Offline backup

Hi I would like to set up an effective off-line back up policy for my business computer that has around 40 Gig of data files and around 15 Gig of programs.

What could be the best way to back this up to a remote server?

 How can I ensure that my data will be secure both on the server and on the transmission to the server?

Should I use some back up software e.g and  it's FTP feature to a server  e.g. godaddy VPS or is it worth going to a specialist company that offers offline backup?

Any advice on where to start and what to consider would be very welcome.


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Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
To make sure your data is protected in transet from your site to your off site backup you would need to use a VPN between the 2 sites.  You can then use ntbackup or veritas and backup to a network location.

If you can aford a pro ofsite backup solution and if your data is not too sensative, I would recomedn this route.  This way you will not have to buy any equipment or establish a VPN.
IF you can enable a VPN or IPSEC between your two servers then yout ftp idea will work.

Another alternative would be to backup locally (eg use NTBAckup to create a backup file).  Then zip/RAR that file with a password thereby encrypting it.  Yopu can now copy the file over the network safe in the knowledge that anyone capturing the traffic must also break the RAR password encryption.
boltwebAuthor Commented:
Hi Disorganise,
thanks for the suggestion but I think that if I create a 50Gig Zip files it would take forever to upload. I only have a 1mbps internet connection, and I suspect that the upload rate would be less than that.

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Try one of the remote backup services, most have free trial. If it doesn't work due to lack of bandwidth then secondcopy or any of the other softwares will also fail to work.
Then you're probably best looking at a replication technology like Veritas Replicate Exec, Microsoft Data Protect Manager or NSI Software Double Take.  The initial synch will take days, but after that it's much lighter:  RE and double take replicate blocks in real time, DPM is hourly for example.
Some support system state, some don't, so you'll want to use NTbackup to take the system state once in a while.

I'd probably synch the data areas, but not the OS.  Do a system state periodically to another replicated folder.  If you really need the rest of the OS (like program files), use NTbackup for this too.  Since changes to the OS are rare, schedule this NTBAckup for Friday night so you have all weekend for it to replicate over to the other side.

we use double-take for our exchange server - we can fail-over to our D.R. site and have our 1400 odd users accessing their mail within 20 mins - and most of that delay is verifying DNS etc is updated throughout the domain.  It's brilliant, but expensive if you only want data replication (ie no need for name failover and no sql or exchange to worry about).

I have RE in trial at the moment to centralise my back-ups (like I said, DT was too expensive for this unfortunately).  Most of the servers took around 3 or 4 days to complete the initial synch (throttled to 75% of overall bandwidth - bandwidth from 128kbps  to 1mbps, data volumes of 5 - 35GB) and thereafter use virtually no bandwidth.  Only disappointment is the lack of logging and reporting that's available.
DPM is much cheaper and I intend rolling that out for trial next week.

Alternatively, don't underestimate the value and bandwidth available via sneakernet!  Simply backup to a tape device, and ship the tape to the 2nd site where you can restore - restoring daily proves your back-up is working well and keeps the data upto date

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boltwebAuthor Commented:
I've looked at the software packages like veritas and Microsoft data protection manager but they look quite complicated to set up and use and a little overkill for what I need. I only have one PC and programs like veritas are server backup solutions. I've read reviews on these products and from what I can tell they are not straight forward to set up or use without having PC technology specialist to set them up. I'm the only one working in my small business and I don't have that type of expertise.

I just need a simply solution to backup my data offline (I already have a physical back up system using removable hard drives) but since I live and work at home I need a second copy of my data in another location. Yes it would also be great to backup my programs too but if that is not possilbe to do simply then I would rather stick with just data back up.

Much of the data can be initially transferred to an offsite server over a weekend and then I just want any modified files to be uploaded and to replace the out of date files so that there is always a mirror image of my data.


I would think about the FTP space available through a web hosting package. Not too sure that you could replicate to this, you may have to manually move files. I like to use Robocopy for replicating, I think it does an excellent job, but I don't know that you could use this with an FTP site.

I use NetObject Fusion for my web design work, and this checks each file and only uploads the files that changed, but again, I don't know if this would work for data files.

Assuming you can set-up a VPN then prehaps this will work: for you - it's essentially a GUI-fied robocopy so it's easy to set-up.
I'd assumed you were using the server OS - some of those tools (like DPM) won't support XP anyway - my bad, should never assume.
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