Ok my frustration in this area is rising seeing as how I suspect the answer is extremely simple, and my ignorance is the problem:
I run many backup solutions at the same time (CrashPlan copies my data to a DAS, Acronis copies backup images of my data with incrementals and OS to an NAS and DAS, A clone software clones/ghosts my OS to a DAS bootable, the NAS writes to a WAN server, and DropBox fills in a few backup holes.)
1. BUT, as I've come to realize after setting up all the complexity above, is that the simplest possible backup (taking a folder, dragging it over to an external USB and copying the data) is not automated for me - all the backup solutions I use convert the data to NON-READABLE formats, such that there's a software layer between me and the data.
2. I've realized that simply copying data to an external HDD is in some ways the best backup strategy in terms of speed and efficiency, as well as nigh instant recovery because the data is OS readable already on another machine.
3. I know there are command line functions like rsync, etc. that allow basic file copying, but I haven't found a mainstream (there are a few programs I've found that I don't trust) application that simply automates the 'drag this folder to external HDD for me on a schedule" functionality, perhaps (though I don't need this necessarily), with incremental delta support. I'm sure such a thing exists...?
Use robocopy (it's a Microsoft command line tool). You can create scripts and then set the scripts to run as a scheduled task. It actually replicate the data, so you only copy over any file that has changed. There is a gui tool that helps to create scripts, and shows all the available switches.
This guy shares a similar fear as me - the extra software layer of backup programs between me and my data
Uses something called TeraCopy, I assumed he also uses 'scheduled tasks' in Windows...
It's "A" solution... but I'm still curious as to WHY all the aforementioned backup software I have (plus all the others I've tried) doesn't:
1. Have this simple "copy folders" function
2. Why isn't this the PREFERRED backup solution? It copies the exact data structures in universally readable format...
I'm confused why the backup software out there has all these specialized compression, proprietary formats, etc.
(this is for DATA - I understand that if you're backing up an OS... you need an image to restore the image using bootable media, etc. - but for data, the simply "copy the files elsewhere" strategy seems SO GOOD to me, I must be missing something viz. understanding this...)
Bvckup doesn't have many features, but for a simple file/folder sync, it works beautifuly. You can even have it do full syncs after every xxx number of differentials just to make sure none of the syncs get corrupted.
Fair enough (I'm hoping this 'beta' release Free version is stable...).
Looks like the main thing it lacks (it has scheduling, e.g.) is versioning... but that's not really important to me anyway.
I'm still interested in researching why people are so interested in image-based backup, or any of the other backup solutions that fundamentally alter the data by changing its format (or putting it in a format container)...
I understand the need for all the backup modalities, but I'm still not sure why they're MORE popular, rather than less...