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Backup Strategy For The Technologically Challenged


awraynor
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I work in the medical field in clinical medicine while having a secondary role involving

an independent office. The manager of the secondary site runs very basic desktops for the staff

with no real backup strategy. They asked my opinion on backup and I cringed knowing

their reluctance to spend money while also knowing their computer literacy level is quite low.

 

I acknowledge the 3-2-1 rule and thought first about CrashPlan or maybe Carbonite for offsite

backup. The data must be safeguarded as it contains confidential patient information. CrashPlan

Pro offers 448 bit encryption and unlimited backup, they only want to backup two of the desktops

(as I smash my hand onto my forehead thinking about this). True unlimited backup would help,

the entirety of data to be backed up is probably 200GB or less, but who knows what the future would hold.

 

Next I thought about a prefab box, the HP N40L, WHS 2011 with red drives, maybe 2 or 3TB in RAID 1.

My one worry about the box is if there are troubles, is that thing a best to work on ? Any superior

reasonably priced alternatives to the MicroServer?

 

Thanks for your help.

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So you have an issue with the Microserver for reliability? For the value, I don't think it can be beat, especially for what you need it for.

 

You could setup custom backup schedules at mid-day and at the end of day and also enable shadow copies for the "challenged" to restore their own lost files.

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No, I don't really know much about the MicroServer, just wanted to know it is serviceable if needed.

They were using a external Samsung drive which quickly filled up as I figured. The non-manager

was backing up her songs, etc. and non-critical data.

 

The twice daily during work hours schedule is a good idea. I have found more than one XP machine

there without SP3, because their updates were scheduled for 3 AM and guess what, they turn off all

machines at the end of the day. That office is such a technology disaster.

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I think boxes like the N40L make for great SOHO backup solutions. I set up an Acer H340 for a relative's small business. Two 1 TB laptop drives are used for offsite backup. They are rotated through a USB2-connected Thermaltake HDD toaster. A Scheduled Task on the server runs a RoboCopy job every night to backup data to the laptop drive that's currently in the HDD dock. My relative takes the most recent backed up laptop drive home each night and brings the other one to the office in the morning.

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I work in the medical field in clinical medicine while having a secondary role involving

an independent office. The manager of the secondary site runs very basic desktops for the staff

with no real backup strategy. They asked my opinion on backup and I cringed knowing

their reluctance to spend money while also knowing their computer literacy level is quite low.

 

I acknowledge the 3-2-1 rule and thought first about CrashPlan or maybe Carbonite for offsite

backup. The data must be safeguarded as it contains confidential patient information. CrashPlan

Pro offers 448 bit encryption and unlimited backup, they only want to backup two of the desktops

(as I smash my hand onto my forehead thinking about this). True unlimited backup would help,

the entirety of data to be backed up is probably 200GB or less, but who knows what the future would hold.

 

Next I thought about a prefab box, the HP N40L, WHS 2011 with red drives, maybe 2 or 3TB in RAID 1.

My one worry about the box is if there are troubles, is that thing a best to work on ? Any superior

reasonably priced alternatives to the MicroServer?

 

Thanks for your help.

 

I think the N40L Microserver is Reliable, Cheap, easy to work on, and sips power. I'd keep the N40L as basic and stock as possible. Load 4 2TB Seagate drives with Opticache with WHS2011 (or 2008R2 Foundation), bump the RAM up to 4GB+ -- If you go with WHS2011 I'd keep it simple with Stablebit Drivepool (for reliability and ease of data recovery if the system totally fails -- and I think your technically "challenged" users will like/understand it better than "RAID") and add Stablebit Scanner for even greater Reliability. you could attach an external GoFlex or WD Elements for scheduled System & shares backup for even more reliability.

 

The N40L is made to be a Small Business Server and I've found it to be pretty reliable with all the beating I've done to mine. I've found a wealth of materials at HP's websites they even have maintenance video's for end users at HP MicroServer Self Repair Videos

 

Catch the N40L on sale and you can pick them up at $250 or less. At that price you could get two N40L's and back one to the other for greater Reliability.

Edited by Joe_Miner
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I was thinking after listening to the HSS last night for a while that a Synology box might be the way to go. Dave mentioned that there is now an app that allows Crashplan to run on the Synology so that would give the encrypted off site backup. This all assumes that this office is willing to part with some cash to implement a real backup plan. If they aren't then it's obvious that protecting their files (and records) isn't important to their business.

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I use Crashplan for a couple remote PCs, in addition to on my own WHS. One feature I like about it is that it emails me if there's no backup in the last two days (think this requires the paid account and backup to their cloud). Also sends a weekly report of backup status so I know things are working without have to remote into the PC. Recommended as a data-only offsite backup solution.

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I am also flabbergasted how the manager doesn't really take backup seriously.

Their reasonably priced email provider doesn't offer backup either and even though

important mails were lost, she still refuses to switch.

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