client backup of files

mkramer777
mkramer777 used Ask the Experts™
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We are in a small office and we backup user files with a program to the a file server (WINDOWS SERVER 2012).  The backup runs each day for each user.  I know that this is not the standard way to backup so I would like instructions on how to do it properly by  having the files of each user reside on the file server and each user has access to only their files.  Part of the question is how do I set this up so I can keep a copy of the user files on the client's computer and also on the server?
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Anna NorrisNOC / BCDR

Commented:
Sounds like you just need to setup a shared file structure on the server (for the shared files everyone might need access to) and implement home folders on the server for each individual (for their private files.) This can be done by redirecting My Documents and setting the home folder path on the server for their AD account.

Unless your end users have laptops and they need local copies (offline files) then I'd dispense with this step.

As far as backups, you want to understand how much data you can afford to lose in order to setup how often you back up the files. Futher, you need to get the data off of the server and ideally, out of the office.

Just know that file backups are great, but don't do much if the server itself crashes - this leaves you in a situation where you have the files backed up, but no way to access them quickly. So, another planning aspect is how fast do you need to return a failed server to operation. If this number is minutes or hours, your solution will be different than days or weeks to return to service.
CESNetwork Administrator

Commented:
I would suggest employing home directories on the server:

https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/83883-configure-user-home-folders-and-folder-redirection

that way they have local access to their data (even though it really lives on the server) and the data is backed up all at once.

Author

Commented:
OK.  Then let me ask this question that might end the discussion.  Right now all computers have local copies and their files are being copied every day to the file server.  I have set it up that only the username of the specific computer can access their folder on the file server.  So "Bob" can only access the "Bob" folder on the server.  If I leave it this way are there any drawbacks?
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CESNetwork Administrator

Commented:
is this a domain?

Author

Commented:
YES
Network Administrator
Commented:
okay so what you would do is make a root folder and give domain users full access to "this folder only"  Then you use Active Directory to map the home directory to their own folder in that root directory.  That way they have full read/write access to their own folder but as a result will not have access to other directories created by other users.

You should also let administrators have full access to all folders so that backups can happen.
Anna NorrisNOC / BCDR

Commented:
Your question about drawbacks to leaving it like it is - If the computers is off, it doesn't get backed up. Other than not getting the data out of the building, I don't see any other drawbacks. I'd never set this up that way, I'd host all the files on the server, and then focus on protecting the data on the server (1 backup to deal with vs backups running on how many computers?) I own an MSP and data protection is something we want to have as bulletproof as possible.

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