Preserve Your Data With CloudBerry's S3 BackupGot an Amazon S3 account? Why not back up your data to it? That's the premise of CloudBerry's (news, site) S3 Backup tool that enters a new beta phase as it gets closer to primetime.

Archives in the Skies

"Where to store your backup data?" is an age-old question. In a fireproof room in another building has traditionally been the best answer. However, with the rise of the cloud, there is a new, easier and more practical solution and there is no place more "cloudy" than Amazon's monstrous S3 system.

CloudBerry, also responsible for S3 Explorer which makes it easier to navigate the service, has had betas of its new backup app running for a while now. The new Beta 3 runs to the beginning of October and adds some new features to the previous test versions. It has been improved in several ways, helping to copy over newly created files automatically.

Built-In Scheduling

Perhaps the most useful of these is the built-in scheduling service that saves admins having to set backup events up in Windows' own Task Scheduler. Other improvements include the ability to backup files currently locked, or exclusively locked (such as email files) by using a volume shadow copy.

Parallel transfer boosts the speed of reading and writing data while the interface has been tidied up and some problems squashed.

Backups are easier to manage in the new beta

On the Horizon

The most interesting features are still in the Coming Soon list, with support for Azure and Sun cloud services, a cost calculator and the ability to make S3 look like a local virtual disk. All of which will sound rather dreamy to those without a proper backup solution in place or looking for something less complicated.

Pricing for CloudBerry Backup is still pending, but it will be free for students, educational institutions and non-profit organizations (of course this doesn't include the Amazon S3 charges).

And don't think this is just for business as the app can tie into Windows Home Server to help keep all those home photos and movies tucked safely away.