Jungle Disk Public Beta Available

A free public beta version of Jungle Disk for Windows Home Server is now available for download after being requested from many Home Server adopters since being announced as one of the winners of the Code2Fame contest.

Jungle Disk Public Beta  

The online backup solution for WHS can be downloaded from here.

for support and feature requests see the following section in their forums.

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KeepVault Updated

KeepVault the online backup solution for Windows Home Server has been updated. The original version for WHS 2.10 was released on 5 November (2007). This latest update 2.12 dated 11 November (2007), incorporates the following:

  • Optimize retry attempts after network connectivity issues
  • Set file scanning thread to low priority
  • Data compression optimization
  • Fix high CPU usage on large file sets

Existing users of KeepVault can download the update from here.

More information on KeepVault is available in this post.

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Exclusive: Extra 10% Off KeepVault for WHS

We discussed the other day that the online backup service for Windows Home Server was out of beta and available for purchase. Finally, we have a way to protect our Home Server’s if you unimaginable happens, and we come home from a night out to find the house burnt down, flooded or …you get the picture. KeepVault to the rescue!

The current asking price is $78/year for an annual subscription billed at the same rate each year. For that price you get unlimited backup, and unlimited means unlimited, not like some other company’s I could mention. So 100GB or even 500GB is absolutely fine. The only requirements are that it is limited to personal use only, individual files must be less then 5GB in size, no illegal material and that storage is linked to a single Windows Home Server. If you want to backup 2 Windows Home Server machines then you will need two accounts. Other than that the sky’s the limit.

KV Main

The price is normally $99 but is being offered from their site for $78 as an introductory offer. And even better news, we have negotiated with Proxure, the company behind KeepVault, a discount for our readers. By using the coupon code 10FROMMSWHSCOM during checkout you will receive an additional 10% of the already reduced rate of $78. So all you’ll pay is $70.20 for 12 months of unlimited online offsite backup.

KV File Recovery

The storage backend is being provided by Okay Publish LLC, owners of BTSharp and Ceedien networks which also powers Filmaroo, the new personal video sharing application from Proxure. Your files are secure too. For maximum security KeepVault encrypts your files before they leave your PC. KeepVault uses 128-bit AES encryption. Further, you have the option of specifying your own personal encryption key during setup which virtually limits anybody from viewing your personal data.

KV Settings

Once setup and signed in, all you have to do is select the Home Server “Shares” you wish to protect. KeepVault will automatically backup all new and changed files from those shares that you have selected to protect, either on-the-fly or overnight when your server is less busy. This includes executables and install sets … anything and everything. The KeepVault add-in resides in the Windows Home Server console, making it easy to monitor your backup status. Getting your files back is easy too. KeepVault enables you to recover all your files with one simple click, or to recover just specific files that you need to recover. Now you can relax knowing your data is safe and there when you need it.

KV Protection History

  • Automatic, continuous, real-time file protection
  • Peace of mind, your digital memories are safe
  • Web backup protects against local disasters; fire, flood …
  • Simultaneous automatic protection
  • Backup status monitor warns if you are at risk
  • Easily restore your backed up files in just a few clicks
  • UNLIMITED storage for personal use … simple!

And if you are not 100% satisfied with the software. Proxure will issue a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

More information can be found here as well as ordering details.

Please Note: The 10%-off coupon is valid until January 1, 2008 and it applies to the first year only.  Subsequent years will be billed at the full $78 rate.

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Unlimited Online Backup for Windows Home Server

KeepVault

Proxure, has officially announced KeepVault for Windows Home Server. The KeepVault family of products let users automatically backup all of their media files online for storing, managing and anywhere access as we discussed here.

Using the easy to use KeepVault for Windows Home Server application, files on Windows Home Server are backed up online, for access via the KeepVault interface or for fast one-click restore.

For a limited time only, Proxure is offering unlimited online storage for just $78 per year (only $6.50 per month). By coupling the power of Windows Home Server and the flexibility of unlimited online storage, users can now have total peace of mind knowing that all their valuable documents and digital memories are protected.

It is available on their site right now and this is a great deal for unlimited storage.

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Jungle Disk for Windows Home Server Review

We were sent a private beta of Jungle Disk for Windows Home Server, an online, off site backup solution for Home Server.

Once the add-In was installed we were able to use the new Online Backup tab under the settings dialog to configure Jungle Disk. From here we clicked the link to take us to the Amazon S3 signup page. But if you have an account already you just need to insert your two security keys as supplied.

Jungle Disk Settings

Within this tab, you also have the option of selecting which shared folders you want to backup and the time frame in which you would like this to happen. By default it uses the time that you have set in the Backup tab. In my example 12 midnight till 8 am. Your files will now be backed up during this period each day.

After the initial backup, only new or changed files will be uploaded and If the time period you have set is not long enough for your initial backup to complete, it will continue on the next day as needed.

You also have the option of limiting the bandwidth used by the backup, in case you use upstream bandwidth intensive applications like VOIP etc, and you can also specify after how many days that you would like to remove deleted files from your online backups.

The main screen allows you to pause your next scheduled task and start a backup immediately if required. The screen is mostly taken up by a log, that shows if there are any backup warnings or errors. A shortcut is also provided to take you back into the online backup settings tab as and if needed.

Jungle Disk Main  

The Restore Files button opens another screen that enables you to select which SERVER to restore from (in case you have more than one). From here you also have the option of displaying files that are no longer present on your server, in case of situations like accidental deletion etc. This makes it easy to restore those files that are missing, quickly and easily.

Restore Files

As we stated earlier, at the moment Jungle Disk for Windows Home Server is only currently available as an internal preview build but will be available shortly as a public beta. Several features which are planned for the final release version are:

  • Multi-version backup / restore
  • File / folder / file-type filtering
  • Byte-level incremental backups for changes to large files
  • More complex scheduling options
  • Additional restore options
  • Custom encryption settings (similar to the desktop version of Jungle Disk)
  • Backup history display
  • Integration with the WHS Health / Error reporting system

We look forward to the public beta release, as I am sure many of you are too.

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Backup – What I Love And What I Want

All hard drives fail. It’s not a matter of if but of when. Since you are reading this, chances are computers are mission critical in your home. Windows Home Server (WHS) is the best solution for backing up the computers in your house. You can rest easier knowing that if a hard drive fails you can quickly and easily recover from a hard drive failure.

What I Love.

It’s just so easy! Most people don’t backup their machines because it’s a hassle. Not so with WHS. Once it’s set up, WHS keeps and manages multiple backups for all your computers without you having to do a thing. In addition, it gives you the ability to “lock” backups so that they won’t be automatically deleted. It’s a good idea to do this for the first backups you run. That way if a machine becomes infected with malware, you can restore it to a known good point.

It notifies you if there’s a problem. WHS puts an icon in the system tray for all computers connected to it. If that icon is green, things are good. If it turns red, something needs attention. Let’s say that you are running out of hard drive space on the server, the icon will turn red to let you know. Or maybe a machine hasn’t been backed up for days; again it will let you know.

What I Want.

I want more control. WHS lets you decide when you want backups to run and how many to keep. But this setting is for everyone on the network. What I would love to see is the ability to set backup times and other settings for each machine. This matters to me for two reasons. Some machines contain more critical data than others. The machines that my wife and I use have important files stored on our local drives. On the other hand, my kid’s just use their machines to connect to the net. Also, we have early birds and night owls at our house. It would be great to set one machine to backup between 9 and 11 PM and another to backup between 4 and 6 AM. This would help avoid the problem of backups failing because the machines were in use.

I want integration with online backup. Windows Home Server is great but it’s not a total backup solution. For that, you need to add online backup. I use Carbonite but there are a number of good alternatives out there. In an ideal situation WHS and an online service would work together seamlessly. Here is how I see this happening. WHS would know if an online backup were running on a machine and wait until that’s finished to run its own. In addition, online backup would be integrated into the Health Alerts so that you would be aware of any machines that were not being backed up regularly online. Lastly, the server itself would be backed up to the online service. I would love to see a vendor step up to the plate and offer unlimited household backup integrated with WHS for around $10 per month.

How about you?

What do you think of WHS’s backups? Do you know of a better solution? How could it be improved?

This is a guest post by Craig Huggart. He blogs at Tech Rest.

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Backup Windows Home Server via FTP

Remote or off-site backups are a great solution for those who wish to protect their WHS files from fire, flood or theft. This adds a great layer of redundancy in case of catastrophic loss. For WHS there are a few remote or on-line backup options out there (iDrive-E, Mozy, Carbonite) and some even offer a WHS console add-in (Jungle Disk, Keep Vault). But these services either charge a monthly or per GB fee, which can quickly get expensive! Also, your precious files are in the hands of some unknown holder. But there is another solution and all you need is your own remote web site server with some extra storage space.

Personally, I use Handy Backup on WHS to run a weekly FTP upload of “special” files to my remote web site server. This gives me a great layer of redundancy for no additional cost per month because I already pay a monthly fee for the web server. My web server is cheap! I use a company called BlueHost for my web site needs. It’s only $6.95 US a month and is cheaper still if you pay up front for a year. You get 300 GB of storage, 3000 GB of transfer and a free URL if you need one, plus a ton of extras. Heck, that’s better than many of the fee based backup options listed above! So, if you want a more economical and customizable remote backup solution for WHS…then this option may be for you. All it takes is a basic understanding of the FTP protocol, a cheap web host plan and an hour to set up Handy Backup on WHS.

This article lists the steps necessary to set Handy Backup to run as a WHS Service and backup files to your off site server via FTP. This will allow Handy Backup to run in the background without being logged into a user account. This setup can also be used to create backups within your network as well. This was tested on WHS RC1 and the OEM (RTM) versions during October 2007.

Step 1: Get the software

The software comes with a 30 day trial or you can buy it for about $39 US.

Don’t bother to pay the extra money for the Run as Service! You are going to do it manually for free! Handy 5.8.0 comes with a 30 day trial for the Run as Service. Again, you’re going to set it for free!

  • Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools-Here
  • Marcel’s AnyServiceInstaller Tool- Here

It’s a zip file, so you may want to get it on your PC, unzip and place the .exe in a share folder with the other three files.

Step 2: Install Software

  • Log into WHS via Remote Desktop. Drag all three files from your share folder to the Desktop.
  • Install the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools.
  • Install Handy Backup.

During installation, install links to the Start Menu and the Quick Launch Menu.

During installation, tell Handy to open when finished.

Once started click on File>Settings. At the top click General. Uncheck “Launch Agent at Windows Start Up” and “Show Splash Screen at System Startup.” This is to reduce the annoyance factor at logon time.

If you paid for your license, install your key so you don’t forget.

Close Handy Backup.

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