I have a Windows 2003 SBS Server with about 120GB of data on it. Out of this 120GB, 80GB never changes. Between 1 and 3 GB changes on a daily basis. I use it strictly as a file server (do not have Exchange, SQL, or any database running on it). Thanks to previous answers I was about to use the Dell RD1000 removable disk drives as a primary backup device. I currently backup to a NAS device and an older Western Digital OneTouch.
I priced out a single RD1000 with one 160GB cartridge and three 80GB cartridges for about $1,000. This strikes me as being very expensive. I went online and found that I can buy an Iomega 360GB Network drive that comes with USB2 for $140.
Then it occurred to me, why can't I buy three of the Iomega drives (for about $600 with tax) and use them in a rotation scheme? These drives would be twice the size of the Dell cartridges and would cost a lot less. Let's say I have drives A, B, and C. I would first connect drive A, do a full backup including System State using the SBS backup tools. I would store this drive offsite. Then I would install drive B, do a full backup with System State. I would leave Drive B attached and do daily differential backups for one week. At the end of the week I would disconnect Drive B and store it locally under lock and key. Then I would connect Drive C, do a full backup and use it for a week for differential backups. Once every few weeks I would swap out one of the drives with the offsite drive.
This way I always have a full backup offsite that is no more than two weeks old. I also have a full backup with daily increments on a connected drive and another full backup that is less than a week old on another drive that is disconnected.
I work out of the house so storing offsite backups is not as easy as taking a drive or disk home - I already am home. My offsite backups are stored in my bank's safe deposit box. I have looked into online backups and may post another question about that to improve my offsite backup protection and reduce the trips to the bank. For now, how would this work instead of the RD1000? This way I cut my cost in half and my data is stores on standard hard drives. The only potential issue is will I need to reconfigure the backup software every time I swap drives? Or is there some way to set up the backup s/w to know there are three drives, A, B, and C and to simply select the drive from the server once a week.
Hope this makes sense. If there is some backup software that costs under $200 that would make this much easier than the SBS backup, that would be OK too. I really appreciate all of the great feedback I have received on this forum.