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Network Backup Solutions


Andne
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Not entirely certain where to post this, but it can go here since I'm looking to build something.

 

I am looking for solutions to provide backup of several computers for a non-profit organization. Currently they have around 8 or 9 computers (all running Windows XP to my knowledge, but I'm not certain), and rely on file-sharing from computer to computer. The program they use to manage the majority of their data runs on multiple computers by installing it on one and then having a file share to the others that is used to access the program. Very similar to how SourceSafe works I believe. This data is backup by the program manually to a CD-R at some interval and stored at the home of one of the workers. Otherwise, there is currently no backup solution in place. People may also use a flash drive for certain data, but I'm unsure about that.

 

One solution that I am aware of would be a NAS, either a Drobo FS or something similar. I believe that this would be able to perform backups of all of the client computers over the network, and data storage could be provided by the NAS. However, other solutions (WHS/SBS-E) provide additional functionality that I think may be desirable. I do not need the full functionality of Small Business Server Standard - email is provided by a different sevice, and there's really no way to get off that system. I am leaning towards SBS-E, but it's not actually released yet, so there's a slight hitch with that. WHS is another possibility, but I'm a little unsure about using it since it is limited to 10 computers, and there are already 8 or so.

 

Can anyone provide any resources on these and other solutions? Currently, I am leaning towards manually backing up the workstations every so often for now and once SBS-E or WHS 2011 is released, set up a server running that and connect the computers to it. This isn't really my area of expertise however, so any information that others can provide would be helpful. My other concern is that any solution has to be maintainable day-to-day by people who are mostly only going to be able to follow directions and not deal much with a complicated interface.

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I would agree with PCDOC. You can't beat the simplicity of the WHS v1 backup. It just runs in the background and there is nothing for the users to worry about. You should also consider that sneaker net backup is very unreliable. How important is this data? If all the computers in this office are opened up to allow file sharing to each other then I would suspect that 1 infected computer could actually wipe all of them out. Reliable daily, weekly and monthly backups can go a long way to repairing a problem when something happens like a virus infestation.

 

Again, depending on how valuable this data is, you may want to consider a cloud service as another layer of backup protection. If the occasional backup is fitting on a CD then it wouldn't take much cloud storage and you could run this off the server if you wanted.

 

FYI - There is an Acer Easystore WHS on Newegg right now for $379.99 after rebate and it includes a 2TB Hitachi HD.

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With 8 computer and mainly backup needs, I would get an in-expensive Acer WHS V1 server for now. If you end up needing more computer on it you can easily add another for 10 more. WHS-2011 is still limited to 10 so you will have to go to SBS for 25 however the cost is fairly high and so are the hardware requirements. Unless you need the extra functions, I would not go there.

I voted this up. It's almost impossible to find another solution that's as functional as a WHS for small group backup, especially at this cost.

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I agree with both posts. I didn't see a budget limit posted. With that in mind, I would take both of what was said to the owner and explain that while the employees are great at what they do, they're not techies. Your solution would allow them to be more concerned about their work and less concerned about putting a CD-R into a drive at night. WHS V1 is perfect for this solution as they won't be using it as a file server. (Maybe later, of course). Again, great advice from above. It's hard to explain to some folks that when you delete a file from a share, it's gone, no recycle bin - just gone. With shadow copies, you might be protected, but most people won't turn on shadow copies and don't know what it is.

 

Would love to know how this turns out.

 

 

 

 

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I agree with both posts. I didn't see a budget limit posted. With that in mind, I would take both of what was said to the owner and explain that while the employees are great at what they do, they're not techies. Your solution would allow them to be more concerned about their work and less concerned about putting a CD-R into a drive at night. WHS V1 is perfect for this solution as they won't be using it as a file server. (Maybe later, of course). Again, great advice from above. It's hard to explain to some folks that when you delete a file from a share, it's gone, no recycle bin - just gone. With shadow copies, you might be protected, but most people won't turn on shadow copies and don't know what it is.

 

Would love to know how this turns out.

 

Oh yes.. it's the bad side of WHS.. once you get one running, you'll eventually start figuring out more stuff you could do with it :D

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Oh yes.. it's the bad side of WHS.. once you get one running, you'll eventually start figuring out more stuff you could do with it :D

IOW, don't make the same mistake I made; buy more box than you initially think you need :blink:

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