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Windows 2003 - XP Pro Server / Client backup model

Hey folks-

I am currently running two different locations that are tied together via an IPSEC vpn.  I am trying to figure out a better way for us to do client/ server backups.

Location A is running win2k3sbs with 45 XP clients

Location B is running win2k3sbs with 30 XP cleints

Currently we are using Folder redirection and backing up the Exchange, and user folder every night to a REV drive.  The biggest problem we face is when employees from location a go to location b to work and there is a large lag when opening files stored on the location a server. And we are slowly running out of room on the Rev tapes.

What other backup models can we utilize? Any suggestions would be appreciated.  It would be ideal to find some client software that would only copy the modified files and leave a fully functional accessable copy on each client.

Thanks!

Dave
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XJGPER
Asked:
XJGPER
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3 Solutions
 
TheCleanerCommented:
Veritas makes a client/laptop backup agent that can backup data on the client workstation and does "differential" backups, etc. like you are looking for.

See here:  http://www.symantec.com/Products/enterprise?c=optdetail&cid=1018&refId=57&optId=143

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mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
Have you looked into using Distributed File System with File Replication Services?  This would allow the data to replicate between sites in real time.
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XJGPERAuthor Commented:
Is DFS only available in 2003 SP2?
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TheCleanerCommented:
No...just "enhanced".  It's been available since 2000.
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
That would require a TRUST between the domains which isn't allowed with SBS.  You would have to use Web-DAV folders for a non-trusted environment.

Check out http://sbsurl.com/multiserver for an overview of your options in this area.  

You might also consider using http://www.groove.net to facilitate your file replication.  It's owned by Microsoft and is becomming part of Office.


Jeff
TechSoEasy
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mcsweenSr. Network AdministratorCommented:
TechSoEasy is right, I didn't notice the SBS part...sorry.

I would go with TheCleaner's suggestion of Veteras or Arcserve with a backup agent installed on the laptops.
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TheCleanerCommented:
Eh...I didn't notice the SBS part either...we need an SBS channel.
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mattridingsCommented:
Just to second TheCleaners original suggestion:

Veritas SBS edition is part of our standard deployment, and comes with the DLO option (desktop and laptop option).  We use it to manage all of our client to server synchronization of data and threw most folder redirection and roaming profiles out wherever possible.

We didn't originally evaluate veritas for that reason, just for its server backup abilities.  In fact we didn't even use DLO in the beginning, now I think my guys would kill me if I tried to replace it in our standard deployment with something else.

What we like about it is that it's easy to manage, for both admins and users, and more importantly easy to understand and get a view into the data activity taking place between the workstations and server.  Our clients tend to have a lot of laptops in the mix that come and go into the office.  Seems to work much more stably than the built in toolsets.  (oh yeah, and it's relatively cheap...which we like a lot too).  We've long since done away with redirection.  

Because you can get a better view into the users data usage patterns we use it to assist us in employing a process with the users whereby archives are automatically made of their files that are unused in x number of days (in our case there are 3 'groups' of users, one gets 6 months, one gets 12 months, one gets 36 months).  This isn't a quota mind you, whether you have 20 gig of space or 20 meg you still get your old junk indexed and archived.  The 'true' archive is made a part of the offsite backup process, but we also keep the entire user archives online and searchable by the users....but on cheap usb disk towers that don't have to be backed up anymore.  It's just a custom set of scripts and automation tools we built for doing the determination of what has to go, the web application interface for searching and retrieving an archived file, and a small workflow where we collect the info on what needs to go, push that information to the user and request that they go through it and mark anything that can be purged, and then on a certain deadline we move it all to archive.  The catch for the user is that if they *don't* go through their stuff prior to it being archived and try and clean it up, we still archive it offsite, and index it for searching, but we don't put it online the usb drives.  So if they want something from the archive they now have to have it really restored.  Seems to be incentive enough as they usually do it.

The other thing we've found as an odd benefit...once users were aware of how all of their stuff was now being backed up regularly off of their desktops or laptops, all of a sudden their space usage dropped dramatically.  We couldn't figure it out until we discovered that it was because they no longer kept mp3's, that personal joke video that uncle willy sent them, etc. ,etc. on their machines for fear that with it being archived and searchable that their data was now in the spotlight. :)


Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting

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TheCleanerCommented:
Oh, lol @ techsoeasy.

I had no idea to be honest....Is it new?  I guess I expected it to be a sub-channel of 2003 server...
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XJGPERAuthor Commented:
mattridings-

Is it possible to predefine the files to be backed up on the client machines on the Veritas software?  We have to many "casual" users that when you ask them to double click something they as double left or double right...

Dave
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mattridingsCommented:
Yes.  You set the options on the server side.  Can subdivide into groups, etc.  Filter file extensions, etc.

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting
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