Network Backup Plan

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califoh

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Hi, I would like some opinions. I am not sure this is the right forum for this question, if there is a better place to post it please let me know.

I work for a company that has about 100 Windows computers. Mostly running Windows 98se or Windows XP Pro. We are on a Lan where each user is assigned an IP address.

Right now our backup plan requires each user to copy their data to a shared folder on their computer and at a specified time our server. I believe unix goes out and copies the data to the server.

Unless the user password protects each file or creates a zip folder and password protects that their data is not secure. Any user browsing the network can get into the backup folder. I have not found an easy solution to prevent that from happening. I am not in charge of the backup server but am in charge of each users computer.

I think there must be a better way to securely backup data. I am trying to work on a plan to present that would be a secure, relatively easy way for users to backup their data.

I think a better way would be to have a main server. Each user would have their own user name and password to login to the server and then they could copy their data to the server without putting data in a shared folder.

I don't have any details on how this would work. If someone has experience with this or has a link to a site with information on that kind of backup I would appreciate it.
Thank you
 
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Well, I don't have an answer for the backupfor your system...yet (maybe just after xmas when I get back to work), but I DO know that we don't save anything of importance on our local machines. Instead, everything is stored on our servers, and programs on our local machines access them from there. Yes, everyone has a network logon, and all data stored under their own 'folder' is protected from others. Obviously, our departments also have their own main folders, in which all these user folders are placed. That way, the users can then have easy access to the 'shared' main folder for data transfer/file sharing etc.

With this system, all servers are backed up nightly to an external source at another location (only those files that have changed that is...it would be a massive transfer otherwise!), and completely backed up to tape weekly.

With this system, departments have their own sections, and only share what they want to thru public folders. Also, our system works so that if there is a failure, each dept is capable or recovering a backup. This saves having to ask the IT guys (who never do it JUST when you need it...lol).

Also, if a machine goes down, it only requires the OS/programs to be reinstalled, without the worry of losing data that 'might' not have been backed up.

I'll see if I can chat with our IT guy (a mate of mine) about the backup of YOUR type of system.

Hope this helps a bit....

Scorp.
 
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Leaving the backup to the users is folly because they forget or do it incorrectly. The end users should NEVER save anything to their local drives if they ever want it recovered. You need to have a true client/server setup using profiles and GPO's to direct all file saving to be directed to either their home directory or other location on the server. You can then back up from one location to tape or offsite like mentioned previously. If you have 100 users I am assuming that you are running a dedicated server that handles user authentication, etc.
 
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It's pretty easy to do what you want in terms of security. Cost might be another issue but that is usually left up to management.

You will need a true server that has enough licenses for the amount of users you have.
Each user will have their own unique login and password.

One simple option is to have something like a a DATA directory with each users home directory below that. While each user can get to the DATA directory, they can only get access to their own home directory, no one elses. From your first post "Any user browsing the network can get into the backup folder", it sounds like this has been a problem. In addition to files like Word and Excel, I also like to keep their Internet Favorites and E-Mail there as well. My overall idea when setting up workstations is that there shouldn't be any data on them at all. If you don't know how to use Group Policies, which is the technially more elegant method, you can also just go to each computer and redirect things manually. But more labor intensive when done after the fact like this.

Then each user's files goes into their own directory and you have the security you want.

But again, you need a true server OS like Windows2000 or Windows2003 server.
 

califoh

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Jan 1, 2002
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Thank you everyone for your response. I believe I will get the argument that if I or the user password protects their files or zips them there is no problem with the way data is currently backed up. I would like to make some strong points against that idea. If you have any input on that subject I would like to hear it.
Also in Windows XP I have found no real way to password protect folders. I know about permissions but that is a complicated process. One of our unix guys argued with me that you can password protect shared folders in XP. I find that true only on a domain. Am I wrong?
 
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Problems I've run across with password protecting files is that the user often forgets the password, uses multiple ones, and not all data files can easily be password protected.

Other that restricting by user access, I haven't seen a way built into XP to password protect folders.
 
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Inherently, there is everything wrong with users doing anything on their own. Youcannot rely on them to back up anything because they will not and they will wonder why you cannot magically restore it for them. You still haven't made any mention of your server setup and it doesn't sound like you are quite sure of how oyur backup process is currently working.
 

califoh

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
24
Thank you for your response. I am not quite sure how the server is setup. It is unix, that is pretty much all I know. There is a lack of communication in our department.
I do know that the user does not copy their files to the server, rather they put them in the shared folder and at a specified time the server grabs that information and copies it to the server.
I think it is a bad idea. A better idea in my opinion would be for the user to be able to login to the server and copy the files to the server themselves. Or during regular maintenance I can do that for them. The way it is now does not make sense and is not secure.
I am trying to make an argument against that but need more information as to how it should work before I do.
 
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