What backup software do you recommend

epichero22 used Ask the Experts™
For small, medium, and large-sized business, what backup software have you used and recommend?

I usually use SyncBack freeware, but it hasn't been the best.  For example, it doesn't make a backup of files that are in use or locked, like an MDF database file.  

*Edit: When I say small, medium, and large-sized, I mean specify if you've used different programs for each.
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Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

Small with a bunch of macs: retrospect ( PC version ) it has a decent osx client and has an unlimited server version for pretty cheap. It works great on laptops as it has something called proactive backup. I set it to one day and it will wait 24 hours since last backup, then the next time it sees the laptop it tries to back it up.
yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

It sounds like you are on a Windows Platform.
If this is so, what version OS are you on that has the SQL server (I am assuming that you are running SQL since you mentioned MDF).
How many servers are we talking about?

Windows Server 2003 you can use NTBACKUP.
Windows Server 2008 you will use Windows Backpup.

When dealing with SQL I would recommend using SQL's internal backup function.

With more details of your system the better assistance you will get from me as well as others here at EE.
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions Consulting

You can use sqlcmd to make a backup of the db before your backup software runs. I would advise against letting your backup software touch your db. Even if it wants to.
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for Small business you can use Microsoft Windows Backup and for Large business use Symantec Backup Exec 2010, Cheers!

bit of a vague question so you're going to get a load of answers and opinons.
Also, you havent specified anything about budget, purpose and what OS to consider.

Firstly, Syncback and similar programs are not really backup software. these are just a syncronisation tool and can be used to provide bvasic backups for some situations.

Backups is a massive area and all comes down to three simple things:

Budget - how much can you afford?
>Generally best to get the best backup software/hardware that you can afford on your budget. Although no-one likes to pay for stuff they never actually intend to use, you'll regret the cheapo backup solution when you're sat on your own at 3am trying to restore the server.

Criticality - how critical is the data? would the business fold if the data was lost of just be slowed down a bit?
>If the data isnt that important, you can get away with simple, cheap options. If the data is critical to the business, you need to make sure that a server crash/theft/building fire etc doesnt put you out of a job.

Size - how big would the backup be?
> small backups are relatively easay to configure, run and maintain. Larger backups often need specific hardware and take a lot more effort to get right.

In General, the 'free' backup tools that come with servers, like NTBACKUP and WINDOWS SERVER BACKUP, are ok for simple backups they do the job and can backup all normal elements of the server (including active directory, exchange etc)
If you need more robust backups, products like CA Arcserver and Backupexec are much better and more reliable.
If you're looking at big enterprise environments you're looking at the really big stuff like Commvault.

Hardware wise, you need to consider if the backups need to be taken offsite or can be left around the building.
A NAS is good but keeps lots of backups in one place. if the NAS fails, or the building burns down you've lost all your backups.
Tapes are portable and easy to lock in a safe, but can be very expensive as tape drives are not cheap.


*How many server are we talking about?
I've only worked in offices that have one.  But I'd like to know what larger offices use.

I've used Syncback to perform full backups of user files and folders to a separate computer via network sharing.  That central computer would normally have an online service like Carbonite Home installed.  Once it did save us since Carbonite does record different versions of files and the law firm that was using it was able to retrieve a document saved at a certain period.  I don't know what Carbonite Business offers differently.

My backups have ranged in size from several gigabytes to several hundred gigabytes.  The SQL I'm speaking of is used by a proprietary program where users have to make manual backups that get saved as a .BAK file.  It's not very convenient but we had to learn doing it routinely the hard way.
Director of Information Technology
What version of Windows is running?
From what you said the backup that is built in on the OS will meet your needs.
When it comes to SQL it is the proper way to back it up.
SQL will need the full as well as all the diff or incrementals when restoring. If one of those are missing because of a missing media then things are much more difficult to restore.
I have 3 SQL servers with a total of 200 DB's in production. I used to use our backup software to backup the DB's, but that showed it's colors quickly. So now I do the SQL routine backup to a BAK file and back those up to tape with our full routine.

Like I stated earlier you can use
NTBackup if you are on 2003
Windows Backup if on 2008.

This is the cheapest way and probably the most logical with what you have and are looking to do.

could you be more specific on what additonal information you would like?

you can buy acronis echo enterprise server. It creates images of your harddirve at the defined times and days etc
You can maintain one full backup and then schedule it for incremental backups
Thus it would save your space and would throw less traffic on the network

Hi epichero22, a little late here but just noticed you said you didn't like the fact that Syncback can't backup open files.  The freeware version cannot, but the commercial versions (Syncback SE and Syncback Pro) both can and are very inexpensive (I believe $ 35 and $ 55 respectively).  

You might want to take a look at www.2brightsparks.com if you are still using the freeware.  The commercial has LOTS of features and the support will help you customize for just about any situation (either during the 30 day trial or with your purchased license).  Lots of value for $ 35 or $ 55.  HTH

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