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You may use your off-site filesystem with whatever tool you prefer. However, we provide a number of methods that we have tested and work well.
In general, you will use one method to perform automated, scheduled backups of your files, and another tool to browse through the filesystem in real time.
Remember: we are here to support you with any use you may make of your off-site filesystem, and we encourage you to contact us as often as you like with questions.
Automated Windows Backups
The primary purpose of your offsite filesystem is the automated storage of your data sets. The following are two powerful methods of automatically backing up the data on a Windows system on a schedule.
Most likely, the first method listed below, our Windows Backup Agent, is your best choice.
Off-Site Backup Windows Backup Agent
OpenDocMan provides all customers with a powerful enterprise backup utility - the Off-Site Windows Backup Agent.
This tool allows you to create and maintain multiple backup profiles, supports open files (like exchange and SQL Server) and performs powerful encryption and compression functions.
In addition, you are able to maintain multiple versions of files and create exclusion lists for files you do not wish to include. Backups are done efficiently, with only the changes in your files being sent over the network.
Installation and configuration instructions can be found here:
HOWTO: Off-Site Windows Backup Agent
rsync for Windows (rsync.exe)
There is a Windows version of the legacy unix tool, rsync. If you are a unix administrator, or an advanced user that prefers the command line rsync utility, this method will work well for you.
rsync is very easily installed onto your Windows system (9x/NT/2000/XP/2003) and can be placed into your built-in Windows Task Scheduler to run as often as you like.
With this solution in place, your specificed directories are backed up to your off-site filesystem on a daily basis, requiring no interaction or upkeep on your part.
HOWTO: Automated Windows Backups with rsync
Browsing Your Filesystem in Windows
Although automated backups may be your most important access method, random access browsing by a human being is important as well.
NOTE: any tool that runs over standard ftp/sftp/scp will work with our filesystem.
The most common means of browsing your filesystem are:
Mapping Your Off-Site Filesystem as a Drive Letter
This is our favorite, and by far the simplest and easiest to use. You install a very small, lightweight application that allows you to enter the address of your off-site filesystem. This mounts your filesystem securely as a drive letter, over SFTP, which you can use just like any other drive letter.
Pros: Very, very simple to use. Secure. Free. Gives you a plain old drive letter to work with.
Cons: You have to install a very small program.
HOWTO: Mapping Your off-site Filesystem as a Drive Letter
Opening a WebFolder over WebDAV
This method allows you to browse your filesystem through Internet Explorer, using Microsofts built-in WebDAV functionality. You get a nice windows based drag and drop interface. The only problem is that the Windows implementation of WebDAV is _very poor_ and depending on what versions of Windows, Office, and other applications you have installed, it may not work properly.
Pros: Very simple. Secure. Free. Requires no software installation of any kind.
Cons: Microsoft WebDAV support is very poor, sometimes non-functional. Does not mount as a normal drive letter.
HOWTO: WebFolders in Windows over WebDAV
Secure File Management with WinSCP
WinSCP is a very simple, free file management program that provides the familiar “two-paned” file management interface. All of your local files on your computer are on the left-hand side, and all of the remote files at ODM OSS are on the right-hand side. You can drag and drop files between the two systems at your leisure.
Please see our WinSCP Howto for detailed instructions.
Pros: Free, fast and secure.
Cons: Not as tightly integrated into the Windows Operating Environment.