This might be an impossible question.
We have a bunch of computers across around 1000 users. We have a centralized office where 900 of the users work, most of the time. Most of the computers are laptops. They are very frequently coming on and off the network for hours at a time. Users often take their computers home and do lots of work from home. In addition, there are a handful of users who work elsewhere in the country, who are offline (no internet connection whatsoever) for more than half of the time they use their machines. All of the machines are Windows 7/XP.
People are always losing data. One day someone accidentally deletes a bunch of files. The next day someone else installs a bad driver or tries to mess with something in system32 and needs a personal data backup/reinstall of Windows. Because of how many of our business operations are done without an internet connection, and how frequently computers come on- and offline, it's unfeasible to make users use network storage for all of their data. We tried giving them Dropboxes, and they stored their files elsewhere. We bought and deployed Altiris, and they uninstalled it and blamed us when they couldn't get files back that they accidentally deleted while they were offline and hadn't taken a backup in months. We tried teaching them backup best-practices, and using scheduled sync tools to upload things to the network drives, and they turned them off because they "looked like viruses". It doesn't help that many of these users are pretty high up in the business and are not amicable to any sort of "you need to do something regularly because we say so" solution.
Other than finding another job where IT is treated differently and users are willing to follow best practices, how would people recommend I implement a file backup solution that supports the following:
- Backs up to a centralized server over LAN or WAN whenever a network link becomes available, or on a schedule.
- Supports interrupted/resumed backups (and hopefully file-delta only backups), since connections to the network (WAN or LAN) are often slow and only open for half an hour or so.
- Supports relatively rapid, "I accidentally deleted the TPS reports! Oh no!" single-file recovery, ideally administered from the central backup server rather than the client PC.
- Supports local-to-local file delta backup on a schedule, so that users without a network connection for a few days can still retrieve accidental deletions or whatnot. Ideally, the local stored backups would be pushed up to the server whenever network link is available.
- Isn't configurable on the clients without certain credentials. Because the CFOs (who won't give up their admin rights on the domain) will disable it if they can.
- Backs up the entire hard drive. There are people who are self-righteous about storing things in C:\, or in the recycle bin, or in the C:\Windows dir (yes, I know).
I'm fine integrating multiple products/solutions, or scripting different programs together myself (I'm a somewhat competent programmer), but I've been drawing a blank on where to start. Dropbox is folder-specific, Altiris doesn't cope with LAN outages or interrupted/resumed backups, Volume Shadow Copy is awesome for a local-to-local solution, but I don't know how to push days of stored shadow copies up to a server in a 2 hour window of network access. The company is fine with spending decent money on this, thousands (USD) on a server, and hundreds on clients, if necessary.
I want to emphasize that this isn't a shopping list request. While I wish there was a program out there that did what I want, I've looked pretty hard, and not found anything that fits the bill. Instead, I'm hoping for ideas on where to start hacking things together from scratch/from different technologies to make something stable that works. Cheers!