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Network deployment strategy for Backup4all

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This article applies only to Backup4all. If you don't have it yet, you must download it first.

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Jul 16, 2019

This article explains the network deployment strategy for Backup4all. First, you have to install Backup4all on all network computers using Group Policy (or a MSI deployment tool), then copy the files from the configuration folder to all computers.

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As a network administrator the easiest way to install Backup4all on multiple network computers is to deploy a msi file via Group Policy (or another msi deployment tool). Once installed, in order to avoid configuring Backup4all individually, you can choose to define backup jobs on one computer and after that copy the configuration files to all network computers.

How to create a Group Policy Object

To create a Group Policy object (GPO) with which to distribute the software package:
  1. Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. To do this, click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  2. In the console tree, right-click your domain, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New.
  4. Type the name that you want to call this policy (for example, Office XP distribution), and then press ENTER.
  5. Click Properties, and then click the Security tab.
  6. Click to clear the Apply Group Policy check box for the security groups that you want to prevent from having this policy applied.
  7. Click to select the Apply Group Policy check box for the groups to which you want to apply this policy. When you are finished, click OK.

How to install Backup4all on multiple computers via msi network deployment

MSI (short for Microsoft Windows Installer) is a file format that contains information needed to install programs or their updates via the built-in Windows Installer. An advantage of the msi file format is the fact that it allows batch network deployment installation. Since Backup4all is also available in msi format, it means that you can install it on multiple network computers at once. You can do that using Microsoft Group Policy Management Console (open it from Start->Run and type gpedit.msc) or a msi deployment tool such as the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)
To install Backup4all on multiple computers at once:
  1. Start the Microsoft Group Policy Management Console. To do that, go to Start->Control Panel->Administrative Tools and double click on Group Policy Management.
  2. Right-click on the domain that contains groups you want to batch deploy Backup4all to and select Create and Link GPO Here. Type a name.
  3. In the Security Filtering section for this newly created Group Policy Object (GPO), click on the Add... button and select the group of computers you want to install Backup4all on.
  4. After adding the group(s) of computers, right-click on your new GPO and select Edit... from the right-click menu
  5. In the Group Policy Object Editor window, open Computer Configuration -> Software Settings -> Software installation.
  6. Right-click on Software installation and select New -> Package...
  7. Select the Backup4all installation MSI file from a local/shared folder (if it's a shared folder, make sure you use the full network path - e.g. \\server\Share)
  8. When asked for the deployment type, select either Assigned or Advanced. Press OK.
  9. Backup4all will be installed automatically on the network computers this policy applies to (after they are restarted).

How to distribute backup jobs and settings

Backup4all keeps its configurations and backup jobs in a single folder.
The advantage is that if you copy this folder to another computer with the same edition of Backup4all installed, you'll have exactly the same settings and backup jobs on both computers. Instructions on how to distribute backup jobs and settings:
  1. Configure Backup4all on one computer (create backup jobs, change options etc). You can use Environment variables when adding sources or selecting a destination. For instance you can organize backups in the destination based on the computer name. (e.g. \\server\backups\%computername%)
  2. Copy the settings folder from the computer where jobs are configured, to the same location on the target network computers: C:\Users\\<current user\>\AppData\Roaming\Softland - if you use Vista/Windows 7 or newer
  3. Open Backup4all from any of the computers you installed it on, and you will have the same settings and backup jobs.
Note: You can follow the above steps not only when distributing the configurations for the first time, but also when you want to modify the existing one.
The above scenario can be a bit tedious if you there are a lot of computers involved. In this case you can integrate settings and already created backup jobs into the msi file, so that you can automatically install and configure Backup4all on all target computers.
Optionally you can ask us to create a custom msi file for you, including already configured backup jobs and customized settings. Contact our sales department for more details about that (a customization fee will be applicable).

Network deployment case studies

Here are some examples on how deploying a preconfigured Backup4all installation could be useful.
  1. You can prevent users from modifying the backup jobs or settings by locking the program interface with a password. To do that, lock the program interface before deploying the configurations:
    • Go to File->Options->General
    • Check "Lock program interface with a password".
    • Click on "Set password" and type a password
    • Press OK.
  2. You can configure Backup4all to execute the backups silently on the client computers. This means they won't see any windows when Backup4all runs. To do that follow these steps:
    • Open Backup Properties (Ctrl+P)->Scheduler->Press Add
    • On General page, select "Run whether the user is logged on or not" option
    • Press Set password and type the Windows login password.
    • Press OK and select the start time.
    • Press Save.