Backup Manager: Feature-Rich Custom Backup Solution

  • Robust cross-platform solution for secure data and system backup
  • Improved efficiency and high speed of backup processes owing to automatic data compression and incremental backups
  • Data security achieved through daily automated backups and data encryption
  • Access to the backup application from any location and device
Expertise
Business Intelligence
Business Process Automation
Verticals
ISV

Iflexion designed and developed a powerful solution that enables a fully automated data and system backup on a variety of platforms.

  • C++
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • macOS
Calendar
3
Duration
Months
Gears
96
Efforts
Person-months

Context

The Customer, a leading European provider of custom backup software, requested Iflexion to develop a universal backup solution packed with multiple features and adapted for the needs of versatile European companies. The Customer had already successfully fulfilled two projects with Iflexion, so they were sure about our ability to handle complex custom software development in a short time.

Solution

Backup Manager is a standalone application suitable for different users of backup software—SMBs, large enterprises and service providers, individuals and corporate users.

The software enables users to backup open and shared files, databases, email lists and accounts daily or hourly. It ensures a fully automated backup process on a great number of platforms, prevents errors common to traditional tape-based solutions, and eliminates the need for manual work.

The solution can run on all Microsoft Windows platforms, as well as various Linux and UNIX platforms, including RedHat, Suse, Fedora, Debian Linux distributions, macOS, and Sun Solaris.

Compliant with the established European backup standards, the solution provides the following capabilities:

  • File system backup – backs up file and directory content, including security attributes.
  • System state backup – backs up the snapshot of all important system files and settings with the ability to restore the system state at a specific point in time.
  • Microsoft SQL databases backup – backs up all active Microsoft SQL databases.
  • Microsoft Exchange mailbox databases backup – backs up Microsoft Exchange mailbox databases, including accounts, e-mails, contacts, appointments, etc.
  • Shared folders backup – backs up the content of shared folders from the selected machines available in the local network.
  • Open files backup – the use of Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy technology enables to back up open files while preserving their integrity.
  • Data replication – to guarantee data safety in case a server crash, backed up data is replicated regularly on an additional server.

To ensure fast and convenient backup process, Iflexion provided the custom backup solution with the following features:

  • Backup over the internet guarantees data protection and enables users to access backed up data from any place.
  • Incremental backup allows users to minimize the internet traffic usage and optimize the backup speed (unchanged data is not resent).
  • Data encryption and compression guarantee the safety of confidential data and minimize the backup time.
  • Daily backup ensures that the selected data sets are automatically backed up every day at a specified time.
  • Backup on shutdown ensures that specific data sets are backed up before users shut down their computers.
  • Automatic auto update enables users to set up automatic updates of the implemented software once a new update package is available.
  • Web restore is the feature that allows users to access backed up data via a dedicated web interface and download the needed files and folders in a single zip archive.
  • Restore on Desktop. The app integration with Windows Explorer allows users to restore files and folders with a single click in any Windows Explorer window.

Development Process

The first step for Iflexion was to gather all business requirements and create a detailed document with the functional design specification. Once the specification was approved, Iflexion’s team moved on with the backup solution design and development. During the entire development process, Iflexion’s project manager and account manager controlled the communication between the Customer and the development team.

C and C++ were chosen as core languages for the backup solution development. The technical architecture of the solution is based on a three-tier model. The three tiers of the system are a fat client, an application server, and a persistence (database) layer.

The client and server are connected via a TCP/IP protocol over the local network or internet. This makes the software highly flexible and easily configurable. The application server runs on the UNIX platform and uses both a MySQL database and a local file system as a storage for backup data. One application server can serve up to 1000 client machines. The client can be installed on an end-user machine regardless of the operating system (Windows, macOS, UNIX, or Linux). To ensure the native GUI on multiple platforms, the development team used the Qt framework.

Technologies

The technical architecture of the solution is a realization of a three-tier model. Three layers of the system are the presentation layer designed as a fat client, application server, and persistence (database) layer.

The client and server are connected via a TCP/IP protocol over the local network or the Internet. This makes the software very flexible with a large amount of different configurations. Application server runs on UNIX platform (usually located in a data center) and uses both MySQL database and local file system as storage for backup data. One application server can serve up to 1000 client machines. The client is installed on the end-user machine (Windows, MAC OS, UNIX or Linux). The GUI on multiple platforms is covered with Trolltech Qt library that provides native system GUI.

Results

Backup Manager is part of the backup and recovery software family based on the Customer’s advanced Backup over IP technology. Together with the Online Exchange Backup Service and Backup Appliance, also developed by Iflexion, it helps the Customer achieve the ultimate goal — saving end users’ effort and investment into custom backup software and increasing their data security.

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