WholesaleBackup is an online backup solution (backups and restore happen over a network at network speeds). Occasionally we’re asked about how one would go about seeding a large backup or restore using a device to increase the speed of the first “full” backup or a large restore.
One has two options for seeding backups. Using our software client one can perform a full ‘seed’ backup to local media and then transport the encrypted files to your backup server and populating them there, or one can create a dedicated portable backup server to take onto client sites. The former method is described in our documentation, so we’ll describe the latter here.
Since our backup server’s architecture is a lean and means backup device resident on Ubuntu, one can set up a small and portable WholesaleBackup server in less than an hour for just a few hundred dollars (there is no additional cost to WholesaleBackup for this as your licensing fee includes this feature). One can then take this server onsite, make a tweak to the user’s hosts file (on Windows this is C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts) to point the location of your backup server’s FQDN to be the local IP address of your mini backup server, and then do your client’s first full backup locally at LAN speeds. You’d then take your server to your data center and create a user with the same username/password on your main server and just recursively rsync or scp the user’s home directory from your mini/portable backup server to your main backup server. You’ll also want to remember to remove the change you made to the user’s local host file!
Of course, you can do the same in reverse for local restores, but a simpler option would be to mount a USB drive on your Linux backup server (be sure to format it with a Windows file system that Linux can write to, such as FAT32) and then do a server-side restore of the user’s data from the web-console to the USB drive. Of course, you’ll need to know the user’s encryption key to do this. You can then ship your customer the USB drive. A good resource for mounting USB drives in Ubuntu can be found at: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mount/USB