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Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

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  • Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

    Current Setup: Server 2003 R2 acting mainly as a file server for about 10 users. Due to constant deadlines and the highly technical nature of the files that employees work on, files are extremely important. I have shadow copies enabled and mirrored drives.

    Goal: Looking for the cheapest way to back up data at a remote location (different cites, not next door) on a nightly basis.

    My thoughts: I would need another server at the remote location, and connect the 2 serves via VPN and have some sort of software do the nightly backup....am I correct, or completely off mark? Is there a built-in software that comes with windows or would I need to purchase 3rd party software.

    Optimal Solution: Instead of nightly backup...is there real-time backup. Kind of like mirrored drives, but in this case the drives are the 2 serves in different physical locations. Any recommendations?

    Thanks for help

  • #2
    Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

    Is it just the file data you want to backup or are you also thinking of active directory etc?
    cheers
    Andy

    Please read this before you post:


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    • #3
      Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

      How much data do you have to back up and how fast is your internet connection?
      You may find it more efficient to back up to a removable hard drive and take it off site every day
      Tom Jones
      MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
      PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
      IT Trainer / Consultant
      Ossian Ltd
      Scotland

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      • #4
        Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

        I am just interest in backing up the data and nothing else (no active directory).

        The connection is cable (2 MB).

        What I had in mind is a system (kind of like synchronization) where once the data is backed up for the 1st time, the other times only the files that are changed are backed up.

        Suggested Removable Hard Drive Backup: Not What I had in mind.
        A back up system where users have to do something, even as simple as pressing a button is not a true back up system, people always forget.

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        • #5
          Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

          how much data do you have and what is the expected grow?
          Marcel
          Technical Consultant
          Netherlands
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          MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
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          • #6
            Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

            I think that a 2MB connection is not enough for a sync process... not a real-time one, anyway. Don't forget that 2MB is what the ISP gives you between you and him. After that, no one can guarantee you anything. So, unless you have a point-to-point connection ...
            You can use tools like iperf to measure the real bandwith.

            Sorin Solomon


            In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
            -

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            • #7
              Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

              There are a plethera of offsite/online backup solutions available but the one thing the majority have in common is they only do Incremental Backups so only the changes are backed up (after the initial Full Backup of course).

              Problem with this method is when you need to do a Restore after 6 months without a Full Backup. Is this what you really want?
              1 1 was a racehorse.
              2 2 was 1 2.
              1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
              2 2 1 1 2

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              • #8
                Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                Originally posted by biggles77 View Post
                ...they only do Incremental Backups so only the changes are backed up (after the initial Full Backup of course).

                This sounds exactly like what I need...as long as the Incremental backups are done on a nightly basis.

                [quotes=biggles77,124495] Problem with this method is when you need to do a Restore after 6 months without a Full Backup [/quote]
                By this you are referring to the fact that the back ups contain only current backups because during each 'Incremental backup' the old folders are overwritten, correct?
                Having shadow copies takes care of this problem.

                However, I want to be able to set this up on my own by having a server at the remote location, for 2 reason:
                1) I can mirror the drives at the server doing the back up.
                2) I can use shadow copies at the server doing the back ups - this way I also have a time-sensitive backup.

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                • #9
                  Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                  If your simply trying to get a real time copy of data off-site why not use DFSR for collection? You could then also perform backups at this remote site.
                  Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                    DFSR needs a domain, it does not work in workgroup. So far, no mention of that in any post.
                    Originally posted by HotDay2222 View Post
                    This sounds exactly like what I need...as long as the Incremental backups are done on a nightly basis.
                    The frequency depends on you. But that means the replication is not real-time. Your connection is 2Mb/s, that means 200KB/s. AFAIK, this is not a bandwith that SAN can be implemented on. So, neither ShadowCopy, nor mirroring are possible between the two servers. There is only some NAS solution to look for (meaning, you work with network share, not local disks; and the changes are at file level, not block level). Unless you buy two NAS machines and sync between them (a very expensive solution, doesn't look fit for you to me), you need some sort of software or trick to do that. I wonder if Robocopy will do the job ... I am not aware of any shelf-product for this task (and that doesn't mean there aren't any )

                    Originally posted by HotDay2222 View Post
                    By this you are referring to the fact that the back ups contain only current backups because during each 'Incremental backup' the old folders are overwritten, correct?
                    Having shadow copies takes care of this problem.
                    Not quite. This is true when you're talking about the "traditional" backups, when different sets of backup (full, incremental or differential) are kept on media (disks or tapes - doesn't matter if the same media or different ones). When you're talking replication, then the "full" creates an image of the data, and the incrementals update the same image. This means that you always have an up-to-date image of your data on the replica machine (updated, of course, till the last sync. All the later changes are not there...)

                    Originally posted by HotDay2222 View Post
                    However, I want to be able to set this up on my own by having a server at the remote location, for 2 reason:
                    1) I can mirror the drives at the server doing the back up.
                    2) I can use shadow copies at the server doing the back ups - this way I also have a time-sensitive backup.
                    Are your users able to reach that distant destination also? Have you ever tested the response time of working on files on that different server? Establishing a DRP site has its prices and drawbacks, you know ...

                    Sorin Solomon


                    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
                    -

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                    • #11
                      Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                      And just to add to what Sorin has said, Shadow Copy is NOT a backup solution. Use it as such and you are heading for a world of pain.
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

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                      • #12
                        Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                        biggles77,
                        My idea is to create DFSR, as SK suggested, to back up the data at the remote location.
                        At the remote location, since the data is 'overwritten' during each update I'll schedule 'shadow copy' to have a track record of previous up-dates. The remote location also has mirrored Drives.

                        Example,
                        -12:00 am - At DFS I schedule replication of files at Site B (remote location). I'll assume the update will take 3 hours.
                        -3:00 am - Shadow copy begins at Site B. Remote location is a RAID system.

                        I think you guys misunderstood me..when I mentioned shadow copies I was referring to shadow copies at site B.
                        In addition, both the local and remote location are Raid systems.

                        I guess real-time replication would be too expensive, so a daily-replication will have to do.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                          Real time replication can be done with DFSR and the legacy DFS. Although DFSR would be much prefered as you can set bandwidth limits and set the times of replication. Not to mention that DFSR also compresses files and only sends the changes of a file rather than sending the whole file itself. This also applies if someone makes a copy of a file too. DFSR would be perfectly for data collection to this remote site where then the backup is taken.

                          Just a note, majority of backup programs are DFS aware and disable replication whilst the backup is performed. When the backup is complete replication is started again. So like usual backups are best done when nobody or at least few people are working if your wanting to capture as much data possible.
                          Last edited by ]SK[; 30th September 2008, 11:14.
                          Please remember to leave positive reputation points (The Ying Yang Icon) if someone helps you.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                            wansyncHA/NeverFail/DoubleTake

                            MS DFS
                            robocopy script in a scheduler

                            lftp FTP with the mirror option once every few minutes

                            one way synchronization is easy, but you need to allow some downtime for the initial setup and sync.
                            Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

                            BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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                            • #15
                              Re: Remote Location Backup - Cheapest Solution

                              Great feedback everyone.
                              thank you

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