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Solved: Finally getting a file server! Need to backup certain users PC's to this server. Help

Discussion in 'Networking' started by StumpedTechy, Jan 31, 2006.

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  1. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy Thread Starter

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    Okay I want to go over pros and cons of some of the things that my boss wants done.

    First off let me explain what we have. Users are on a domain system. Both laptop and desktop users. No users have admin rights.

    Now let me explain what we want to do. We want a backup of their My Documents (and possibly other directories in the future) but we want it to be as invisible to them as possible.

    I looked into the Folder redirection GPO and has a good pro - Simple to impelment (I did a test on my own PC did it in about 5 minutes) cons - in order to allow laptops to work they would have to have offline folders enabled and synchrnized and worst of all synchrnization won't accept PST's, MDB's and other key files that we would need synchronized as well gives errors in the synching process.

    I then thought about a file sync program letting them seemlessly work on their PCs and just sync the files to the file server - Pros Can install a server side client that just polls for connected PC's and copies the files to the repsective places. Cons costs money, usually does not sync in use files making some of the files be missed.

    Lastly I considered a batch file to run at login - Pros easier to setup to copy things out. Cons only runs at login so people could leave their PC up for 15 days and have 15 day old software. As well I do not know how to copy only modified files so some people with large files would copy over a ton of data (unless I can find a solution for this).


    Anyone else have any Ideas... possibly something with all pros and no cons? :)
     
  2. skinnywhiteboy

    skinnywhiteboy

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    You could give each user a Home Directory on the file server. This would basically act as a drive mapping, and each user's Home Directory would point to a specific sub directory within a file share. You can put a $ at the end of the share name also to make the share invisible to your users. Each user would also ONLY have access to his/her own Home Directory and nobody else's.
     
  3. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy Thread Starter

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    Yeah we had home directories at my last job and I loved them... the problem is that 1) noone wants to learn anything new. 2) the boss thinks this can be done with keeping it local but then wants a copy on the server.... (n) :mad:

    Thanks for the thought though.
     
  4. skinnywhiteboy

    skinnywhiteboy

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    Then use Roaming Profiles. That's the only other suggestion I have that doesn't cost money.
     
  5. CarlssonMB

    CarlssonMB

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    I'd definetly push for the home directory setup. If that doesnt work out, look into a program called Dantz Retrospect 6.5. I use it for my backups, very nice program. Also has options for only backing up modified files like you talked about.

    http://www.dantz.com/en/products/win_business/index.dtml
     
  6. downtime

    downtime

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    If some of the machines are xp, synctoy is good. You can set it to sync at logon or logoff. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx but if you expect a bulletproof free solution, good luck. Even when you put out bucks to accomplish your goal, it's still a long job to dot the i's and cross the t's. A backup is a backup, don't mistake syncing for backup, they're two different animals. You sync to a single machine to minimize you backup software costs. If you're looking for a more solid solution, you backup on each machine, then move that to the server, which centralizes the backups. But costs. It all boils down to how necessary perfects backups are to the legal aspect of your business, then come the necessary data considerations, look at the trickledown to evaluate between costs and quality.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    How about a simple backup application or batch job that runs using the scheduler, you could run it as often as you like.
     
  8. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy Thread Starter

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    Roaming profiles are out out out. Thats for sure with my bosses state of mind.

    I had thought of a batch job but am unable to figure out how to make it run so only the modified files get copied and not the whole directory.... Some users have over 5 gigs of information so I need synchronization not just plain copy over.

    Okay I found what I want but I want it opposite to this.....

    http://www.techsoftpl.com/backup/index.htm

    This is perfect example of something that may work except this is client side and only mirrors TO a directory. I want something server side that I can then force it to "suck up" the files to specified directories.

    Any more thoughts? Keep them coming. I am bound to get a brainstorm from the ideas floating around.
     
  9. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Since the clients have to be connected to do the backup, why won't a client side application work?
     
  10. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy Thread Starter

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    I would perfer a server side app so I only have to do one install/configure. This is also useful because our users tend to "roam" meaning we would only have to worry about where we have the server pointed to NOT that we have to uninstall app from PC 1 and move it to PC 2 because the user moved.

    Just perfer serverside solutions when possible to reduce overhead maintenance of the system implemented :)
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I do understand that, but I think a server side solution will be more expensive. I know there are server side backup applications that will do this, the name escapes me right now...
     
  12. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy Thread Starter

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    Actually I think I may do this via scripting and save the expense... At least I hope.

    My motto is if you can't find something to fit your application then make what you know fit what you want to apply it to...

    I am thinking something like this in some type of a batch form....

    ran from the server using admin rights on a looped timer
    xcopy "\\PC\C$\User Directory\My Documents" "\\Server\D$\Directory\User" /D /E /Y

    this will copy all files that are new and or modified including their subdirs and not prompt for any copies.

    Only one drawback - It does not check on old deleted files and delete them from the FS.

    I am wondering if I can do some sort of directory scan in VBS and then parse that out in some way to enumerate whats there and then delete everyting in the server dir that does not comply with what was found and then do the above xcopy command to move over the new stuff.

    Or maybe there is a way to script in dos the dir output command? and then have it do a comparrison... UGH my heads hurting but I know I am close to solving this.

    This is complicated but this is also why I make the small salary!
     
  13. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'm thinking more along the lines of a real backup utility that will have more than one generation of data. I know there are server side backup utilities that will backup clients, but my mind is blank right now. :D

    You could always share the My Documents folder on each machine and run a backup from the server that way. :)

    I still think I'd have a scheduled backup on the clients that runs regularly whenever they're connected. You could most likely push the installation with scripts so you wouldn't have to visit each machine to get it installed.
     
  14. StumpedTechy

    StumpedTechy Thread Starter

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    I'm not worried about that our servers have Veritas as a backup utility and this is all being backed up daily on the server. we just want to get the client info onto the server.

    I found the application -

    http://allwaysync.com/

    It allows for Non mapped UNC pathing.
    It can be installed server side.
    It can be prompted to sync at any specific interval.
    It can run multiple jobs for multiple PC setups.
    It will synchronize from the workstation to the server meaning anything deleted on the workstation will be removed from the server as well.

    I think we have a winner!
     
  15. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Not necessarily a recommendation but to clear up your previous concern - "I had thought of a batch job but am unable to figure out how to make it run so only the modified files get copied and not the whole directory" - If you use XCOPY in the batch file, include the /d switch. It only will include new or changed files. If everyone's files are in their My Documents, it should just be a one line batch file that you can schedule whenever you like.

    So everything gets copied the first time but after that it goes much faster.
     
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