backing up across the network

Posted on 2006-11-24
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
hi experts,

we currently use backup exec 10d to backup our two servers. Althoufg most users backup to the network, some still insist on saving important files on thier local disc. With this in mind, my boss has asked me to come up with a way of backing up certain files on each persons local disc, to an external hard disk, or backup tape. Any suggestions as the best way to do this? Ideally whatever method is used would be automated, and would involve the least amount of user involvement possible.

Any ideas

thanks experts

Question by:pab006

Assisted Solution

SPOued earned 83 total points
ID: 18006751
I've encountered the same situation in my network as well, and believe me, you don't want to backup data on local machines if you have a relatively huge network. My suggestion would be to identify the locations where users will usually store their data on the local machines (usually "My documents") and redirect these folders to a network share (say, a home directory configured in each user's profile). By doing this, you not only make sure you have control over the security of that data, but also, you can now back it up.
Trying to implement it your proposed way, would bring in serious network traffic towards the backing device, and you'll also need to make sure the local machines are up and running at that particular time. My two cents would be to go the "Home folders" way! ;-)
Hope this helps...

Assisted Solution

PeterMac earned 83 total points
ID: 18006979
Agree with SPOued Server based Home Folders is best way to go if you can.

 If this is not possible probably best option would be to maintain mirrored copy of folders on Server - could implement this with Logon script running xcopy command to do merge update to Server copy at Logon, or alternately set script up to run as task overnight (relieves network problems, but means Machines have to be left powered up). Have used xcopy to maintain fairly large mirror backups, it is very efficient at this.

Expert Comment

ID: 18007057
Sorry should have included with original post

xcopy \\USERPC\c$\bccustomers \\SERVER\c$\USER\bccustomers /D /E /K /R /Y /I >> \\SERVER\e$\netback.log

Does merge update from source folder including any subfolders to destination folder - NB will not remove files deleted on Source - very efficient as only copies new, or changed files.
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

IanTh earned 83 total points
ID: 18007060
dont let the users create data on their hard drives. Instead use as SPOued says use home folders pointing to your server hard drive and then over night backup their data to offline storage along with your server backup. Or another way set theit home drives up on a nas device.
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LVL 20

Assisted Solution

calvinetter earned 83 total points
ID: 18008353
Heartily agree w/ SPOued with something like the 'home folders' method.  Of course, you'd have to estimate just how much storage you're looking at with storing all the user junk on a server.  It's not unusual to have a lot of users with 4+ GB of data in their local My Documents, even more if they're part of a marketing dept or graphics design dept!

  If management won't spend the $ for either a dedicated user-data server or NAS (w/ hardware RAID 5), nor even getting more hard drives for an existing server, then another option is to buy licenses for the "Veritas Remote Agent for Windows Servers" for all your workstations.  You'd then install the agent on all the workstations, & setup backup jobs on a Vertias server to pull the user data from the workstations.  
  * I don't consider this a good option, since it eats up a ton of bandwidth & can take forever to finish all the backups - depending on available bandwidth on your network(s), & the data still resides on workstations, where you're guaranteed to have more hardware & software failures than a well-maintained server.

LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 18011050
A few handy and inexpensive programs to take care of this kind of issue,

Second Copy,

BackuponDemand  or possible SyncOnDemand - really depends what might better.

These programs can do anything from more or less real time backup to scheduled or event backups.  They are capable of only going to copy changed files in specific areas.  Also you have the option to save versions of the files and have the program automatically manage holding X versions and discarding older ones so the backup files don't get out of hand.

They also can run in the background/as a service so the user would never even have to do anything.

If your network can handle everybody using it for thier MyDocuments,  backing up only changes is not going to be much different plus it sound like only a small number of users.  Just do not schedule a bunch of heavy runs at the same time.  If this is regular office type stuff there will be no issues.  

LVL 25

Accepted Solution

kode99 earned 85 total points
ID: 18011059
There is also Robocopy,  basically xcopy on steroids,

It can be done with batch commands and scheduling but you may find the programs I suggested make it a bit more manageable.
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

MATTHEW_L earned 83 total points
ID: 18015658
I would just use a GPO to redirect My docs to a server location.  Home drives can also help.  If you are using Windows 2003 R2 you can create restricted file policies barring mp3's and other no useful files.

Author Comment

ID: 18019761
Hi everyone,

Thanks for your comments, we do actually have home folders setup on the server, however some users dont always use them, and my boss is worried, if we ever had a fire etc, then the data that wasnt on the server would get lost.

Ive setup a batch file to run robocopy to copy the files my boss has indicated and this seems to work fine. He only wants the backup run once a month or so, so this should be fine.

thanks for all your suggestions, ill split the points between each of you.


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