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I need a backup strategy for small business

Armytech01 asked
I am managing 3 servers from 2 offices at different locations (cities).

1 office has
- 1 SBS 2003 Dell Poweredge 830. This has an external 250GB HD Book attached to it (Total data approx. 60GB)
- 1 Windows Server 2003 Poweredge 840 (Total data < 20 GB)

2nd office has:
- 1 SBS 2003 Poweredge 840, with external 250GB HD Book (Total data approx. 40GB)

Since these are small business, none have tech person onsite.

The backups that is being done is with the Backup tool from windows into the external HD. And it backups everything every day, including OS, and the external drive (don't know why) (Approx size of 1 is like 150GB)

- This system does not allow me (or dont know how to), run another backup for only some folders from one of the drives (which amount to those 60GB or less). I can only modify current backup setup.

I read similar questions and answers but I still have some questions on both HW and SW:

- Tape backup HW seems very expensive. I mean I think I saw one listed in Dell for like $3,000
- This ARCserve is only a software? and it costs like $700???
- Do I really need additional hardware or software, or what about those online backup sites

Please be detailed on what I would need to get, hardware and/or software and approx. how much would that cost.

- There should not be or avoid (onsite) user intervention. Some backup plans say something about take the copy offsite at the end of the week, but I cannot really trust on somebody to do this on the remote offices.
- Cost effective...meaning no more than $500
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Technology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
If you lost EVERYTHING how much would it cost the business?  $10,000?  If so, then a $4,000 backup system is cost effective - it saved you from losing $6,000.

Further, off site backup is a must.  If the building burns down, then what?  What good is a charred backup?

You can use the backup program included with SBS - Just look under accessories and you can run your own backups as you define them.

I would suggest you read my comment on backup (it got so long and detailed, I made it a web page - see http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/backup.asp )
Top Expert 2007

I agree with Lee.

In addition to using the standard NTbackup without the SBS wizard, you could use robocopy to synch data folders with an external drive.

You should also see about getting a 2nd backup drive for each location so that one drive is always offsite, and rotate weekly, or as needed.

I hope this helps !


At this point these companies will not spend more than $500 on a solution. Maybe you work with companies that have large resources to spend on equipment.

- By a 2nd backup drive you mean an External drive correct?
- Is there a way to create additional backups using the SBS wizard? As of now I only able to do 1 backup to 1 external HD.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013

I work with small businesses and I explain that a $500 backup solution is not a backup solution for most of them - I explain it.  Most understand that without an offsite backup, a charred backup is useless to them.  When the concept and importance of backup is explained, most understand and will spend more.  Not necessary $10,000, but more.  

Did you read my comment on backup?  

You do not NEED to buy ArcServe or Backup Exec.  The built in backup works just fine, especially when backing up to an external disk.  And no, there is no facility to create additional backups - you backup on one night (or week) to one disk and then backup the next to another, taking the first one off site.