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Best Backup Strategy ?

jetsonx
jetsonx asked
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If you have an office with 3 computers in it.

They are all networked (workgroup) and there is one server.

What is the best incremental backup strategy ?

(Excel and Word are the most common data files used)
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What are you backing up?

If you are just backing up Excel and Word files I would actually use:

xcopy drive:\folder\*.* backupdrive:\folder\*.* /s /y /c /d

The /d says if the file in the backup folder is the same or newer as the file to be backed up, skip the file.
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If you are backing up programs as well as documents and data I would Windows Backup or Veritas Backup -- but not incremental.  Run the entire program in overwrite mode at night.
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What are you backing up to? Hard drive? Tape?
You can get a 200GB hard drive around $65 and a external HD case for $25. Plug it in a USB port on the network and run your backup software. Get 2 or 3 of these HD setups and rotate them because if your HD crashes and your backup is also bad (it happends) you can always go to the backup before that on a differant harddrive. You can buy linksys storage link, it goes on the network like a workstation but only has 2 USB ports if you dont want to plug the backups in to a computer. Cost around $100

You can backup by burning to a cd. This depends on how much data and how offen the backups.

I have a mirror raid system that writes everything to 2 hard drives at the same time,in real time. The computer shows the raid as 1 HD. And I still copy the importain stuff to a external HD.

Also take a backup off the property, because it's hard to restore from a backup thats been on fire or stolden with the rest of your computers. (Can use a fire proof nonremovable safe insted of taking backups home)

Author

Commented:
glen and psyc0hbetty, thanks for the advice..

its not really a "one off backup" that I'm looking for...its something that would backup
data files everyday (or even everyweek) automatically.

CD is not really an option as there is over 20 GB of data ... which would be timeconsuming
everyday/everyweek!

and yes psycobetty - I do like the idea of being able to take it off the premises.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
I would strongly recommend you read over my backup comment - it got so long, I turned it into a web page and it has been republished on other sites.  Refer to:
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/backup.asp

Commented:
look at true image workstation version, you can install it on your server machine, and on other install backup agents, the adjust them in order what to backup and the destination of the backup. it can perform scheduled backup tasks every week, day or hour.

for more information look here:
http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ATICW/ 
The xcopy batch file in the task schedulers would take forever the first time, but not much time after that.

Tape backup is still, IMHO, the most flexible, if not the least expensive, option.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Sorry, tape is RARELY the best option for small business - read my link, you'll understand why.  In MOST cases, small businesses are better off with external hard disk solutions.  

Author

Commented:
ok after further looking into the requirements of this project I am looking for
something that can do differential backups - whereby the differential data can then be
backed up to CD-R or DVD (thus easily taken off site)

does this make sense ?




Author

Commented:
obviously not...
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Did you read the web page I provided a link to?

Author

Commented:
leew, your site gave a great overview of all backup options

but now I am looking for a specific piece of software to automate the
backup process

you mention in your site Backup Exec and Arcserve

Which one of these apps would you recommend for this particular case..


Which of those two packages is a) most reliable b) most intuitive to use ?

thanks.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
The both have 30 day evals - but in situations where you don't have a domain, why bother - they are both expensive.  Is there any reason you don't want to try to use the built-in NTBackup program?  (It's not "visible" in XP Home, but it's in XP Pro; for Home, you can download it or find it on the CD).

Author

Commented:
only one of the pcs is XP !
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
So what are the rest?  98?  2000?  NT4?  Linux?

Author

Commented:
1x98
1x2000
1xXP

quite a mix yah! will this be problematic ?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
Not necessarily.  The NTBackup program is available in 2000.

What kind of XP - HOME?  Pro?

You would just use a machine with NTBackup to select the files (over the network if nececssary) and back them up in a bkf file to the backup medium.

Author

Commented:
XP Home

PAQed with points refunded (420)

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