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System Backup

I need to set up a backup system for several retail store systems. Each system runs various types of software that are each critical to the operation of the business. What are my best options for doing continuous, full system backups that will not "get in the way" of the business operations? I would need to have the ability to restore part or all of the system should any crash occur and, ultimately, would like to be able to choose from multiple restore point options.

I have thought about using Ghost, or some similar, imaging software, but I am not familiar with those products and not sure if they offer the features/functions that I need.
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gacto
Asked:
gacto
1 Solution
 
R. Andrew KoffronCommented:
depends on size. and network speed but I've used time capsules from apple for this type of thing, have one myself. love it.  the drives don't have redundancy I don't think, but as a backup device the chances of machines and backup device crashing at the same time are pretty low.

in larger networks Qnap makes some excellent NAS boxes that support RAID, and can go up to crazy big storage capacities, you can get them in up to 16 drive bays. I'm sure there's other companies offering similar boxes, but Qnap does a great job and I've personally never had a problem with them, have maybe 7 deployed some of them as old as 6 years.
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gactoAuthor Commented:
I should clarify that I have an external desktop HD that I was planning to use for my storage medium if possible. What I am hoping to find is a software solution that can perform the backup to the existing external HD. If that is not possible then I can look at hardware options.
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Aditya AroraCommented:
you can use Symantac back up exec.

it have great features of incremental and full backup.
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SelfGovernCommented:
Backup Exec will probably come with a good case of sticker shock.
You might consider Paragon Backup instead.

Make sure you understand the pitfalls of backup to a USB disk, which include:
- Easily stolen.  If the guy comes in to steal the computer equipment, he doesn't say, "Oh, I'll leave that thing, it looks like their backup drive."  No, he just steals their stuff.
- Easily portability means customer, business, and employee data is at risk; what legal considerations might you have?
- Consumer-grade USB drives may be more susceptible to failure than you might expect.
- No hard drive is designed to store data when powered off.  Maybe not a concern for a few months, but surely something to consider if you're thinking of doing your backups and leaving them on a shelf for a year or more.
- Backup to simple hard drives can be a real bear when you think about holding data for archival periods.  might a business need to go back a few years to recover tax data, or contracts, or to provide evidence of fraud or theft?

The problem is that there's no solution to all your problems that is all three of cheap, simple, fast.  Conceivably, you could set up some kind of private cloud solution where you back up the data to your hosted systems, and you take care of dumping the data to physical tape for long-term archiving.  That's going to be the most complete solution, but it's probably not going to be cheap.
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shahzoorCommented:
You can use internal harddisk or a NAS and schedule the backups using Acronis backup and restore
It can maintain full image backups as well as incremental backups

Incremental saves a lot of space and time but you can define complete backups twice in a month or so
It all depends on the tasks you can defining. You can have as many number of scheduled tasks as you want.
Internal Harddisks are usually faster and less errors
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SelfGovernCommented:
@Shahzoor: Yes, internal disks are usually faster.  But they don't do anything to get you a true backup, which must be stored at a different location to protect against theft, sprinklers that go off when they shouldn't, natural disasters, a power supply that catches on fire, etc.
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gactoAuthor Commented:
Shahzoor,

Can I use Acronis with an external HD solution?
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SelfGovernCommented:
Yes, Acronis will work fine with external disks.  I wouldn't suggest you rely on them for long-term storage, though, if that is one of the customers' requirements.
 Also realize that USB-attached disks don't give the same level of error detection/correction that SATA or SAS attach disks do.
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