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SBS 2011 Essentials backup solution.

Does SBS 2011 essentials have the necesary tools/application to do image backups of server?
What about xp/windows7 client computers? Can the server backup them up?
How reliable is the backup solution?
Can I not worry about installing a third party backup solutions i.e. shadow protect?
Is it suitable for a small office of less than 10 computers?
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stevenvel
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stevenvel
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4 Solutions
 
AsokkumarCommented:
Hi,

find the attached sbs 2011 essential datasheet. i hope it fulfill your all data backup requirement. Windows-Small-Business-Server-20.pdf
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rindiCommented:
The baclup tool built into SBS 2011 is already an image based backup tool. Whether it is able to backup other clients I don't know, and I really wouldn't care as that does only only asks for trouble. When you have a server you have all the data on that server and it also gets secured and backed up. There is no point of also having separate data on workstations and additionally having to back those up. If there are laptops involved which need a copy of the data, then that is OK, but it is only a copy of the reference data on the server, if it gets changed while on the road, the server wouldn't be able to back it up anyway, and when the user connects to the server again, that data is automatically synced with the server, so it is up to date on there again and can be backed up.

Of course if you need a better product, then shadowprotect is a super product and there is nothing against using that.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
SBS essentials was built, in part, precisely to offer client backup in the small business. You must use the product as designed. Run the connect computer wizard; do NOT join computers to the domain manually. This will install the agent used to monitor clients and provide client backups.

On the dashboard there is a task to set up backups of the server to external drives for off-site protection. This also works very well for most uses. If you have specialty needs then you can look at other products. storageCraft makes an SBS version of ShadowProtect that fits well at a reasonable price and with IME and a cloud storage provider, can provide some flexibility that the built in product does not. All depends on if the built in fits your needs. Reliability of both are top notch.

-Cliff
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stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your comments.

Cliff, I intend on using 2x500GB in RAID 1 for SBS and 1TB drive (internal) for backups then copy from 1TB to external USB drive for offsite.
If  I was to also use a NAS, can the dashboard also send copy to the NAS?
Can you customize how many copies of the backups to retain so the USB and NAS don't exceed max storage?
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rindiCommented:
Why bother using an internal drive for backups? Backups need to be external, so you might as well do that directly to external USB disks. Make sure you have several of these. A NAS in my point of view also isn't the best place for backups, as that also can't easily be taken off-site. It's just not on the server itself...
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stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
using an internal drive for two main reasons:

1) Performance - its faster doing snap shots to a local disk (I may even install storage craft shadow protect at a later stage and this is much happier with a local drive).

2) A user can forget to swap or even connect a USB drive

Using a NAS is a just a bonus backup not something to heavily rely on - its bundled with server deal.
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rindiCommented:
The snapshots that storagecraft makes are small, particularly if you use it's short backup intervals (I think the minimum is around 15 minutes) so speed isn't an issue there. It's only the first full backup that takes time. If a user forgets to replace the drive you'll get plenty of messages that warn you to do so. With storagecraft it would make sense to backup to another server or PC, or even a remote location, and not USB. There are people who offer such services. If you backup to another PC that has enough resources, you can get a VirtualBox Image of your server running as soon as you notice the server has a hardware issue, and then users can keep on working, maybe slower than usual, while you repair the actual server. With a NAS that would not be as easy or quick.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
The built-in backup of windows does not do NAS very well. SBSe is no exception. Internal direct attached storage is fine though. As far as performance, USB3 or eSATA will perform as will as an internal drive; only USB2 has the throughput bottleneck.

SP is a good product; I resell it and carry a subscription to the IT edition. So I don't want to discourage its use. With that said it is for advanced scenarios andnthere are usually steps you can take BEFORE stepping up to that higher price point. For example, there is benefit to having a backup both on-site AND off-site. But instead of an internal drive, I'd look at something like an appliance from high-rely or CRU Dataport.

In short, now you are delving into some serious DR panning, and EE is illvequipped for that level of education. Buy books. Attend partner trade shows, learn about best practices and what products are out there to fill those voids. There is no one-size-fits-all answer in this space.

-Cliff
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rindiCommented:
That's something that crossed my mind too. Normally when you get SBS Essentials that means your are short of funds, and then having to pay for the best backup tool available doesn't make too much sense... Although there is nothing against it.
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stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
rindi,
backing up to a computer with sufficient resources to get virtual box running sounds like a useful strategy.

Cliff,
Thanks for pointing out high-rely and CRU dataport - sound like good products but as you both can see SBSe solution can get quite expensive and my intention is to keep it simple.
I take your point that EE is illequiped to handle serious DR panning.

I can possibly do away with the internal drive if I copy backups via USB3/e-sata.
Perhaps I should just stick with Windows backup - this will backup the server and also protect the workstations  - in case one needs to be restored.



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stevenvelIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much for your comments
I am keen to make use of windows backup to protect server and clients
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