Backup strategy - Acronis, NTBackup

Posted on 2006-04-25
Last Modified: 2008-03-28

I have been working on the best strategy to backup and have looked at various options, including tape and hard drives.  I am currently favouring the following setup but wanted to get some ideas about the suitability of it.

We have a Windows 2003 SBS setup on a Dell Poweredge with RAID 5, SCSI etc. This has about 50 Gb of data, not all of which changes often. We also use Exchange

I was looking at various nas solutions but have come across the following

This seems good value and for a small network maybe it is a good solution, 400Gb of space, SATA drive.

Then the software,  I have used various solutions to image pcs, and have been looking at Acronis to image the server. I like the idea of not having to reinstall the whole operating system should the server fail and it is also capable of creating incremental backups.

The idea I am toying with is a combination of NT Backup and Acronis, I know it can get a bit unwieldy making continous incremental images and am wondering if I can make a basic image once a week and then backup changed data incrementally with NTbackup, then in the event of server failure, restore the image, then just put the latest data back.  I suppose this would be fine for data, but I can see a major problem with Exchange  and system state data unless I increment the image every day. However, there might be a way to do this that I haven't thought of, or someone may have a backup strategy that would work with both programs.

All ideas on the above much appreciated


Question by:beechfielder
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    We make a full backup with NTBackup each Monday, then we just do incremental the rest of the week.  You could also make a Full backup on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month, then do incremental on the 2nd and 4th Mondays if your data doesn't change often.  Our data changes continuously so we need to keep the 30 days worth of data offsite constantly is reason for our backups.

    Another thing to think about is offsite storage for your tapes you backup to.  We use a safety deposit box at a bank to store ours.  If anything ever happened to either place, our data is still safe one way or another.
    LVL 5

    Author Comment

    Hi Jim

    Thanks for the info, however currently I am looking to move away from tape, our DAT drive is no longer big enough and I am now thinkink of network attached storage as mentioned above.

    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    If NAS is what you are thinking...

    Gigabit LAN
    4 SATA drives, configurable as 1 whole spanned volume, 2 volumes mirrored, or 1 volume in RAID 5.
    2 USB ports for extra additional storage, or printserver capabilities

    This link refers to the PRO series, which differs from the "home"- for lack of a better term, in that the home has 4 IDE drives, and the drives are easily removable for the pro series, (via front access doors, the home version has to be completely dis-assembled).

    Security and access can be fully integrated with your existing ActiveDirectory.

    They are both available in various sizes

    640GB (4x160)
    1TB (4x250)
    1.6TB (4x400)
    And price ranges from $650 for the little guys to close to $2000 for the bigger ones. I have put 2 of these in so far and am yet to meet disappointment.
    LVL 44

    Assisted Solution

    Your last paragrph on BU strategy is FINE, it is very logical, and it will work. Just DO NOT do it to a SATA drive, especially a WD drive.  they are not reliable.  If you have to put an EIDE drive in a remote system and BU to that, it is 100 times safer than SATA drive, the EIDE (if reliable, like IBM Hitachi) will still hold the data long after WD SATA has developed fatal sector errors, is unreadable, SATA has failed, you name it, I have seen it.  Backup over the NW to the most reliable, solid tech you know, and that is IDE.

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