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backup solution for small office

Hi,
We need some guidance on a solution to backup the users laptop’s.  They save a lot of info to their hard drive on their laptop. All laptops connect wirelessly.  they have data for Work and personal, iTunes, junk, etc…
If all 20-25 people fire off backups I would think this would jam up our network over a T1 line, wouldn’t it?
 What do you suggest?
Someone told me about a wireless storage device that we could connect to just like a wireless printer, so would that go out over our t1 if it's local in our office?
any suggestions are appreciated.

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purdyra1
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purdyra1
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2 Solutions
 
andy_maskellCommented:
Yes it would still use your office T1 line, even if it was wireless. If all your users are offsite it may be worth using an online backup service. There are a few which allow multiple users. Google it, there are plenty to choose from.
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purdyra1Author Commented:
We are all in the same office but our company boasts about being wireless so everyone uses a laptop and is connected via wireless.

If we just an online back up service our wireless connection is already clogged up at times, and I'd hate to get clogged up by itunes junk, etc...

I suppose we could buy everyone an external hard drive for 80$ or a usb stick for 40$ unless someone has a better idea or can educate me more on the online backup system(convince me that it won't clog up our t1 line).
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andy_maskellCommented:
In that case you would be better off getting a network attached storage device and getting everyone to back up to that. You can attach it to your wireless router or switch and if everyone is inside the building it will not affect your T1 line. I have always found the Bufalo Linkstations very good and reasonably priced, plus you can plug in an external USB drive for backups to be taken offsite.
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dee_nzCommented:
Agree with andy_maskell,
Get a network attached storage device and backup everyone’s laptops to that inside the building during the day. Then copy the backups to external USB drives (overnight) to take them off site. Use multiple USB drives (and cycle them) so you have some historical backups and keep some backups offsite at all times.
Have a look at the Iomega StorCenter range of NAS
http://iomega.com/nas/us-nas-comp.html

What software are you using for backups? Have a look at shadow protect desktop – it is easy to setup and use. Install the backup agent on everyone’s laptops and manage the backup jobs & restores from the management console installed on your workstation/laptop.
http://www.storagecraft.com/shadow_protect_desktop.php
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noxchoCommented:
Wireless network is the weakest point here. While taking backup through wireless network you could not guarantee if backup done to WiFi storage will be consisted. Cause it could disconnect.
I would recommend you saving backups on the same laptops but in special protected partitions. Normally they called Backup Capsule, Secure Zone etc.
Moreover you can install recovery environment to Backup Capsule and bind it to F key so users would see a short message at startup - please press F1-12 key to start Recovery. If not pressed it goes to Windows.
This will let you avoid loading network as images will be done directly on local machine.
Give a look to Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Suite. www.drive-backup.com
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purdyra1Author Commented:
@noxcho - that's an interesting method.  What happens if the hard drive crashes, is the partition & data lost?
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noxchoCommented:
If the HDD dies then the secure place is lost as well.
But you see if the HDD in your NAS device dies/crashes you can loose backups of everyone. And in point described by me only single HDD will be lost. So you are not insured about possible crash completely. And the possibility of such HDD crash is about 5-3% of 100.
Also, you can backup the machines once per month to DVD or external USB drive.
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andy_maskellCommented:
Well most NAS devices have 2 drives and the option to use RAID 1 so if one drive dies the data is safe and you just replace the failed disk. Also the fact that you have backed that NAS up to an external USB device and taken it offsite ensures that your data is safe whatever the disaster. Lot less hassle than relying on odds and having a pile of DVD's after a few months
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dee_nzCommented:
Shadow protect (Image Manager) will verify backups for you and send you an email report. So if any backups don’t work properly because of network problems you will know and can run them again.
Using Shadow protect to backup to a NAS in your office then using USB drives to get data off site is a good small office backup solution.
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DanielleFavreauCommented:
I suggest using Super Flexible File Synchronizer (works on Mac, Windows, and Linux) and you can set it to choose which files/folders etc. to backup (don't choose itunes, or any of that crap that you don't need), tell the program how to back them up (exact copy? left to right and right to left? left to right only? smart tracking? over write larger files always or only if approved? if someone deletes something from their desktop should the backup delete it too?  or just move it to a deleted folder? should it sync back deleted files? if user moves files on their computer should the backup move them on the backup file structure as well?

You can also schedule it to backup incrementally every hour, every three hours, whenever you want.  Small incremental backups will not bog down your network.

It also syncs with networked drives, USB drives, external hard drives, FTP servers, Amazon S3, and more.  And everything is automatic after you do the initial setup.

So, to keep a remote backup, either get space on Amazon S3 (ideal if you'll use it for putting and not as much for getting) or get a server at a hosting company or backup company and backup to that.  If you get an account on something like LunarPages, unlimited storage, you can also purchase the monthly backup feature $1.50/month and your data will be backed up offsite - AND - backed up nightly in case something happens to the backup.  And you can use it to host your website and e-mail too if you want.

With this - you can also have an internal backup server so you can have multiple copies of everything and you only set it up once per machine.

And if your users want to backup their personal files, they can set up their own profiles to do so (to their own external drive or online backup service).

Remember, the cost of any of the software and storage (regardless of what you choose, physical drives, hosting, or Amazon S3) is 100% tax deductible as a normal business expense.

A final note - Super Flexible File Synchronizer offers a 30 day trial, I used it and loved it so much (with all of the great options) that I bought it for myself and most of my clients.  I also wrote an article about it recently since it's saved my butt several times.
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