Backup solution advice...

Posted on 2006-04-05
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I work for a small business (10 employees at the moment).

We are currently looking for a new backup solution to replace our current one of copying everything to a removable hard drive.

The business looks set to grow so a solution should ideally be flexible.

I am leaning towards a tape drive but I have seen that these vary greatly in price...

The computer we'd like to back up is running MS Server 2003...

If anyone has any advice/recommendations or useful resources these would be greatly appreciated.

Also any approx costs would be excellent.

Thanks in advance

Question by:dazzled1
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    How long do you need to keep your backed up data? How much data are you expecting to make backups of?

    If you need to keep all your data for a long time, tape is what you need. If you just need a backup until your next backup, an external HD is much less expensive.

    Depending on the amount of data you need to backup, you will have to get the appropriate tape drive for. Just don't get DAT (DDS), these don't last very long (neither the media nor the drives). LTO is normally a good backup solution.

    You can use the builtin ntbackup as software of your w2003 server.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    We don't need the back up to last for ages - about 2 weeks would be sufficient.

    It is basically for disaster recovery.

    At the moment we're backing up nearly 30GB.

    Ideally we'd have a solution where each day (mod-fri) we'd just backup changed files and over the weekend do a full back up.

    I suppose using 5 weekday tapes/drives that get changed daily and maybe a couple of weekend ones.

    Needs to be portable to store offsite
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    For that you can easily use HD's and connect them to a USB adapter like this:

    Another possibility is a REV system:

    Expert Comment

    No Need to complicate your life with tapes if you are not looking to store off site. They are costly and cumbersome. In your case I would get an external USB drive 250 or 300 GB and an in expensive software package. I use Handy Backup.

    Create Folders on the drive

    Create 2 full backup jobs that alternate weekends
    the create Differentials for each day

    It is simple and easy to setup and at most it will cost about $250

    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    I am still all for tapes.
    Yes, the drives cost more and the tapes need to be replaced (we recommend once a year), however:

    1. Each tape backs up your whole drive and is a universe unto itself.
    2. It can easily be moved off site until it is next needed again.
    3. The software available is highly sophisticated and almost dummy proof as far as verification of the backup goes.

    We generally recommend a tape drive larger than the total storage space, Backup Exec software with any add ons that are necessary (i.e. MS Exchange or SQL).

    When I am done setting it up, all my clients need to do to verify the backup is....see that the tape ejected and read the print out to make sure it says backup completed successfully.  If either of these fail, they can look at the screen log or call me.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Hi all,

    Just one thing that hasn't been mooted yet and worth adding to the options, is hosted space on the web.   I use my Sun box for just this, I use explorer - point it at and treat it like a windows folder. There are more elegant ways of doing it but this way is a) free, b) Available on every windows machine.  If you only have a small number of users it's worth going that extra mile and having a login for each of them so effectively they do their own backups (policy has to be made clear of course) to an off-site location - which is always a bonus when thinking in terms of DR, with no admin headaches. The only thing to worry about then is that you go with a proven supplier and ensure the SLAs are in your favour if anything goes wrong. Incidentally - of course at the end of the day you still have a tape library behind you as the supplier will be making backups of your data anyway, after all it won't look good on them if they lose your stuff.

    Anyway, this really can be a really cost effective solution in both your admin time and in the availability of the service.

    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    No, online backup is only usefull for very small amounts of data. To backup 30 Gigs that way would take weeks unless you really have a very fast internet connection, not just for download, but also for upload. DSL often doesn't have much more upload speed than a normal ISDN modem would give you...

    Accepted Solution

    I agree with rindi

    Online backup has it's place but not for this amount of data. There are services out there that can automate this process for a monthly fee. But Online you are relying on USERS to backup themselves (small laugh)

    To get a decent tape drive and library you are looking at $1000 to $1500.

    Tape systems rely on someone to change the tapes daily. Or if you get a tape changer then you are exponentialy increasing the cost.  

    The best solutions are the easiest to manage and maintain. Something you can rely on and not have to continually touch. Every step you add into the process is a potential for failure.

    Automate! Automate! Automate!!!! Eliminate the human element

    If you need offsite storage get a second disk and once a month rotate drives taking the other home.

    Just my 2 cents

    By the way did I say AUTOMATE!!!!


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