Backing up Important Data

I want to back up important data of our domain. These data consist of  backing up domain server, web server, database files, and some other data files. They are located at different servers or workstations and it will be around 500 GB size. I want to back them up to an external device and keep it off site. In every 10 days, I want to connect the external device back to our network and synchronize the data in it with the updated data on the network. Synchronization needs to be done by a software, not manually.
What can be the best practice for it? What external device, software. ...?
Who is Participating?
SyncToy, a free download from MS, and an external HD - i just saw a 500 GB today on for about $249.

Portability, and at this cost, you could get several external drives and rotate them, and still be cheaper than a DLT.

Good Luck.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
For that much data, your best bet is a good tape technology with an autoloader or tape library and then sending the tapes off site.

There are several ways to backup this much data and it really depends on your budget.  The cheapest system that I can think of off the top of my head would be to plug a large hard-drive in externally and use ms-backup to select what you wish to be backed up and transfer it to the drive.  This could be a bit fiddly to implement however would be fantastically cheap. (of course data integraty would have to not be you prority).

I would personally install Veritas Backup Exec on a machine with remote access clients on the other machines you wish to backup.  Then install a tape drive.

If you are going to be backing up many workstations then it might help to find a way of transfering this data off onto servers to save you money on licenses.  If it is individual employees data then this can be helped with home drives based on the server, although then you may ahve to upgrade your file server. should do the trick.

And then you will need tapes

I can research a bit more if you wish, this would be easier with an idea of your budget.
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ugurdeAuthor Commented:
Our budget is around $1000. I will not back up many workstations, just files from 4 or 5 of them. I can map them as network drives into one computer. Other than that I want to back up webserver and domain conroller.  

What about external hard drives that you connect to LAN?  Do you think that will be easier to synchronize the files that locates in different places?

I don't have so much experience also with MS backup program and i am not sure if it is good enough to do all backups.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
It doesn't sound like your very familiar with backups in general.  500 GB of DATA - if that's what you have is not going to fit well on external drives.  I would NOT recommend RAID 0 based Lacie drives which are typically 1 GB - lose one of the disks in the Lacie drive and lose ALL your data.  Because you have so much data, tape is the best solution for you - you are best rotating your backups - backup one server or service a night to a tape drive and take the tapes off site.  $1000 is not much for backups.  How much does your company make in a single day?  THAT is how much you should be spending on backups.  Because if your systems go down and you don't have adaquate backup systems, then you will lose more than a single day of work.
For a little more money, an off site SnapServer that has it's own redundant RAID5 might be the way to go for handling large amts. of'll only need to start a tape backup last week, and cheap external drives are OK for non-critical data but offer no protection from theft, loss, or damage while being transported and have no self contained redudancy, nor do tapes.
What external device, software. ...?
>>>any cheap USB - IDE adapter. ---> product/usb device/storage/ --->
IDE to SATA 3.5" HDD Enclosure Aluminum or
3.5" USB2.0/IEEE1394 combo enclosure , Prolific chipset , 24W power adaptor or
5.25" USB2.0/IEEE1394 combo Enclosure , Prolific chipset , Aluminum

They are located at different servers or workstations and it will be around 500 GB size. I want to back them up to an external device and keep it off site.
>>>external devices i think is the best ideea, they don't depend by PC power supply, they have their own main adapter.
You just need two WD or Maxtor or any reliable 300Gb hard disks (liquid bearing of course) and
one USB2 or Firewire port (Firewire seems to reach slightly faster speeds)

 I want to connect the external device back to our network and synchronize the data in it with the updated data on the network. Synchronization needs to be done by a software, not manually.
>>>just map the hard drives to work easily and use Heatsoft ADCS,  compatible with Windows NT/Me/2000/XP/2003, 30$ if you buy it.
It was not easy for me until i found it and was assured it is working well and exactly as you mentioned.
To give a little help:
You must add the pairs, make more baskets if you want.
After that CTRL+F5 for compare and CTRL+S for synchronize
Then i think you need to set:
Syncronization mode: Extended
check remove empty folders
Synchronization method: Mirror copy
Copy direction: Copy files from left pane to right pane
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2. Get the back up software from (i have found them very reliable so far)
$59.00/2 pcs/Year

IMP feature
Backup You Contro: Unlike other remote backup solutions, LogMeIn Backup doesn't send your critical data to remote, unknown servers over which you have no control. Instead, you backup your data to PCs that you own or use, and LogMeIn Backup enables automatic connections between your machines – so you always know where your data is, and you stay in complete control.

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creating something and managing yourself : priceless  : )
ugurdeAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for all valuable information. I am checking the solutions that you submitted. Microsoft's synctoy program looks like the program that I am looking for. It gave some copying errors though, for some long path names, but the number of errors is negligible. I will check some other options also.
I'm also interested in any sync methods, could you UGURDE tell more about copying errors Synctoy gave?
ugurdeAuthor Commented:
I used the synctoy for copying 2.4 GB information and there was about 5000 files. 18 word documents could not be copied. The error message was something like having long paths... It might be beucause of having long file names.
18 word documents could not be copied.
>>>It gives their names?

I just informed:
Limitations When Using SyncToy
§      This release does not support moving files from one share to another; SyncToy will not delete all the files in the originating folder although several of the available actions will copy files from left to right.
§      It is not recommended to use SyncToy to back up entire drives. There are other tools better matched for ongoing large scale back up needs.
It runs only on XP and it needs Microsoft .NET Frameworks V1.1
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