Real time backup

Would it be possible to configure the software to backup to a onedrive and restore from onedrive to a backup machine fully automatically

The big-picture goal is a bit unclear, but:


Duplicati is not:

  • A file synchronization program.

but that sounds a lot like what you want. Near-real-time sync between two systems, like OneDrive does?
Or are you worrying about versioning (which I think some paid versions of OneDrive do, to some extent)?

Duplicati can certainly do periodic backups to OneDrive, but has no built-in auto-restore, and it’d be slow attempting to restore with a script because the second machine would have to create a database to use. Occasionally doing that might be OK, but seeing a topic title of “Real time backup”, it might take too long.

There are backup programs that don’t have the DB need, and there are clone/sync programs around too, however it’d help to know the goal better. It still sounds like sync, and possibly you prefer it to be one-way.

Sync would possibly be a better way to describe it. I only need a one way sync of files, no requirement for any database backups.

In the event of a server failure at Site A I want to take a replicated server with up to date date from Site B to site A so the client can continue to function.

Would a script to restore the updates file from the onedrive work?


If two-way is also acceptable, isn’t that what OneDrive (and similar e.g. Google Drive) can do all by itself?

An issue might be where the folders are. I’m not sure if OneDrive can sync folders at arbitrary locations, if that’s part of your goal. I see people on the Internet looking for workarounds. Google Drive can backup any folder you like, but I’m not sure if it will sync to a different system or just provide you with access in web UI.

As stated, you could probably do it, but you might not like the result, as using backup for sync is a poor fit.
You’re also on your own to schedule the timing so that you don’t do the restore during middle of a backup.
While that might work (it would see some extra files), in the middle of a compact is an even weirder thing, meaning so unusual that you might run into problems because maybe nobody else has ever attempted it.

You also won’t be truly real-time, and I’m not sure how real-time you need. True sync programs do better. Specific recommendations for this are beyond usual Duplicati forum scope, but maybe someone knows.

Sync programs such as Resilio Sync, Free File Sync, Syncthing, Goodsync, rclone (not automatic sync) have been mentioned on this forum, although searching the Internet for what you want might work better.

Because you might like only one-way sync, terms like “mirror” or “replica” might also describe your wish. Programs do exist that combine their backup with computer-to-computer sync, but Duplicati is not one…

We are using OneDrive and Duplicati for our Disaster Recovery strategy. We have scheduled backup jobs that write to OneDrive. We have DR Box offsite that syncs with OneDrive brining all the backup files locally. We then have a scheduled (scripted) job that restores the backups from the OneDrive Duplicati backups. This process takes a full 24 hours! There are a few hours of backups from the source system, followed by 14 hours of restores. You need a gap to allow OneDrive to sync.

As people have said the restore time is huge, as an example one of the backups is 600GB and is fairly non volitile so not many changes daily. This takes 12 hours to perform the incremental restore.

I think you have to be very sure what you are trying to achieve and the timescale to recover. It is definately not “real time”, at best it is 24 hours behind or in our case sometime 48 hours behind depending on the process. However, for DR we are content with this as it replaced our old tape backup system. Our recovery time will be measured in days not hours. A small business like ours can manage with that, but a larger business would need to find and pay for a better solution.

hope that helps.


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Thanks for that. The solution we are looking for is the 2nd tier backup, we already have a local back up this one is incase we get a total loss at the site. If that happens then 24 hours isn’t a problem for the restore. I will try what you have mentioned and see what the time scales are.

Thanks again for your input

I agree completely. Thanks for your input. I backup Google Drive data myself to get backup versions.
That way if malware gets on a system and starts deleting or encrypting data, I still have old versions.

It originally sounded like the idea would be a system always on and always up to date with latest data.
That’s a somewhat expensive plan in terms of equipment and maybe energy, but it depends on need.

Please think about costs, complexity, recovery time need, and how current the restored data must be. Risks are also a consideration. For something like ransomware, old versions can be extremely handy.
Sync is hazardous if files get deleted or damaged, as it near-real-time changes all copies it can get to.

Combining sync and backup as @dvpeace does can get some coverage for these conflicting goals.
The reason I say conflicting is that sync can achieve near-real-time, while backup restores are slower.

Microsoft 365 OneDrive tries to covers both (so they say), by allowing restoring to a chosen prior date.
That then leaves you with the what-folders-can-it-do question. Third party PC-to-PC syncs are flexible.

It depends on a lot of things, such as backup size, download speed, and whether Duplicati has trouble.
Direct restore from backup files has to create a partial temporary database, which can take awhile. It’s faster for large backups if some options like blocksize are increased to reduce the book-keeping costs. Even worse is if some data needs to be searched for in the entire backup. It’s unusual, but also slow…

@dvpeace has avoided a big download bottleneck by having a local sync of backup files. This should help restore speed, but it might still be slower than file copy. Maybe while one machine is restoring files, preparation of the replacement system can happen, then data can be copied on just before it ships out.

There are lots of tradeoffs.