the ability to automate batch synchronization jobs, native 64-bit support, detailed error reporting, support for long file paths and more. Operating System: Linux, Windows, OS X

11. Grsync

This project provides a graphic interface for the Rsync command-line tool. It supports multiple languages, and screenshots are available on the website. Operating System: Linux, Windows, OS X

12. Rsync

Rsync is a well-known command-line utility for synchronizing files for various purposes. It boasts fast performance and supports mirroring and backup. Operating System: Linux, Windows, OS X

13. Mondo Rescue

This disaster recovery solution can back up files to tape, optical media and network or local disk storage. Its website declares, "You need it to be safe." Operating System: Linux

14. Partimage

This disk partition backup and recovery tool claims to be extremely fast. It can archive files to a partition on your hard disk or to another network location, and it can also be used to create a system rescue CD. Operating System: Linux

15. XSIbackup

Designed for VMware ESXi 5.1 and ESXi 5.5 environments, this tool automatically backs up virtual machines in accordance with user-defined policies. Features include automatic provisioning, detailed reporting and more. Operating System: OS Independent

16. UrBackup

This client-server backup system makes incremental backups while you work without interrupting current processes. It's fast, easy to use and can be configured to do backups via the Internet. Operating System: Windows, Linux

Backup—Single System

17. Areca Backup

This system backup tool focuses on providing ease of use and flexibility. Key features include compression, encryption, source file filters, delta backup, archive merges, as-of-date recovery, reports and much more. Operating System: Windows, Linux

18. Backup

Ruby-based Backup offers backup capabilities for Linux and Mac systems. It supports a variety of databases, storage technologies, syncing tools, compression, encryption and notification utilities. Operating System: Linux, OS X

19. Back In Time

Inspired by FlyBack (see below) and similar software, this tool creates incremental backups with a focus on simplicity. Versions are available for Gnome and KDE desktops. Operating System: Linux

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