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internet backup

raybass asked

I'm looking for an offsite backup solution for a company with approx 100 gigs on data growing by about 100 megs a day.  They have a 1.5mb T-1 and about 500 gigs of available webspace (through Dreamhost).  I would like to have an efficient offsite backup, possibly through nightly transfers of incremental backups.  I'm not too keen on keeping continual incrementals as they make restorations lengthy, but rather I'm looking for a way to merge an incremental into an already existing full backup, an effect similar to what _rsync_ on *nix platforms.  I've googled around looking for an rsync equivalent and haven't found much of anything.

Is there any software you've used that could fit the problem model I've described?  Is this effectively done with ntbackup and ftp scheduling?  What do you think?

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
How do you plan to get the initial 100 GB off site?

It will take 6 DAYS non-stop on a T1.  And is a 6 DAY restore time ok with you - I mean, if the systems fail completely, can you be down another week while you download your data?  And that assumes the disaster happens the day after the backup completes.  If you end up going a year (250 days x 100 MB per day = 25 GB = 1.5 MORE days to restore - so at the end of a year, it will take you over a full week to do a full restore... And that assumes your data growth doesn't increase or decrease - almost everyones increases.

You're far better off analyzing your needs and SELECTIVELY backing up files over the internet.  For example, an important database and your accounting files.  Then everything else, take off site separately.


I would continue backups through my normal manual method of taking stuff offsite with a differential while the initial transfer went through.  Afterwards I could add an incremental for the week which would be less than a gig.

In the event of disaster I would consider several options -- Pull the backup from another one of the redundant sources, using this internet option as a very last resort.  I could download the data from another faster internet connection, such as a 6mb cable internet connection.

Basically, if I have to use this backup as a last resort, the company has a lot more problems that they need to be taking care of first.

Thanks for the comment



Just read through http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_21817131.html -- I read a lot of good information, and know your general opinion of these things, though I'd still like to look into making this work.  Please let me know if you come across anything else.
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Recheck rsync. You can get it to work on m$ plattforms as well.


anyway, I agree with leew, using the inet for backup isn't practical.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Actually, that comment is outdated.  I've taken it and turned it into a web page - you might want to read the current version.

I'm also in the process of rewriting it.  There are several other things that have come up over the months and seemed appropriate to add.  HOPEFULLY, I'll have the rewrite up within a week or so at the same address.

In the meantime, I'll just throw one other thing out there that you may need to consider - legal issues.  I'm not sure what country you're in, but in the USA, a new law that went into effect in November or December of last year (just 1-2 months ago) may require you to KEEP all backups indefinitely IF you get involved with legal action - meaning if you sue someone or are sued by someone, you CANNOT destroy old backups from that point until the legal action is completely settled.  This can cause your backup costs to rise rapidly and can affect the appropriateness of my previous favorite, disk-based backups.  Tape may once again be the most practical solution (much to my dismay).
Many people use rsync to transfer backup archives to remote sites.  So you can use ntbackup to make the archive file locally then 'rsync it' to the remote site.  This way it will just send the changes in that backup file to the remote site.  

Same applies to 'restore'  you could use rsync to only bring back the differences in the backup archive.  If you actually have a somewhat recent local copy of the archive this would be feasable.  

This way you actually have a full backup offsite instead of a bunch of incremental backup files.  Also if you have proper access you would be able to manage the backup files on the remote side to keep a version history.  So maybe weekly make a copy the 'live' archive to a dated backup version.

I would suggest just using a local linux box for a 'backup server' that you copy the local backup to this linux box which would be setup to handle the rsync operations.  Call me crazy but I just think you will find it smoother running native over a windows port.  

Probably be handy if you have physical access to copy the inital backup files via 'sneakernet'.  

Here's a good link for a windows rsync port if you have not already found it, also a secure transport package here as well.

and here is a open source backup program based on rsync for both windows and linux,

Another rsync based windows program, DeltaCopy

Unison is interesting though no longer an active development project it is still used,


leew, thank you for the math on time.  your article was also a fun read.

rindi, thank you for forcing me to google more and find the first link that kode99 posted, which is kind of what I was looking for.

I'm giving it a shot... I'm waiting the week or so while the data goes, then I'm going to see what it takes daily to make updates.  If it fails to work well I'm semi interested in kode99's idea of rsyncing a single file; hopefully the differences won't be too bad.

Thanks again!
Most Valuable Expert 2015

your welcome