Need help with Client/Server Backup Solutions

By zynizen
Jun 11, 2008
  1. In our organization, we've got about 20 computers, 5 or 6 mobile users.
    about a combined 40gb of data.

    up until now we've been using a 3rd party online backup solution to keep the users documents and outlook data backed up. The more the data grows, the more the monthly price grows, and is becoming a budget problem.

    We have 2 windows server 2003 standard machines, and I'm building a sandboxed environment replicating the current users connected to the domain, getting ready to test/debug/deploy windows server 2008 and some vista clients.

    on the server 2003, I've tried setting up backup schedules with windows backup (ntbackup.exe) and its not doing what it's supposed to. Every time I set up a schedule, and wait for the right hour/30mins/10 mins whatever for the backup test, it doesn't work too well.

    I need a cost effective solution to replace our online backup service.
    It doesn't matter if we don't end up upgrading to windows server 2008/vista, I'm simply building a test environment to compare security and performance.

    We have like I said..
    about 20 desktops - XP SP3, Outlook 2003, and some documents, etc.
    about 5 laptops - XP SP3, Outlook 2003/2007, documents etc..
    1 production file/dns/dhcp server, Windows Server 2003 SP2

    The outcome:

    I'd like the server to be able to backup all users documents, outlook data, at regular intervals, so if the mobile users go out of the office for a few hours or couple days, the backup program will just pick up where it left off, keeping the data up to date.
    (pretty much, the same way Apple's Time Machine program works, only for PC)

    I appreciate the help, and a viable solution.

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Issues here;
    1. the program for backup and its technique to move the data,
    2. sizing how much capacity you need for the storage,
    3. protecting the data from prying eyes (ie encrypting it),
    4. and the product or service for the storage (is it on or off site?)
    By all user documents to you mean explicitly the My Documents folder or the
    entire user profile area \documents & settings\user-login-id\ ?
    The User Profile is much bigger and the Application Data folder (eg mine @ ~ 400mb)
    and the Local Settings (mine @ ~483mb) are sizable but certainly 'not critical user data'.
    The exceptions are Outlook keeps the PST under Local Settings and Oultlook Express is there too.
    Some third part stuff (eg Thunderbird email) is found under Application Data.

    Personally, I use Allway Sync for replicating my data (but it's not encrypted).
    The selectivity of files is excellent any it is fast due to duplicating only changed files.
    As I use it in manual mode, I've not tried the scheduling feature which is available.
  3. zynizen

    zynizen TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    - Capacity needed for everyone's storage, < 100GB
    - All users documents/data means explicitly My Documents & Outlook PST
    - Onsite backup solution would be prefered, as I keep a weekly backup to take off-site using normal backup with ntbackup.exe.

    - Protecting data (encryption) is very important also.

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