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The challenges of laptop and mobile device backup

Backup expert Brien Posey discusses the trials involved with laptop and mobile device data backup, such as limited connectivity and bandwidth.

What are the main challenges associated with backing up laptops and mobile devices?

There are a number of administrative difficulties associated with backing up laptops, but perhaps the biggest challenge is that of intermittent network connectivity. Remote backups cannot be performed unless a laptop has established connectivity to the backup target. This could be an enterprise backup server or a cloud backup system.

Another common challenge with laptop backups has to do with bandwidth limitations. Even though high-speed Internet connections have become the norm, some connections may prove to be inadequate for handling backups and whatever else the user happens to be working on at the moment. This is especially true for mobile device backup and for users who travel a lot, as some hotels provide painfully slow Internet connections. Furthermore, some hotel firewalls are configured to block connections to corporate networks or to well-known cloud applications. Such blockages may sometimes make it impossible to perform remote laptop and mobile device backups.

This was last published in April 2013

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Interesting article - I have responses for you on both counts - firstly you are right that intermittent networks will cause backup failure if the device is not attached to the backup target - but there is a 'but' that but that is only true if the application does not have a way whereby the backups are held locally in an 'intelligent cache' - the cache syncs when network connection is re-established. With the added benefit of fast restores from the local cache in many recovery scenarios. whether or not the backup had reached the remote host.

Secondly, we address your issue with network limitations - and also possibly network cost eg 3 or 4G with the wrong plan. We address this by having a way of stopping backups if not on specified networks eg using a 3G card. When i say stop I revert to my previous answer - we cache locally and then sync when a 'allowable' network is used. Secondly we allow the use of a quickcache - this is a local NAS which will act as a target - we provide the software you provide the NAS device. All backups (and recoveries) that are done over the LAN are sent to the quickcache - the quick cache syncs under your defined policy eg at night.

feel free to check our web site www.datacastlered.com or contact me directly on phile@datacastlered.com for more info..

hope this helps.