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BackupAssist- Simplified Windows Backup
Current release is v10.4.3 Release Notes

BackupAssist Cloud Backups Using WebDav - New in v10.3


In this latest release, the Cloud Backup engine has been expanded to include support for WebDAV which opens up a wide variety of destinations including Windows machines, NAS devices, and third-party hosting companies.
To use WebDAV as a private cloud destination, all you need is a server or device that has the WebDAV protocol turned on. You can use a remote server or NAS device for this. Windows Server offers native support for WebDAV, but you'll need to enable the built in IIS feature to enable it. Most NAS devices have the WebDAV option to switch on, and the same is true for Linux systems.

What is WebDAV?

WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) is an extension of the HTTP/S protocol that allows clients to perform remote Web content authoring operations. For backups, this means it can be used to transfer data from BackupAssist to a remote server or device.


Advantages over Rsync

Until recently, we have only offered rSync as a private cloud option. However, WebDAV is a fully-featured new solution that supports deduplication, its own encryption, and requires no special client to be set up at the destination. Because it doesn't use time-consuming third-party encryption, WebDAV blows rSync out of the water when it comes to backup times. How much faster? It's up to twenty times faster for your first-time backup.
Using the WebDav vs the Rsync protocol results in some other major improvements.
  • Ability to Resume Backup
    Cloud Backup backs up files in chunks and keeps track of what files have been sent to the cloud destination. This means if the backup job stops or is interrupted, for example due to a network or internet outage, the backup job can resume and does not need to restart.
  • Easier to Support and Configure
    WebDav is a common HTTP/S extension protocol that is widely available and easy to configure.( WebDAV is built into Windows and almost all NAS devices)
  • Reduced Storage Requirement and Destination System Resources
    Deduplication on all data shrinks backups significantly 2:1 or better compression
  • Large file support - ideal for Hyper-V guests and Exchange databases
  • Speed - full backups are 2x and 20x faster (normal and encrypted respectively)
  • No processing power is needed on the destination - it's just a file store
  • Minimal overhead for encryption on the client, none on the destination
  • Flexible seeding - option to use a separate portable seeding disk
  • It's FREE!- if you own an existing rsync license and have upgrade cover

Speed and Storage Comparison - WebDav vs Rsync

A quick comparison from a workshop test shows WebDAV is 20 times faster than a comparable rsync backup job during the initial full backup. WebDAV performance for comparison WebDav Performance Note: Based on backup of a production Windows 10 workstation to a Windows Server 2016 (WebDAV, cwrsync)

Any reason I might still choose rsync?


In most cases as long as your destination supports the WebDAV protocol it will probably make sense to switch over. But it's not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Possible limitations:
  • Mirror mode - rsync can offer a job where only one backup is stored on the destination (useful for a file synchronisation solution). This isn't possible with WebDAV.
  • Schedule templates - rsync has the full range of BackupAssist's scheduling options whereas WebDAV options are limited to '5/2 weekly' or 'Grandfather-Father-Son' currently

Benefits for NAS users

  • Easy network configuration only requires single secure TCP port to be used
  • Widely supported by all major NAS vendors including QNAP, Synology, Netgear
  • Ideal for building a totally private secure backup store
  • Provides means to consolidate multiple server/desktop backups onto a single device
  • Supports both onsite or offsite NAS destinations
  • Easy migration of backup data in the future (expand to larger NAS for example)
  • Benefits for 3rd party cloud storage users
  • Opens up many more cloud providers you can use with BackupAssist
  • Makes it easier to find location-specific providers to meet GDPR/compliance
  • Helps reduce costs through a wider selection of storage providers
  • Easily distribute backups amongst multiple providers using multiple jobs for added backup resilience

Resouces


Setting up WebDav on Windows - This pdf explains how to set up and configure Microsoft Internet Information Server with WebDAV so that is can be used as a private cloud destination for BackupAssist.

Setting Up WebDav on Ubuntu - This third-party page explains how to set up and configure Apache with WebDav.

For NAS devices, you can find detailed NAS vendor instructions online, like the examples below:

How to set up WebDAV for Synology
If you follow the instructions in the link above, you will be provided with a WebDAV access URL with port number 5005 (http) or 5006 (https). You can use that as the Server URL required when you set up the WebDAV destination in BackupAssist. Alternatively, you can create a shared folder inside it that will serve as the destination, within which the Backup Container will reside.

How to set up WevDAV for QNAP
If you follow the instructions in the link above, you will have set up one or more Shared Folders with WebDAV access. You can use any of these folders as your WebDAV backup destination, within which the Backup Container will reside. For example, if folder was called "backup" on a QNAP NAS named webdavhost, the Server URL required when you set up the WebDAV backup in BackupAssist will be http://webdavhost/backup.


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