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1094 posts

Uber Geek


  # 252609 2-Sep-2009 15:28
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Agreed that the synctoy is a good idea, means that the laptops that go offsite sync the changes back to the reception pc. The way to do it is redirect the My Documents folder to a user folder on the reception machine so they are working from that machine.

You can use ntbackup to do incremental backups and schedule them to run each night. This will create a bkf file which can be taken offsite.

How you take if offsite is another story. Some people suggest USB HDD's that they take home each night and swap over in the morning, some suggest online backup, and if you have the money a tape backup. In my opinion i would go for the tape option, but if cost's came into it i would then seriously look at a NAS box with a RAID 1 setup (Mirror). Have 2 of them with the same name and swap them out each day, configure your backup to backup to the share on the NAS.

I have not used online backup before, and i don't think i ever will. I do have questions about it for people who have used it:
- How easy is it to restore data/files?
- How secure is your data, what sort of guarantee is there that the online storage company won't lose your data.

Personally i would shell out the money for tape backup, but it comes back to how much is your data worth to the company?

926 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 252612 2-Sep-2009 15:34
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jaymz: Personally i would shell out the money for tape backup, but it comes back to how much is your data worth to the company?



I would avoid tape backups at all cost. You're far better off investing in some good disk imaging software like ShadowProtect, and a couple of 500GB portable hard drives that can be rotated and taken offsite. And it would be a lot cheaper than a tape backup solution.


 
 
 
 




176 posts

Master Geek


  # 252617 2-Sep-2009 15:45
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As the reception PC is always on is there anyway to set synctoy as a service?

1094 posts

Uber Geek


  # 252618 2-Sep-2009 15:48
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Ah the old, tape backup vs disk backup debate.

I'm not going to get into that as both backup types serve different needs. (you can read more about it here: http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/testdrive/article.php/3528326 - note this article is from 2005 so disregard references to price.)

Amanzi, i agree with you to use ShadowProtec, that is such an awesome program that i use alot. allows very fast backups and great recovery options. The only alteration i would make is that the backup goes to a RAID protected storage rather than a basic USB drive. If anything was to happen to the drive (dropping, SMART failure) you may lose the ability to recover from it. QNAP offer some quite nice NAS storage boxes which in my experience are the fastest in the market at the moment.

1094 posts

Uber Geek


  # 252620 2-Sep-2009 15:51
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Not sure about synctoy as i havnt used it for awhile, but i know the windows Offline files option runs whenever a machine is connected back to the "server" or in your case the network at the office. I take it that the current setup is a peer to peer workgroup as apposed to a domain?



176 posts

Master Geek


  # 252624 2-Sep-2009 15:52
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Yup just running on a local workgroup

1094 posts

Uber Geek


  # 252628 2-Sep-2009 15:57
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Cool, if i was looking after it i would be setting up mapped folders to the reception machine. Then once the folders are mapped shift the target of My Documents to that mapped folder.

Then it is just a matter of setting the files in the My Documents folder to be avalible offline, this will then do an initial sync.

After that the laptop can leave site and changes can be made to a file in the my documents folder. Then once the laptop is back and connected to the workgroup, windows will find the mapped drive and re-sync the changes back.

You may need to create a logon script to help windows remember the mapped drive. have a play around with it, but as always make a backup of any documents on the laptop first.

 
 
 
 


926 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 252634 2-Sep-2009 16:04
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jaymz: Ah the old, tape backup vs disk backup debate.

Apart from long-term archiving, just about *all* small businesses are better off with disk backups.


jaymz: The only alteration i would make is that the backup goes to a RAID protected storage rather than a basic USB drive.

I recommend using multiple portable hard drives. This is no different to using multiple tapes and allows you to keep the backup drives offsite or in a fireproof safe.

299 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 252635 2-Sep-2009 16:09
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jaymz:
I have not used online backup before, and i don't think i ever will. I do have questions about it for people who have used it:
- How easy is it to restore data/files?
- How secure is your data, what sort of guarantee is there that the online storage company won't lose your data.



It's very easy to restore files either through the desktop client or via a web interface.  JungleDisk (and Amanzon S3) provide a web interface or you can use the desktop client to restore single or multiple files and folders.


Regarding how secure it is I'd say that Amazon S3 is no less secure than Gmail.  JungleDisk provides you with encryption option to enrypt all files stored on S3.  TBH, if it's really sensistive data then you probably shouldn't send it online anyway. 




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299 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 252639 2-Sep-2009 16:14
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Overclocker01: As the reception PC is always on is there anyway to set synctoy as a service?



There is a SyncToy command line utility that you can set up as a scheduled task.  You'd probably want to put it on the workstations though and not the reception PC.  Set it up to run when the user logs in and then every hour.  This way you are always pushing files from the workstations to the reception PC and not the other way around.




Red Jet Web Services
- Affordable websites for small businesses
- Google Email setup and Migrations

1094 posts

Uber Geek


  # 252643 2-Sep-2009 16:19
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@redjet, Yeah, i wouldn't be recommending it to anyone with sensitive data.

@amanzi, Any small business would be very unwise to not keep a backup for at least 7 years.  As for backing up your critical business data to a USB device with only one drive in it (single point of failure) i would have to say that would be the worst idea.

Just ask anyone who has lost data that way, I had a client come to me asking to recover data from his 2 USB hard drives cause his laptop got nicked.  And what do you know, both drives had failed.  His data was worth alot to him so i sent the drives off for professional recovery, at nearly $10000 i think investing in a RAID protected storage for around $500 is much better.

Sorry if i come off a bit strong, but i get a bit annoyed when people think USB drives are a suitable backup solution for small businesses.

926 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 252647 2-Sep-2009 16:26
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jaymz: @amanzi, Any small business would be very unwise to not keep a backup for at least 7 years.  As for backing up your critical business data to a USB device with only one drive in it (single point of failure) i would have to say that would be the worst idea.

Just ask anyone who has lost data that way, I had a client come to me asking to recover data from his 2 USB hard drives cause his laptop got nicked.  And what do you know, both drives had failed.  His data was worth alot to him so i sent the drives off for professional recovery, at nearly $10000 i think investing in a RAID protected storage for around $500 is much better.

Sorry if i come off a bit strong, but i get a bit annoyed when people think USB drives are a suitable backup solution for small businesses.



USB drives are a great backup solution for small businesses, as long as they are using multiple drives in a rotation policy and storing them securely offsite. I find it hard to believe that your client was doing regular backups to USB drives and suddenly both drives failed at the same time.

VST

3 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 252651 2-Sep-2009 16:36
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ever thought of using Synology NAS boxes?
read the message I've sent you :)


1094 posts

Uber Geek


  # 252654 2-Sep-2009 16:39
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I can't prove that the backups were working as the laptop was stolen, the data that was recovered from the drives was of his most recent backup.

I am sorry but i just can't agree with you that USB drives without any RAID protection are a suitable backup and storage solution.

Backup to disk is fine BUT you need to know what you are doing, NAS boxes with RAID protection offer a much better solution than single disks.

You can tailor a backup solution on the cheap, but in order to protect your data correctly you need to invest some money into it.



176 posts

Master Geek


  # 252674 2-Sep-2009 17:25
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I think im just going to direct "my documents" folder on the laptops to shared folders on the Recption Computer (make them available offline) then run two ext HDD that will be on a daily rotation policy. This should achieve everything that is required at the moment

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