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Backup Software for SBS

SBS 2003 Standard comes with its own back up utilility.  
Is this sufficient for ocmplete backup and restore if I only have 10 workstations and one SBS server which acts as my domain controller, exchange server and file server?
Would running Semantic Backup Exec be overkill on this type of setup?
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skipbowt
Asked:
skipbowt
1 Solution
 
tigermattCommented:

In general Backup Exec is definitely going to be overkill. The cost of Backup Exec licensing is probably going to cost a large fraction of what the SBS initially cost to set up, and it also has a lot of features which you aren't going to need for a simple daily backup to USB disk - it's way too much for such an environment in my opinion.

Provided you have the SBS configured correctly, and all data is stored on the SBS (not individual workstations), you can use the integrated backup wizard for running backups. If necessary you could run the 'NTBackup' tool (Start > Run > ntbackup > OK) and configure slightly more advanced backups here.

-Matt
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Randy_BojanglesCommented:
Backup Exec for SBS contains all the agents for Exchange etc so you can get a brick level backup as well as a full and all BE now includes the open File Agent (OFA) and Disaster Recovery Agent (DRA)

It even comes with the Desktop and Laptop Option (DLO) so you can back up any data that careless users leave on the PCs

It's not that expensive (compared to buying BE + Agents etc) and personally I would always reccomend it to give you peace of mind and verifiable backups to tape that can be archived for a number of years (if this is applicable to your environment)

Andy
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a1454Commented:
I will recommend simply using ntbackup, what I do is I keep the C drive to be small as possible, only operating system and stuff that has to be there, I move exchange database to another physical hard drive. This will make your files smaller and easier to backup.

Setup ntbackup to run a C drive backup including system state everyday at midnight (or whatever time you choose that no one will be using it) using backup schedule. and set another schedule for once a week to backup exchange database. You can increase this interval how you like of course, but generally, exchange database tends to get big overtime, and backing it up everyday may end up becoming a pain.

Also make sure you have your SBS 2003 installed on a RAID 1 array, this practice will provide more security and can comes in VERY handy in some situation. (For example, if you are going to test some setting that might screw up the system, take one of the drive off line and do whatever you want, if it screws up, power off and swap the drive with the one of you took offline and then boot, you are back to where you were in no time)
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skipbowtAuthor Commented:
What if my 'C' drive is already full (only 200 mb free out of 12 GB) We have continually had problems with the 'C' drive filling up.  I guess this is a different problem I can research in the knowledge base and/or submit another question.  So far I've got two all for using NT back up over Backup Exec.
What Media type are you using for storage?  Currently we have an LTO tape backup w/ 400 GB native and this is just bareley enough for all our graphic, document and system files.

Thank you.

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skipbowtAuthor Commented:
Randy,
From your point of view, what are the disadvantages of using NT backup?
Can I do a complete system restore if using NTbackup?

Thanks,
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tigermattCommented:

For my smaller clients (by that, I mean a client which is small enough to work off an SBS domain) I use some sort of External Hard Drive and/or NAS device. A set of two or three 500GB USB hard disks is usually sufficient for most of my clients, and I have them rotate them once a week, enabling us to always have at least 2 backups stored off-site.

For some of my clients, which have high demands on storage space, I have deployed Buffalo Terastation devices. These are NAS boxes which I usually mount well away from the server room. If you get the correct model, you could get 2TB of storage - a RAID 0 array configured with 4 x 500GB hard disks. I've not looked for a while, but the increase in storage may actually allow you to get even more storage in one Terastation.

What I would say is that NTBackup is brilliant for doing nightly/weekly backups to your USB disks or NAS box. However, if you start requiring additional advanced features - like the ability to control how long backups are retained before being overwritten, more advanced backup configurations / monitoring - then Backup Exec is something you should consider. Only my largest clients have this installed - but it COULD be scaled to an SBS network by using the SBS edition if your backup requirements need such a product.

-Matt
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tigermattCommented:

As for your NT Backup question, yes you can do a system restore using NT Backup. As with most backup tools you would reload the base Windows 2003 operating system, and then load NT Backup to restore your data. In fact, since you're running on SBS, there is a procedure set for how to restore: http://download.microsoft.com/download/b/d/8/bd8e1a40-d202-429a-8eb7-26300d62bcc9/BKU_BkupRstr.doc.

The main disadvantage to NT Backup is that as your company / network grows and data storage increases, it starts to scale out of control. If you add additional servers, or as I said in my above comment, start needing more advanced control over what backups are kept, for how long and so on, then Backup Exec is something you'd want to consider looking at.

However, Backup Exec is only for when a network starts to grow large. NT Backup is perfect for a 5 - 6 user network which only has a few GBs worth of backup each day.

-Matt
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skipbowtAuthor Commented:
I would say the chances of adding additional servers are about 0 to the tenth power.  We are an architectural firm with about 13 users (we just downsized from 18 users) and very intense graphic storage needs.  

We actually already have Backup Exec 11d as this was suggested by the consultant who set up our server system.  I had the feeling it was overkill at the time.  Currently I am continually having problems with backups cancelling due to exceeding maximum runtime.  I'm considering going to a simpler system If I cannot get consistent backups.

Thanks
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tigermattCommented:
If you already have 11d, what version of the software do you have? The SBS edition, or just the regular edition for Windows Servers? If you have the SBS edition, I'm sure we could work out some way of getting backups to work correctly.

However, if the version you have is just the standard edition, it is unlikely you have all the additional Exchange and SQL agents and so on, in which case, NT Backup is going to be the best (and cheapest) solution.

-Matt
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skipbowtAuthor Commented:
My Support Certificate says I have Backup Exec SBS PRM 11D WIN SMALL BUSINESS SERVER
Recently I reset the properties for Full Daily Backup HP LTO 920 to "overwite media" instead of append to media, overwrite if ... "  I got three successfull backups since (see Job Monitor Screen Shot).  I think one of my  problems may lie in the overwrite protection settings (see Media screen shot).
It also appears my tapes may not have enough capacity: Data: 492 GB Used capacity: 390 GB.  Total Capacity: 391 GB.  Also see, Alerts, monitor-screen shot.
I appreciate your help.  I'm really excited about getting this thing running like it's supposed to.
Thanks,

alerts-monitor-screen.jpg
Job-Monitor-screen.jpg
Media-Monitor-Screen.jpg
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tigermattCommented:

Your tapes might support compression - in fact, if you're squeezing nearly 500GB on them as reported in Backup Exec, they must be compressing in some way.

Your backup job seems to be failing. What detail does it give as to why it failed if you double click that Alert?
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skipbowtAuthor Commented:
Two types of Error Messages:
1. Data Base Maintenance Failure Maintenance has failed: 10, Dump database failed Total Elapsed time: 00:00:36
2. Job Cancellation.  The Job was automatically canceled because it exceeded the job's maximum configured run time.  Job log errors:  Backup-Data 1  Media mount failed.  User canceled a physical volume library operation V-79-57344-33861 - The media operation was terminated by the user.
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tigermattCommented:

The first Database error is obviously an issue but shouldn't have an effect on your backup jobs.

It sounds as though you have configured a maximum run time for the job, and it is exceeding this time. I'm looking at a BE 12.5 client here, however, I believe it will be the same - or very similar - to 11d. In the job properties, look under 'Source' at 'Priority and availability'. You'll see two options there regarding Availability Window and Automatic Cancellation. Disable both, and retest.

The other error is that it is complaining the Media Mount failed. This could indicate a tape issue, a tape drive issue or the fact no media is present. Try a different tape and/or a cleaning cycle to see if that error is resolved.

-Matt
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skipbowtAuthor Commented:
I took the recommended action.
If it's ok, I;ll wait to see if the backups are working properly before awarding points.
Unless there are underlying issues it appears that this will solve the problem.
Thanks,
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