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What do you backup on a server?

Roughly speaking is it just the databases(exchange, sql) and mapped folders you backup on a server and it would like be an incremental backup so that it is only files that have changed since the last backup?

So take a company of say 10 users with a server.   They use at least sage, office, exchange, and whatever else. The server has exchange, sql server.  There are maybe 4 mapped folder for raw data say.

So how would you setup the backup, to backup every 2 hours maybe, or only once every day at night say?

So you would be looking at backuping all mapped folder, and say 1 x exchange database and however many sql server databases you have, anything else, any settings on the server that change over time, how about event logs or other system logs?

So i assume the backup creates a new backup file for every backup if using incremental, so if you were storing to say a tape drive you would have 100's of backup files in dated folders in a pretty short time, how would you go about restoring these if it is incremental?

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I currently back up all the databases, shared folders, system state of server,etc.

Daily incrementals to hard drive array.
Full weekly backups to tape.

Worst case scenario - Have to restore full from tape and then up to 6 incrementals.
I'm using 3 utilites.
1. ntbackup - choose backup system state(All system settings, logs etc.), Information Store - backups Exchange databasese+backup folders- full backup, folders could be incremental
2. Acronis True image server - backup system partition - if the system completly falls
3. SQL agent to backup SQL databases - full backup on weekend and incremental daily+ tail log backup every 15 minutes for important databases.
4. Undelete to recover recently deted or modified files
Everything is stored on hard drives (local or NAS)


Thanks.  Ok i see in ntbackup it has the option to backup the system state as you say but it seems as though you have to run a seperate backup for this. btw what is the system state, what data??

Should the backups be set to only run during office hours?


1) After install server and configuring take an image as a security.
2) Set a seperate incremental ntbackup job to backup system state maybe ss.bkf EVERY 2 HOURS??
3) Set a seperate incremental backup job to backup databases, say db.bkf every 15-30mins
4) Set a seperate incremental backup job to backup shared folders and logs say shared.bkf EVERY 3 hours ok??
5) Set a seperate incremental ntbackup job to do a full backup say every sunday night.
6) Set Acronis to image the partition/drive every sunday night?

Now if you take an acronis image this is going to be anything up to 20Gigs which i know can take a while and hence a lot of space??
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
How you backup is up to you and what your acceptable risk is.  If you have 10 users and they each typically use the computer 2 hours per day (lets say the rest of the time, they are on the phone, doing paper work, or in the field) then having the server down for one day means you lose 20 hours of worker productivity.  That means if you pay your workers $20 per hour, you've lost $400.  There are other costs too - how much in lost business or potentially angry customers because you/your customers didn't get a quick response to an e-mail or something.  This is all unique to YOUR company.  Some companies may not be in a business where a prompt e-mail reply costs them anything.  Others may be.  In the end, you need to determine how much it costs you per hour to be down.  

Once you've figured that out, you can determine what kind of backup scheme you use.  The more frequently you backup, the more resources are required -- and resources cost money.  If it costs you $200 per year to ensure you aren't down for 4 hours, that's probably a good deal.  If it costs you $20,000, then unless you're in a business like the financial industry, it probably doesn't make sense for you to spend that much.

I would suggest you read over my backup comment - I used to paste it into the questions - but it's very long and detailed, so I thought I'd be nice and spare everyone from scrolling: http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/backup.asp
(It's a little dated and I need to update it, but it's probably still 95% relevant).