Backup without requiring server access

Is there any possibility for the capability to run a backup from the front end, by a user with admin (not super user)rights?
Our project involves hosting a number of separate installations, each in its own subdomain - one for each participating library.
We would like to have each location be responsible for running and downloading a backup of their own site's files and database, but really can't allow everyone command line or phpMyAdmin access.
I saw that there was an old discussion of developing a backup plugin, but that appears to have fallen by the wayside.
Is there any hope??

A backup plugin would be great, but I don't know of anyone who has picked up work on it. We here at the Center don't have the spare cycles to work on it.