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Nightly Backups

Discussion in 'Networking' started by virtualgeorg, Feb 4, 2005.

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  1. virtualgeorg

    virtualgeorg Thread Starter

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    I need to do nightly backups of data stored on a windows 2000 server.
    The customer would like something he can do nightly and then store the media in a safe in case of some catastrophic occurrence.

    There is a night auditor who takes care of the financial records so we like to make it as simple as possible for the night auditor to perform the backup. Also the auditor does not have access to all folders on the server that need to backed up but they asked if I could set something up so that at the end of the night he could run a program that would still create a backup of all neccessary files and some of those that he normally does not have access to from his workstation.

    Then then when the boss comes in to work in the morning he would take what ever backup was created and put it in a safe.

    So is there software that will allow this and then does that depend on what hardware is used.
    I still need to get an exact size of how much data needs to be backed up but I know it is between 4 & 8 gigs. We would like to have no further interaction once the download is started so the guy can just start it & leave without have to replace tapes.

    So from reading other posts here I suppose we could use a dvd burner if the data does not exceed the disc space. Then I see sometimes tapes recommended and sometimes and external hard drive.

    If an external HD a bad idea since they are daily moving them around and you would need several to keep them in rotation.

    Thanks,
    -George
     
  2. blin

    blin

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  3. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    I've pretty much given up on tapes for the past several years. Seem to even recall on the major Mags with an article about this in the past month or so. Too slow, unreliable, and complicated when it comes to both backups and restores.

    Most customers are using removable drives. These can either be internal IDE drives or now with USB 2.0 I have also been using external USB drives. If you get one large enough, there is not need to move anything around on a daily basis.

    Generally, if there is enough room, I keep 5 days backup over the network to a local computer's hard drive and then copy each day's to that backup drive. So now you have 5 day's backup in two different places.

    Then you switch out the backup drive just once a week and take it off site. If you want to do it more often, get smaller drives since you don't need to fit so much on each one. Given the prices of hard drives these days, the cost either way is not that much.

    Then to restore, you just use the plain old Windows Explorer to copy whatever you want back to wherever it is supposed to go. It's just too simple. If you want you can use the scheduler as well.
     
  4. virtualgeorg

    virtualgeorg Thread Starter

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    The guy wants to have a backup everday he can drop in a safe but I am almost positive he will never remember or is just to lazy to that every day.

    They do have many pcs in different offices in one large building so that is a good idea to just copy the data from the server to several of the pcs so at least there are several copies. He is kind of thinking that if the place burns down he wants to have a copy off site. But the reality is they won't move tapes around daily but if he only has to swap out a hard drive every friday then that will probably get done.

    Bob you mentioned how simple it is to restore using explorer. If you use ntbackup then you have to restore the bkf file somewhere first & then you can move everything, right?

    Thank you very much!
     
  5. jghost5

    jghost5

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    http://fullsync.sourceforge.net/
    I use the above program. I back up my servers every night with this to a ftp server I have in a differant location. Set a schedule rule and point it to the ftp server and it automatically transfers what I want backed up.
     
  6. virtualgeorg

    virtualgeorg Thread Starter

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    Yes I think I would be much better since while doing some test backups with ntbackup I was getting some errors on restoration.

    I also had this one recommended: http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/
    It also supports ftp and they have a commercial version that is only $15

    Thank! This is going to be much easier than I thought.
     
  7. robby69

    robby69

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    I have been using syncback for quite a while. I love it for automatic backups. I haven't tried the ftp, but for scheduling unattended backups to an external USB harddrive is works flawlessly. I have it set to backup some files while I am working (pharmacy), every 30-minutes. It works in the background.
     
  8. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Generally I just organize all the data under something like c:\data or dabbing.

    Then a simple one line batch file is all you need using XCOPY. Nothing to learn or purchase at all.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I use the free program TaskZip to schedule multiple backups at different schedules, it's always worked well for me. I like the fact that TaskZip gives me generations of my backup data so I can go back in time if I choose. Using something like XCOPY doesn't give you that option.

    There are tons of ways to skin this cat, and you've seen several presented here.
     
  10. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Might look at one of the previous posts to see how easy it is to use XCOPY for as many days backups as will fit on your hard drive.
     
  11. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    A sample one line batch file using XCOPY would be something like:

    xcopy d:\data g:\Monday /s /y /c /i /r /h /d

    This would backup all you data to Monday's directory.
    /s - Included subdirectories
    /y - Overwrites any existing files automatically
    /c - Continues on error - This is important so if there are any open file the backup will continue.
    /I - Creates subdirectory structure
    /r - Overwrites read only files
    /h - Copies hidden and system files
    /d - Copies only new or changed files. This is the important one. The first time you run the backup it copies everything. The next time you run it, it only copies new or changed files. Make subsequent backups go much faster.

    Also never liked keeping huge amounts of data in compressed zip or other format. If it does, everything goes. Copying just like it is on the source drives makes restores so much easier.

    So you can have something like \Monday, \Tuesday, \Wednesday\ etc. directories on your backup drive. Very easy to backup. Very easy to restore.
     
  12. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Sure Bob, but I don't have to make a complex directory structure to make it work, TaskZip does all the work for me.

    FWIW, I have a direct copy of everything on my data drive every night, but I backup currently active projects with TaskZip so I have generations of data to roll back changes several weeks or more if the need arises.

    As far as keeping data compressed, welcome to the 21th Century, I don't know of many backup applications that don't keep data compressed nowadays.
     
  13. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    That's part of the beauty of the switches you can use with XCOPY. All the directories you might want are created automatically. Not much to do at all. You can either schedule it to run however your want or start the backup whenever you want.
     
  14. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    virtualgeorg,

    You may decide to use some other method for creating your backups. In addition to you needs and personal preferences, at least do it for technically accurate reasons.
     
  15. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    virtualgeorg,

    Another way I've done backups is with an inexpensive program called Second Copy. Something like $29.

    Gives you a lot more choices:

    Simple Copy of directories and folders
    Exact Copy of directories and folders
    PKZIP compatible compression
    Exact compression
    Two-way directory synchronization
    Archive up to 25 older versions of files
     
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