I’ve finally come to realization that the idea of an end home/SoHO/SMB user being actively involved in backup of their data is a losing proposition.
Foundry Group just funded Cloud Engines, a company that makes a product (Pogoplug) which allows you to passively share data from your hard drive and make it available as a cloud-like service. Certainly automated backups would be a logical next step.
There are also some other guys out there (whose names are escaping me – and by all means please add them to the comments) who take a similar approach of placing a device in the network path to perform backups with bare minimum user configuration or intervention.
If the backup service/software has to prompt a user for files and directories to be backed up, it has already failed. The user will underutilize it, or won’t use it at all (sadly I’m in the latter bucket).
A device inline on the network will miss some stuff, but it’s certainly better than nothing (which is what you get with backup software which sits uninstalled/unconfigured).
I wonder if the network card makers could create a backup offload engine (BOE?) chip that would grab file related network I/O’s and replicate them into the cloud. We have TCP offload engines (TOE), and iSCSI offload chips, so why not BOE?
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