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Small Office Backup Methodology RRS feed

  • Question

  • I searching for a reliable and affordable backup method for a small office with 50 PCs'.  All the systems are on a Windows 2003 domain.  Kindly request your opinion and advice on the following thoughts:

    1. What I'm planning is to setup a File Server (with RAID 0) and force / direct all users to their individual folders in the file server.  Then manually backup the file server to an external HD.  What my concern in this is that, will this setup (all users will be working on their files stored in the file server) effect / downgrade the network speed?

    2. Can I setup the additional domain server (running on a Quad core with 3GB) to handle the file server role?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    Raj

    Saturday, October 9, 2010 9:04 AM

Answers

  • Hi Raj,

     

    My advice to use NTbackup is to make a script like this:

     

    ________________

    User Administrator login:

    Save your selection file as {C:\BackupTasks\Daily.bks}

    Suppose you are using Data format 'dd/mm/yyyy'...

    Create a batch file {C:\BackupTasks\Daily.CMD} as follows (two lines):
    -----------------------------
    set DateString=%Date:~6,4%.%Date:~3,2%.%Date:~0,2%

    %WinDir%\system32\ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\BackupTasks\Daily.bks" /n "Backup_%DateString%" /d "Backup_%DateString%" /v:no /r:yes /rs:no /hc:off /m normal /j "Backup_%DateString%" /l:s /f "C:\Backups\Backup_%DateString%.bkf"
    -----------------------------

    Schedule the batch file to be run by task scheduler. Backups will be saved in C:\Backups\ with filenames like Backup_yyyy.mm.dd.bkf that is sortable by filename.

    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=235951&messageID=2322162&tag=content;leftCol

     

    Add an extra line in the script to copy the files to another location. Be aware that your disk can fill up fast doing this. So I would also recommend adding a line in your script to delete files older then …?

     

    good luck

    • Marked as answer by Rajesh Joy Sunday, October 10, 2010 6:47 AM
    Sunday, October 10, 2010 6:21 AM

All replies

  • Hi Rajesh,

     

    Why would you setup a files server with RAID 0? When 1 disk fails you get lots of trouble having to restore everything users that can’t work because of the down time. And if I can make a prediction an hard disk is the first to fail of all the hardware you have. So my advice here is to use RAID 1 (mirror) gives you the security that if something fails you do not need to do a lot of work just replace a hard disk. If you were doing a RAID0 setup because of speed/performance then my question is, do you need this with 50 ppl. I personally would say no as long as there standard office workers. If you need speed/performance and protection go with RAID5. The cost of RAID 5 is maybe a little higher (3 disks) but the loss of productivity and you having to restore the server is a much higher cost than 3 disks.

     

    Question 1:

    Network speed and 50 users. Depending on what the speed of your network is and the speed of the nics.

    Here I would recommend a minimal of 1GBps nic in the server and all users 100MBps this will be plenty of speed for your environment even enough that the company can double or even more.

     

    Question 2:

    It could handle the file server role without any problem. Ideally you would like to separate the AD server and a File server. But this will add cost to the design.

    Ideal setup. Add some more memory in to the server (minimal of 4 but 8 would be best) install Hyper-V server (free) and run two virtual servers. One AD (2003 license you already have) and one File server (extra server license).

    Assuming you have enough storage in the server.

    Maybe I go overboard with the ideal situation.

     

    As for backup don’t try to do it manually try using the NTbackup, script or other tools. In my opinion manual = no backup at all.

    You will see that you always need that file on a backup on the day that you forgot to run it or when you were not in the office.

     

    Hope this helps

    Saturday, October 9, 2010 10:36 AM
  • Thanks a lot for the advice Rick.  I'm sorry, but, what I meant was RAID1 indeed.  Your solution seems practical and the only additional cost is of a win 2008 server license. 

    Meanwhile, is there any better / cost effective way to do the backup of our environment?

    Regards,

    Raj

    Saturday, October 9, 2010 3:00 PM
  • Hey Raj,

     

    Let me ask several questions first. What do you want to achieve with backups? Is it file recovery, OS recovery or Disaster Recovery (DR)? how long do you need to go back in time? Do you need to store data offsite?  What is your RTO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_time_objective) what is your RPO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recovery_Point_Objective).

     

    Without knowing these answers there are lots of possibilities all with its advantages and disadvantages.

    One solution I like is the use of System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) an easy to use product. You only need to license the server you want to backup. So even if you would like to backup two servers you only pay for 2 licenses (there is no cost for the backup server software). Check out this page for more info and the difference between the two types of CALs you can purges for each server you want to backup http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb808748.aspx

     

    If you do not want to invest in a backup solution. You can use NTBackup on your 2003 servers or Windows server backup (or Wbadmin or PowerShell) for Windows 2008 R2 servers. An option is to make a local backup from your data and run a script that copies the files to another location.

     

    There are also lots of software out there that make use of a remote internet location to store you data. You need a well-connected Internet connection. Only disadvantage can be that a restore can take some time depending on you download speed of you ISP.

     

    So without a real good idea of what the backup requirements are there is no real good advice I can give you. I hope I gave you some ideas to look in too

    Saturday, October 9, 2010 9:51 PM
  • Hi Rick,

    My objective is to have a back of all the files (90% of them are in word/excel format) and move them to an offsite location (corporate office data center). 

    I really appreciate your inputs but as I'm facing budgetary restrictions, I think I've to stick to the file server and NTBackup option.

    Sunday, October 10, 2010 5:44 AM
  • Hi Raj,

     

    My advice to use NTbackup is to make a script like this:

     

    ________________

    User Administrator login:

    Save your selection file as {C:\BackupTasks\Daily.bks}

    Suppose you are using Data format 'dd/mm/yyyy'...

    Create a batch file {C:\BackupTasks\Daily.CMD} as follows (two lines):
    -----------------------------
    set DateString=%Date:~6,4%.%Date:~3,2%.%Date:~0,2%

    %WinDir%\system32\ntbackup.exe backup "@C:\BackupTasks\Daily.bks" /n "Backup_%DateString%" /d "Backup_%DateString%" /v:no /r:yes /rs:no /hc:off /m normal /j "Backup_%DateString%" /l:s /f "C:\Backups\Backup_%DateString%.bkf"
    -----------------------------

    Schedule the batch file to be run by task scheduler. Backups will be saved in C:\Backups\ with filenames like Backup_yyyy.mm.dd.bkf that is sortable by filename.

    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=235951&messageID=2322162&tag=content;leftCol

     

    Add an extra line in the script to copy the files to another location. Be aware that your disk can fill up fast doing this. So I would also recommend adding a line in your script to delete files older then …?

     

    good luck

    • Marked as answer by Rajesh Joy Sunday, October 10, 2010 6:47 AM
    Sunday, October 10, 2010 6:21 AM
  • Thanks Rick, I'll try the script.
    Sunday, October 10, 2010 6:48 AM