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How to automatically move files over Windows network?

Posted on 2009-04-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Hello
I have a following question.

I have 5 workstations that generate about 200GB of data (video footage) per workstation every day. At the end of the day all this data has to be moved over network to a backup server where the data is held for 10 days and then deleted.

Currently the users manually Cut/Paste the folders to the network share at the end of the day, but it has it's disadvantages - the transfers often fail and the transfers often bite into the next work day, which is a big pain.

I have tried automatically archiving the data using EMC Retrospect which works great BUT it archives the data into it's own archive format. We on the other hand often need to browse the files that are on the server and copy them back to workstations, so Retrospect doesn't work out that way.

All in all, every workstation has a directory, the contents of which has to be moved into a single network share.

What would you recommend as a solution to this problem?
The solution can be free or commercial software but the backup server for some other reasons is Windows 2003 based, so I have to work within these boundaries.

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:alexkink
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:blissbear
ID: 24069998
There are several applications like this that are available, though if your network isn't heavily needed during the workday you might try MirrorFolder: http://www.techsoftpl.com/backup/index.php

You can mirror folders from each of the systems on the fly, as the files are created.  This will make backups more secure and immediate and also minimize the congestion after hours.
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MrMintanet earned 750 total points
ID: 24070015
>>The backup server for some other reasons is windows 2003 based
-Most servers are :)


Ok, this isn't too bad, so don't worry. :)

Write Batch File:

1.  Open Notepad
2.  Type:  move C:\FOLDER\ D:\FOLDERCOPY    <- You will have to modify this command, obviously.
3.  Save As
4.  File Type:  Any
5.  File Name:  Move.bat  

Create Schedule Task:

1.  On users workstation:  Open Scheduled Tasks: click Start, click All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks.

2.  Simply setup the move.bat file to launch at whatever time users should be finished.
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 24070034
Give each workstation a USB 1 Tb drive.

Batch file at end of day to copy/move data across to USB drive.

USB drives are taken to server and data offloaded to server.

This means that someone is going to have to stick around and do the copying to the server but there's no load on the network.
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Expert Comment

by:MrMintanet
ID: 24070044
My solution is free....
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Expert Comment

by:blissbear
ID: 24070160
You didn't address this issue:

> Currently the users manually Cut/Paste the folders to the network share at the end of the day, but it has it's disadvantages - the transfers often fail and the transfers often bite into the next work day, which is a big pain.

When everyone tries to copy files at the same time the network sounds like it's getting overloaded and the file copy commands are dying from latency timeouts.
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 750 total points
ID: 24070199
200GB/workstation x 5 workstations => 1TB of data to archive each night ... you're clearly keeping the network busy :-)

There are several free backup/synchronization utilities that can automate this for you.   I like SyncBack -- the free version will work fine if you're sure the files to be copied won't be in use when it's time to copy them;  otherwise get the SE version.  http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html

I would then simply set up a profile on each workstation and schedule it to run at a specified time every day.   If you'd prefer it not be initiated automatically, you could simply create a "Backup Now" icon (that's what I call mine -- you can clearly label it however you want) that the user double-clicks to initiate the backup.

Note that you could alternatively set up a single Group profile on a copy of Syncback on the server; and it could contain five profiles (one for each workstation) that would initiate the backup directlly from the server.   This would, of course, require that the video folders on the workstations were shared.
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Expert Comment

by:MrMintanet
ID: 24070251
What would your budget be for this?  I did clearly miss the key point which was the "fail".  I am the "fail" at this point.  :(  Meh... It's midnight on a Saturday.  I suppose I'm after the mug.  LOL  Anyways, I am more than glad to help, but a projected budget would be necessary at this point.  Backing up this amount of data per night is insane.

1TB every night... wow.  And then to hold it for... 10 DAYS!  That's 10TB.  Have you considered a SAN?  Perhaps a NAS?  If anything, why not just have them  all have a 2TB external HD that does this independently per workstation?  200GB a day is a great deal of data.

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