Bacula is free, open source, works on every operating system, works across networks, and is a great choice when you have more than one computer. Bacula is oriented toward automated backups to a central server and is worth the extra work when you have a few machines to backup.
Bacula is a seriously good backup system in every aspect except one. The files are stored in a proprietary format that makes them unavailable except through Bacula. You cannot browse or scan the files using the tools you use everywhere else. You are committed (or restricted depending on your viewpoint) to using Bacula for managing all aspects of your backup files. You have to be really sure about using Bacula before using it.
The Bacula backup format is documented and open. Bacula provide tools and code for accessing files in the backups. The problem occurs when you try to find files in backups using your regular file search and management tools. For example, you might use Winmerge to compare a current directory to a backup before restoring missing files. Does Winmerge read Bacula files?
Bacula offers a supported working client for every 32 bit version of Windows including Win98, WinMe, WinNT, WinXP, Win2000, and Windows 2003. There is a 64 bit version for XP. You can backup from Windows to a Linux or Unix based Bacula server.
Bacula has unsupported clients for the latest versions of Windows. If your business is based on using the very latest Windows technology, you might have to wait for Bacula support or provide your own support.
Bacula has unsupported server software. When your system is 100 percent Windows, you have to provide your own support for Bacula on your backup server. While this sounds drastic, you probably already use Linix for your Web servers and can use the same type of server for your Bacula backup server. If you are not using Linux for your Web servers then fix that problem first and use the experience to set up the Bacula backup server on Linux.
Bacula has a standard GUI management program named the Bat, a Web interface named Wbat, and an administration module supplied with Webmin. If you set up a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device using Webmin on Linux, you install Bacula in Linux then switch on the Bacula module in Webmin.
Bacula is the most popular open source backup software download at Sourceforge. Bacula has Windows clients to backup windows all the way back to Windows 98, which gives Bacula the widest operating system coverage in the commercial world. Bacula requires a little more work up front then provides clear ongoing benefits and savings when you have to backup a lot of computers.