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Small business backup system - rsync for windows

Posted on 2013-02-04
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Last Modified: 2013-02-10
I have a client with the following:

1. windows sbs 2003
2. 6 desktops

I wanted to use rsync i.e. delta copy with my QNAP nas at home or to an online backup provider.

What would be the best method to back up an image of the windows server and also sql database and exchange seperetate. also the PST files on each desktop using rsync. is Rsync the best for what it does i.e. backups only what is change at byte level , please kindly advise.

is there a cheap solution online where I can just install and agent on each machine and it will backup everything to the cloud ready for me to retrieve and do bare metal install to dissimalar computers in case the whole building blows up?

thanks
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Question by:Ikky786
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4 Comments
 
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

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Andrew Davis earned 500 total points
ID: 38854139
Why do you want to backup the workstations as well? Typically you should not be storing any critical data at the workstations and with redirected folders the profiles should be kept on the server. If worst case, everything goes, then depending on if the OS's are OEM (in which case you cannot recover to other hardware), and as long as you have all source software, then any new replacement computers will more than likely come with new updated OS.

PST Files!!!! You have an SBS which means that you should be using Exchange, so you should not have any PST files. All mail (contacts, calendars, etc.. ) should be stored at the server.

So really all you need to backup is the server.

i have not used Rsync, but for this to work you would need to have a VPN to the destination location for file comparison.

"is there a cheap solution online where I can just install and agent on each machine and it will backup everything to the cloud ready for me to retrieve and do bare metal install to dissimilar computers in case the whole building blows up? "
There are lots of solutions. Cheap is a relative phrase. How much data are we talking?

Personally i use shadowprotect with continuous incremental’s that are replicated to an off-site FTP location.
Basic rundown.
At office put in a NAS drive to store backups. This gives you a central DR location with multiple recovery points. Every hour (between 06:00 18:00) the server runs an incremental to the NAS box.
Each night the daily incremental’s are consolidated to a single daily file (all hourly files are kept for 7 days). This Daily incremental is then replicated to an off-site location.
At end of week Daily files are consolidated to a Weekly file. And daily’s kept for 14 days.
At end of month, Weekly files are consolidated to a monthly file and weekly’s are kept for 3 months.

This means that at any point we can recover back to any hour in the last week, any day in the last fortnight, any week in the last 3 months, or any month since the beginning of DR implementation. This is important as you may discover that a file is corrupt, and you need multiple points in time to be able to recover from.

Bank on Cloud backup solution costing about $1.50 per gig, per month.

Hope that helps

Cheers
Andrew
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Author Comment

by:Ikky786
ID: 38854184
Hello Andrew. many thanks for your assistance. Just a few more questions based on your advice.

1. I dont use roaming profiles as this hogs the network as they are stored on the server. So if they store anything on the desktop it goes if the hard drives dies. Of course files are stored on the server with the workstations using a mapped drive.

2. In regards to PST files, if the hard drive dies on the workstation wont the emails go with it?
Or do I have the incorrect understanding? Based on what your saying if a hard drive dies on a work station, I would first reinstall windows, install necessary apps, reconfigure outlook (or will outlook configure it self as I have setup a domain?). Will all the emails be pulled from the server (exchange)? So basically the user would see ALL the emails before the hard drive died (without me having to backup the pst files)?

3.  I will most likely used rsync. wont use cloud, the costs add up. client has about 70 gig of data. Going to sync it to my QNAP at home which supports rsync. probably used Deltacopy, unless somebody can recommend something better.

4.  I looked into Shadow protect. but last time I checked, to backup the whole server including exchange ,sql and files continously costs alot. Still may consider it, problem is I am taking up more and more businesses and shadow protect licenses are expensive per server per customer.

thanks
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Author Comment

by:Ikky786
ID: 38854188
I forgot to add what version of shadow protect are you using? what would be best for sbs please?
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis earned 500 total points
ID: 38857723
Sorry for delay.

1. I dont use roaming profiles as this hogs the network as they are stored on the server. So if they store anything on the desktop it goes if the hard drives dies. Of course files are stored on the server with the workstations using a mapped drive.

You need to use Re-dirrected folders as well. see http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverGP/thread/ee476c2e-3ea7-4bf2-b544-06d3484a0d5a/ for a bit of a discussion. SBS2003 has a wizard for setting it up. In Server Management under Shares (local) there is a link on the right side
of the page for "Configure My Documents Redirection". For the other folders you need to implement by GPO. but probably dont need them for backup purposes.

2. In regards to PST files, if the hard drive dies on the workstation wont the emails go with it?
Or do I have the incorrect understanding? Based on what your saying if a hard drive dies on a work station, I would first reinstall windows, install necessary apps, reconfigure outlook (or will outlook configure it self as I have setup a domain?). Will all the emails be pulled from the server (exchange)? So basically the user would see ALL the emails before the hard drive died (without me having to backup the pst files)?

It depends how you configured the outlook clients. typically they should be configured with an exchange connector. They will store a copy at the local machine (asuming cached mode) in an OST file, but this is only to allow offline viewing.
By using it like this it allows the users to still access all their email via OWA "Outlook Web Access" as everything is stored at the server.

3.  I will most likely used rsync. wont use cloud, the costs add up. client has about 70 gig of data. Going to sync it to my QNAP at home which supports rsync. probably used Deltacopy, unless somebody can recommend something better.

That is fine as long as you realize that this will give you no ability for previous restore points. So if a file gets corrupted, you will only have a backup of the corrupted file, with no ability to go to a previous point in time to recover from.

4.  I looked into Shadow protect. but last time I checked, to backup the whole server including exchange ,sql and files continously costs alot. Still may consider it, problem is I am taking up more and more businesses and shadow protect licenses are expensive per server per customer.

You would use Shadow Protect for small business see http://buy.storagecraft.com/StorageCraft-ShadowProtect-5-Small-Business-Server-P150C30.aspx
and for offsite replication to an FTP you need Image manager. http://buy.storagecraft.com/StorageCraft-ImageManager-intelligentFTP-HeadStart-Restore-ShadowStream-Excluding-Premium-Support-P457C16.aspx
This will give you RRP prices, but if you are an IT consultant then you can get a dealer account. You can also get it as a monthly cost. This allows you to sell it as a service to your clients.

Hope this helps.
Cheers
Andrew
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