Small Business Server backup strategy

Dear experts,

I am responsible for about 20 customers with SBS2008 and 2011 servers. I do a daily backup on USB drives.

Till now, I have run weekend backups manually and some employee took those backups offsite.
it is very time consuming, every friday I have to run 20 backups, every monday check whether the backup was successful...

Now I need to deploy weekly offsite backups automatically with email report.
The data amount is 20 to 800gigs, depends on particular Customer.

I would like to use current USB disks (red and blue) for those archives. I also would like to use PowerShell, Windows server backup and task scheduler to achieve this.

weekend Backup script should work like:
1, It is connected to the correct disk (red or blue)?
2, If yes, start backup, otherwise send report "missing correct backup disk"
3, when backup is completed, send report to me and to the emploee "weekend backup completed, take blue off and connect red"

What do You, experts, think about this offsite backup solution? Or do you use another, better one?
Can you point me to the right direction with the script?

Kind regards,
Jaroslav LatalMSPAsked:
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:

What backup application are you using at the moment?

Windows Built in Backup should automatically run everyday with no manual intervention required.

Also as its SBS, have you configured the backup reports to be emailed to you?
Jaroslav LatalMSPAuthor Commented:
Hello David,

I use bulit-in Windows server backup for regular (daily) backups. It works automatically, also with report. I configured ths via SBS console. There is no probem..

What I need to do is set-up automatic weekend (saturday) backup with report as described above.


btw: Sorry about my English.
Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
The SBS built in backup from the console runs every day as many times as you wish.  The daily report will can be emailed to anyone you wish and will tell you if it was successful.  The backups are "incremental" in that the only backup the changed blocks and you can restore from any point in time.  With three external drives you can always have one outside the building and with more you can have multiple away.

If you see a flaw in that strategy, other than failing external hard drives which you can verify, and corrupted backups, which you can test sample or fully restore please let us know.

This is not to say additional backups, cloud backups or BDR backups have no use.  Just that the built in backup is all that is needed so long as one is always out of the building in case of fire/theft and so on.

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Jaroslav LatalMSPAuthor Commented:
Jaroslav LatalMSPAuthor Commented:
I did some testing with multiple backup targets.

When there are more backup disks connected at the same time, I do not know witch of them will be used. Do I?

Jaroslav LatalMSPAuthor Commented:
one more question..

I have 40GB system disk (C:) and 60GB backup target. Why the server backup always do a full backup and not incremental?


Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
Hi Jarda,

I may be more confused than you.  <g>.  I thought we were discussing SBS which will not install on 40 GB system drive.  Can you clarify the OS version please.  

Windows Backup (WB) starting with Server 2008 and forward does do incremental backups.  Any after the first should be very small and very fast.  If you are actually seeing full backups after the first it has to do with there not being enough room on the target to store the changes so WB wipes the drive and starts over.  This is to ensure that the system is backed up.

Regarding two or more target drives.  Attach them all, run the wizard (SBS or Essentials) but leave ONLY ONE attached for each backup and switch them as often as you want to take a copy off site... which I recommend every day after the last backup during working hours.
Jaroslav LatalMSPAuthor Commented:
Hi Larry,

I installed a test environment in Hyper-V:
1, server 2008
2, server 2008 R2
3, server 2012
4, server 2012 R2

I have added 2 VHDs for each of virtual servers to test multiple backup targets.

attached backup disks
You are right with " leave ONLY ONE attached for each backup ".
Otherwise the system will backup to one of them randomly. There is no fixed sequence...

full / incremental backup
I expanded backup VHD to 100GB, but system still does full backup of its 40GB system disk.
I added 10 GB data disk to the virtual server 2008. First backup of data disk was full, each other was FULL too.
Strange, isn't it?

Jarda,  I run a SBS 2008 Server and I use Symantec System Recovery (SSR) to create routine backup images.  SSR will write to attached USB drives and network attached storage (NAS) devices.  It has the ability to copy the backup images to a second device for off site copies.

SSR performs full or incremental image backups.  However these are image based backups and require lots of storage space.
Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:

Not sure and don't have time to check but what you are seeing is EITHER the difference between backing up to an internal drive or the basic Windows Backup (not SBS or Essentials) or both.  You cannot backup to a "normal" usb drive from HyperV, but you can attach them as SCSI drives, create another VM and backup to that.  Or, both Veam and Altaro offer backup programs for VM's under Hyper V that are free for up to 2 VM's per hyperV instance.
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