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Network Backup Solutions


Andne
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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.

When you talk about Windows Server 2008's 2TB limit are you just referring to the built in backup utility? There is otherwise no issue having partitions larger than 2TB, is there? My thinking is I will use the backup to image the system drive (it does do images for bare metal restores doesn 't it?) and continue using RoboCopy to backup all data to an external multi-bay enclosure. Does that sound feasible?

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When you talk about Windows Server 2008's 2TB limit are you just referring to the built in backup utility? There is otherwise no issue having partitions larger than 2TB, is there? My thinking is I will use the backup to image the system drive (it does do images for bare metal restores doesn 't it?) and continue using RoboCopy to backup all data to an external multi-bay enclosure. Does that sound feasible?

Unless you posted on the wrong topic I don't think he mentioned in this thread anything about a 2TB limit.

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Unless you posted on the wrong topic I don't think he mentioned in this thread anything about a 2TB limit.

He's talked about it in various places, and since this topic is about network backup, I felt it's related.

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Yes, the 2TB limit just refers to the limitations of server 2008's backup function - VHD files can't be bigger than 2TB.

 

The critical data is all from a single program - it's the membership data. Unfortunately, that program keeps all of it's data in it's program directory, so to automatically back it up, you have to also back up the program itself (kind of stupid I think, but as far as I can tell, it's an older program that has been updated for newer computers and the occasional new feature. I think it's written in Visual Fox Pro.) There have been some issues with data inconsistencies in the past because of this program. Several of them appear to be related to when the secretary got a new computer (her desktop is the 'server' that hosts the program for everyone else). At the very least, I would like to move this program to whatever solution is put in place. Not really sure how much else people would use file shares though.

 

To answer some other questions in case this has any bearing on things, I'm not working on this as a consultant/client relationship. This is the church that I belong, and I am a member of the technology/web committee (Which is all of 4 people - myself, my dad, one of the parish employees, and another parisioner). The topic of backup needs came up during a recent meeting, and I basically volunteered to look into things since I've been playing with some of this stuff recently. We have added into the budget request for next year some money to spend on this based on my initial guess that WHS was one of the better solutions and what I had seen for hardware/software costs of it recently. Unfortunately, the new budget doesn't come out until this summer, so I don't know if they'd be able to spend any money immediately. There are ways around that though.

 

Sounds like my best bet is to go with WHS. I was a little unsure about just setting up V1 since it is getting a bit old and is being replaced soon, but you guys are probably right that something needs to be in place sooner rather than later. I'm leaning a little towards the thought that in the longer run, SBS Essentials may be a better fit for this than WHS. I'm not really certain how much people need access to data from multiple computers though, or how much that data needs to be protected from other people working there. For now though, I think just get the backup in place, if nothing else use some spare hardware I have around here, and then start to look at what the total needs are other than just keeping the computers backed up. Maybe I should go try to win that Drobo and use that for the server's backup drive? Almost seems like a waste though....

 

Thanks for all your help.

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So there is just one machine with the program data? No need to have the NAS if you have the WHS and just how much data is being backed up>? You refer to the backup going to a CD so I can assume we are talking about ~600 megs or so. If so, there are plenty of free solutions out there such as Windows Live Sky Drive, etc that could handle that.

 

I might just have an Acer with V1 that I would be willing to sell to include a 1TB and 160 gig drive, very reasonably.

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The critical data is all on one machine afaik. The program itself provides a mechanism for backing up its database to CD, so currently that's what's being done. Beyond that, there is a lot of other data on other machines that while it's not as critical, still shouldn't be lost. Policies, Father's homily notes, ministry schedules, etc... are on various machines depending on who works on them. This is more the data that people are worried about. Part of the concern is that if a hard drive fails any data that was on that computer is lost. Also there is a concern that all of the data is in one building, so there is some desire for offsite backup. I guess another possibility is to not set up any kind of local server, and just set up accounts on Live Mesh or similar and have people's computer sync their My Documents folder to the cloud. May also provide a possibility for colaboration instead of windows workgroups and lots of file shares.

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Seems like there is more than meets the eye here. So, looks like there could be more than just backups then. I haven't messed with Mesh, but I thought that Mesh was great for sync and replication. However, if the data file was deleted on one computer then that change would be replicated to another? I think jmwillis or diehard was working on something like this a while ago, but I don't recall. I suppose I could run a search on the site.

 

 

Can one become a backup architect for a full time job? hmmm.... :)

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Come to Iraq...I can put you to work :) All the backup fun you can stand. The key is there has to one central repository of data whether it is a shared folder or similar but that is the folder that needs to be backed up. A further layer of protection would to have Shadow Copies of that folder which enable you to go back in time (Similar to Time Traveler) but more efficient.

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I was called the backup monkey a few years back. Part of my job funtion that was given to someone else. I actually enjoyed backups and restores, tapes and containers. Sure it's the same same everyday, but that's what made it fun and it was mine to worry about. Speaking of overseas, I do know a few fellas that made a pretty coin in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suppose those days are over for me. Anyway, thanks for explaining a bit. I'll keep my WHS v1 and multiple external drives for the time being.

 

 

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When you talk about Windows Server 2008's 2TB limit are you just referring to the built in backup utility? There is otherwise no issue having partitions larger than 2TB, is there? My thinking is I will use the backup to image the system drive (it does do images for bare metal restores doesn 't it?) and continue using RoboCopy to backup all data to an external multi-bay enclosure. Does that sound feasible?

 

It certainly will work it just will be manual. The backup will certainly only backup the OS if that is what you want.

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