Windows 7 Backup

I have a small SBS network with 8 machines.

I would like an automated way to trigger the Windows 7 backup that is centrally controlled by the server. So, every machine backs up automatically at a given interval, but that the reports, the "push" trigger, etc... is controlled by the server.

Right now we use scheduled tasks on each individual machine, but when someone's laptop is not there, or there is a network issue (occasionally we get a permissions denied error) that breaks it. Plus, there is no real good way to generate a report from this.

I fell like SBS 2008 should be able to do this, and would like to avoid buying something like backup exec.
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DrDamnitAsked:
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Rob WilliamsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
As mentioned earlier, an ideal solution is to add a Windows Home server or a Windows Storage Server Essentials 2011 to your existing network.  You need somewhere to backup the files and if you backup each PC to the server you will quickly run out of room.  If you backup locally to USB you have many devices to manage.  Windows Home server (max 10 PC's) and Windows Storage Server Essentials 2011 (max 25 PC's) use file de-duplication which allows for very efficient storage and very easy full system restore, or individual file restores.  The de-duplication means if the same file exists on more than one PC, such as a Windows file, it will only back it up once saving a lot of stage space.
http://www.smallbizserver.com/
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Scott ThompsonComputer Technician / OwnerCommented:
I'm not too familiar with Windows SBS 2008, but I have done some work with SBS 2011.  With 2011, we set up the business that everyone stored their information onto the server itself, and was able to access it VIA the network.

Perhaps what you could do is to do this the other way around.  Set up each computer to have their files shared (i.e. Documents, Pictures, etc.) and have these accessible to the server.  Then run your server backup program (or schedule it) set up to copy the information from the client computers to the server.  I 'believe' this should also generate a report if one location was not backed up the last time the backup was ran.

Again, not too familiar with SBS 2008, but I hope this idea helps.
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McKnifeCommented:
Hi.

The problem you mention is availability. If the laptop is not home, he cannot backup - understood.
So why not go this way: deploy a scheduled task again at the client side that starts the backup and if not successful, reschedules the task (+24 hours for example). Like this: schedule it to run at 10:00. Action: run a batch (backup.bat) consisting of the 2 lines:
your backupcommand here
if %errorlevel% EQU 1 at 10:00 backup.bat
[please note that "at 10:00 backup.bat" is the actual command to reschedule the batch to run at 10:00 next morning!]
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DrDamnitAuthor Commented:
McKnife:

You have essentially stated how I have it setup now. The problem is not the execution of the backup, the problem is getting notified when it fails and why it failed...
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Maybe I have misunderstood the question but SBS 2008 only manages its own backup.  Very seldom are individual PC's backed up as they should not have any data on them.  SBS will generate a report for it's own backup but if you are backing up WIn7 machines using it's own utility there is no way to monitor the success or failure. You can with a 3rd party applications or you can script e-mailing you a copy of the log file.

Having said that with SBS 2011 Essentials or Windows Home Server which does backup all PC's (WHS up to 10 and SBS 2011 Essentials up to 25), by installing an agent on each PC.  This uses de-duplication so that if multiple PC's have the same file, such as many of the Windows files, it only backs up the file once but creates a pointer for each PC on which it was installed.  This makes for very space efficient backups. May SBS's have added a WHS to the network for tihs purpose. The deluxe version of this is Windows Strage Server 2011 Essential which is quite affordable, and can join the SBS domain.
http://www.smallbizserver.com/

There is also the Offline files feature with any server which can sync your My Documents folder, or other configured folders, with the server.  This allows you to have a local copy which syncs with the server when you connect to the server so it is backed up.
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DrDamnitAuthor Commented:
Is SBS 2011 Essentials the same as SBS 2011?

I have SBS 2011 Standard. Does it have this glorious feature?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
No SBS 2011 standard has Exchange and SharePoint.
SBS 2011 Essentials does not have Exchange or SharePoint, but does have client (PC) backup.

You can add to an SBS 2011 standard network; a Windows Home Server or a Windows Storage Server 2011 Essentials. to manage client backup.
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DrDamnitAuthor Commented:
So that still doesn't solve my issue. How can we centrally control the backups under SBS 2008?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
SBSS 2008 does not provide any built in client backup. You must use an add-on product, either from MS or a 3rd party. Full stop.
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DrDamnitAuthor Commented:
What is the most cost effective add-on product? (An MS product would be preferred).
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DrDamnitAuthor Commented:
Ok. We have a 3TB Linux file server that currently houses the 7 backups, and then uses rsync to send them off site. This is ideal (when Windows actually backs up properly) because it sends differentials to the remote system.

Does Windows storage server essentials create fresh full images each time it backs up, or are there incremental zip files like win7 makes?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Incrementals.  Very efficient system
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DrDamnitAuthor Commented:
Is this a released product?

My Ingram Micro and Tech Data accounts only show Storage Server 2008. Not essentials...
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
You cannot buy Windows Storage Server Essentials as a software package.  It is a special OEM (though not really OEM) licensing such that you can only buy it pre-installed on hardware.  I think Western digital may have it but there are a few Microsoft SBS MVP's who took the necessary steps to become resellers as they felt it was an amazing product and wanted it readily available in a customization format.  
The fellow in the US doing so is http://www.smallbizserver.com/ 
The fellow in Australia is:
http://boonbox.powerbiz.net.au/specifications.html
And there may be one in England as well.

Home server is available as software.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
PS-  If you have an Action Pack Subscription I believe Windows Storage server Essentials is available through it.
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