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Rsync Incremental Backup in Windows: Pros and Cons

Rsync backup software is a kind of utility which uses the technology of syncing files and directories between two locations with minimal data transfer flow.

The name rsync (remote synchronization) originally stands for Unix utility. Also, there is a Windows analog named cwrsync. In simple phrase, this utility computes the difference between files in both locations and transfers this difference to the synchronized one. This approach brings great benefits in comparison with traditional incremental and differential backup, when synchronization is implemented by rewriting the files of the same name.

There is no need to be a expert to understand that rsync backup software helps to considerably save the transfer time. What in its' turn allows, as all we know and permanently dream of, to save money.

Features of Rsync Backup Software for Windows

Within this brief article, we are not going to discuss in details the using of rsync or cwrsync for synchronization of files and folders between several servers and figure out its peculiarities for different OS involved (Unix-Windows or Linux-Windows servers). These are certainly interesting topics, but they may be attractive mostly for server administrators (with whom we'll certainly discuss them, some other time).

This time let's pay our attention at implementation of rsync-baced synchronization to backup software for Windows.

So, let's see what advantages a smart approach to using off-the-shelf rsync (cwrsync) solutions in backup software might give us. Fast incremental backup and restore, reduce in memory usage, and the backing up of both Windows and Unix/Linux servers, to name a few.

But there might arise problems too. Here are some of the probable difficulties in using rsync backup software:

  • Limited support of 64-bit based server platforms;
  • Instability, during continuous work with big volumes of data;
  • Necessity of configuring for every task. It can be done automatically, but the problem is that there are no universal recipes for all servers and all types of data.

So, as we can see, the using of off-the-shelf rsync (cwrsync) solution for backup software might be an issue. But there may be another approach: using not the utility as it is, but adapting its inner algorithm to certain software. In this case an experienced developer hypothetically could resolve some of these problems, and bring the power of the original utility to the rsync backup software.

Looking forward to meet such kind of software.

About the Author

This brief note was written by Paul Chernishov. The author of this article is an experienced software analyst specializing in backup and data restore software, particularly for servers and network workstations. Being an active participant of different backup-specialized communities, he is known as an independent consultant for popular backup software brands (Handy Backup and several others).

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