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Cheap offsite backup

Posted on 2007-10-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-27
I'm looking into providing off site backup for a couple of small companies. At present I'm not charging for it since I'm hoping it will lead into bigger things with them. But since I'm not charging for it I need to do it cheaply.

All systems involved are running Windows and I have a VPN set up with each site. I don't want to do a data dump each night since there is too much data. I would like a program that synchronizes the files in real time as they change through the day or just copies the changes at the end of the day.

I took a look at cwRsync without SSH since I already have vpn. Will that take care of this for me? Are there any other programs that will do this?
Question by:AJNS

Expert Comment

ID: 20001970

Never used them myself.. but heard good things about them.
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

ajwuk earned 150 total points
ID: 20002001
If you just want to do file synchronisation, I'd advise using something like robocopy. Over a VPN is a bit hit and miss unless you're dedicating something like an SDSL line to it as you can't guarantee the size of the files involved and you can easily end up in a loop of files constantly copying and constantly delaying the next scheduled copy.

However, an example of a file/folder mirror with robocopy would be:

<Drive>:\Backup\Robocopy.exe "E:\<Folder>" "F:\<Folder>" /w:5 /r:10 /mir /E /B /LOG:F:\Backup\Robocopy_Folder.log

This will mirror the live data but loses out if you remove a file from the source as it will exactly mirror this at the destination.

A better cheap solution for your customers I would say is to get an external USB harddisk (as I'm guessing tape is costed out of the equation) and run a scripted ntbackup job of the entire server once a day.


DEL /Q/F "%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\backup??.log"
ntbackup.exe backup "@F:\Backup\NTBACKUPTemplate.bks" /M normal /V:yes /L:s /J "Full Backup of %COMPUTERNAME%" /F "F:\Backup\%COMPUTERNAME%_FULL_TEMP.BKF"
if not errorlevel 0 goto end
if not exist "F:\Backup\%COMPUTERNAME%_FULL_TEMP.BKF" goto end
COPY "%userprofile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Windows NT\NTBackup\data\backup??.log" "F:\Backup\%COMPUTERNAME%_FULL_TEMP.LOG
goto finish
ECHO Backup failed

Hope this gives you some ideas. Cheers.
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 225 total points
ID: 20002060
Rsync is the Gold standard if you have the time/ knowledge to set it up correctly.

Depending on the needs, you can even backup to a Gmail account ( 2 GB max . )
I hope this helps !

Author Comment

ID: 20003624
I got a wide variety of responses so let me clarify a little.

I don't want to use 3rd party solution, the data must go directly from the customer to my server. I have a similar setup running at other companies, much bigger companies, using Symantec/Veritas continuous protection server complex isn't an issue, just price.

These smaller companies have around 30gb of data but most of it doesn't change much and when it does its more of an edit then a complete change so to keep it cheap as far as time/bandwidth rsync's method seems perfect, it will just backup the changes. They are already doing backup to tape but

So what I guess I'm looking for was some assurance that Rsync is reliable. Not being a linux guy I've just come across it and wanted some reassurance before I put it into production.

But if its the "Gold Standard" as SysExpert said then great. But are there any alternatives to it?

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