Choosing backup software for use with disk to disk or DVD

Posted on 2007-10-03
Last Modified: 2010-03-17
So I have 2 scenarios:

For both, windows XP "server" in peer to peer network

a) hardware available: 20gb tape drive, dl dvd burner, approximately 6GB of data to back up weekly
b) hardware available: 20gb tape drive, removable sata hard drive in cradle, approximately 25BGB of data to backup weekly.

For a), I have been using Acronis True Image (TI)  and saving the backup to file on the computer in c:\backup, and since TI enables archive splitting, 2 files are created which I then transfer to rewritable DVD using Nero Burning Rom.  Why?
- I tried Retrospect, but it would not work with the DVD burner for some reason.  (The burner is a mainstream OEM LG drive)
- the Nero Back It Up kept crashing when trying to back up directly to the DVD

For b), I have been using Windows backup, with the task scheduler.  The backups are created directly on the removable hard drives.  Hot swap SATA works like the USB drives.  Windows assigns a drive letter to the drives, but there are 2 of them rotated weekly, and Windows would not let me give them the same drive letter.  To get around issues where the drive letter might not be consistent, I used mount points.  (d:\dev\bk1, d:\dev\bk2)  Similar issue as with the drive letters, with mount points, Windows would not allow me to use the same mount point for the 2 drives, even though they are never present at the same time.  So, with the Windows backup, the selection is consistent, the entire user volume lets call it drive F:.   There is an incremental backup Monday and Wednesday, and a full backup on Friday.  So the drive is inserted Friday and the full backup runs Friday night.  Then on Monday and Wednesday the incremental to that drive.  Then its switched on Friday to the other drive.  Therefore, there are 2 jobs for each drive (because the location changes), and 6 scheduled tasks.  I guess its not that big of a deal, but its just messy, because if I want to change the job, I either have to edit the command line manually, or recreate and reschedule the jobs.  

My question is, what is a good backup program that has an excellent GUI, scheduler, and can either do archive splitting or backup directly to DVD?  I would like something that is designed with disk to disk backups in mind also, so that I could say assign a name to the removable drives, and the program would scan available media.  For example, lets say I name the drives backup1, backup2.  I could tell the backup program to run the backup on either backup1 or backup2, and add media to the same job later, where drive letter or mount point is not a major player.
Question by:Culbert

    Accepted Solution

    We use Veritas and that work well for us for tape, not tried a disk to disk with Veritas but I think it does it. Also we use products like Symantec LiveStateRecovery and we image the entire system as that gives us a point in times image that is really quick to recover. Tape recovery in the event of a DR type rebuild needs a lot more work and time to get you up and running. So we mix and match and do the OS and Application state using LSR (Normally our C: drive) and then have a D: drive that is just the data. For the Data it is normally only single and/or various file recoveries as needed for the users and the LSR is our fixed point in time image for the Server should it die and need a full rebuild. The image is refreshed after every application install or system alteration. In the case of a total fail the LSR image (on CD, DVD or a network drive) gets you up and running quick and then the tape is the user data recovery element. Depending on the overall sizes this works - the bigger the data volumes the harder it is. Hope this helps a little.

    Author Comment

    have you tried any products other than Symantec?  I'm looking for inexpensive solutions.

    Expert Comment

    Well the image stuff is never free from what I have seen. The backup can be done with the Windows Backup utility and this works but is not that flexible. If you were trying to do it on the cheap you always have to consider if you will need support or not and sometimes the "free software" or "shareware" version don't always have the support levels that some people need. Have a look at they have some info in free cloning utilities. Please note though I have not used these I am just passing on the info. Good Luck.

    Author Comment

    thanks nsk

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