Looking to archive a section of our network shares

I have a SBS 2003 Premium server that has quite a lot of data in the network shares and I'm looking to archive what I can from the server to a NAS drive. The reason I'm looking to do this is that total size of the server is 200GB+ and the backups are taking an increasingly long time to complete.

So I'm thinking that the best option here is to run some form of 'archiving' program against the drive to ascertain what files can be moved. Have the program move the files to a new location (or give me the option to do so) - probably some form of NAS device. Create a backup of the files copied and store this offsite and have this new area read-only. If users wish to update a file in this area then they'll need to perform a 'save as' and add it back to the original area of the server for 'read-write' operations but if they've not access the file in a while then this probably wouldn't be a problem.

Anyone aware of what I could use to perform such an action? Any ideas appreciated as always.
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Steven O'NeillSolutions ArchitectAsked:
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johnnash1180Commented:
Instead of archiving application, how about using some backup software to do incremental backups? It will save your disk space (in NAS drive) and can do faster backups.

You can also use RSync, if you don't want to use any costly applications.

John Nash
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Thomas RushCommented:
What you describe is a technology known as "Hierarchical Storage", which is a technology going back to the mainframe days.  I'm not sure if cost-effective solutions are available for systems with as little space as you have... but you can look based on the keywords above.

Other things to consider:
- make sure your file system is getting defragmented regularly.  This is one of the biggest causes of file system slowdown.
- Consider moving to a hardware RAID controller in RAID 1 or RAID 1+0 mirrored configuration, and migrate all your data to this.  A HW RAID controller with, say, four disks in RAID 1+0 will give you much faster write and access times than the single disk you're probably running today.

http://www.communities.hp.com/online/blogs/information-faster/default.aspx has a lot of posts that contain information about HSM-related topics.
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Steven O'NeillSolutions ArchitectAuthor Commented:
I'm actually going to be looking at a simple product called Remove Old Files that appears to do what I'm after.

We may also be looking into implementing incremental backups as well so this may help out. We already have a RAID solution in place on the server and speed isn't the issue we're suffering from (not from a server point of view anyway...it's the backups that are taking a long time here).

Thanx for the suggestions guys.
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Steven O'NeillSolutions ArchitectAuthor Commented:
As mentioned, I'm looking at a number of ideas here. The incremental backups is one solution we'd looked into but means a slower recovery time if needed.

We're actually going to be looking at virtulization as well to see if we can get more out of our other hardware and indeed make recovery times that bit quicker if needed.
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