PDA

View Full Version : What is your customer data backup protocol?


tekserv
04-08-2011, 07:43 PM
New here and I love what I've seen so far.

Just curious as to what other techs are using to back up their customers data.

The very first thing we do is back up our customers data. It's time consuming and I'd like to streamline the process. I know some techs clone every drive, but that's a lot of drives to keep around. Some create a image and also file copy data.

What procedure have you found works best? What is most time and cost effective?

Thanks for your input!

Cadishead Computers
04-08-2011, 08:22 PM
It varies according to each job John. If I am just backing up my clients data, then I use Fabs. If it's a full clone, then its either clonezilla, or Acronis true image.

When using fabs, I keep a copy of their data on a secure server, for a period of at least 30 days. This is also backed up to the cloud each night.

tekserv
04-08-2011, 08:35 PM
I am in the process of checking out Fabs.

Right now, I use a bench system and hook up to it and transfer data. It is time intensive and becomes a problem when we have 5 or 6 systems waiting to be backed up.

The thing I worry about with Fabs is missing data stored in an odd location. (most of our customers have no idea where or how they store things)

Do you typically pull the drives or do you use a boot cd and move data over the network?

Cadishead Computers
04-08-2011, 08:39 PM
I am in the process of checking out Fabs.

Right now, I use a bench system and hook up to it and transfer data. It is time intensive and becomes a problem when we have 5 or 6 systems waiting to be backed up.

The thing I worry about with Fabs is missing data stored in an odd location. (most of our customers have no idea where or how they store things)

Do you typically pull the drives or do you use a boot cd and move data over the network?

With fabs, I usually put it on either a usb stick, and transfer it over the network to the server, or do the same with a external drive. I hardly ever pull the drive. Except in dire emergencies with virus removals, where the pc is to slow to scan fast enough for me.

I usually check the drive first, doing a quick search, to see if there is anything in a place where it shouldnt be. Simple things like doc, xls, mp3, jpg etc.. When I'm satisfied there is nothing where it shouldnt be, then fabs comes out to play.

GoHighVoltage
04-08-2011, 08:42 PM
It varies according to each job John. If I am just backing up my clients data, then I use Fabs. If it's a full clone, then its either clonezilla, or Acronis true image.

When using fabs, I keep a copy of their data on a secure server, for a period of at least 30 days. This is also backed up to the cloud each night.


I agree, I also use Fabs and clonezilla, but it depends on what their actual needs are, and what kind of information is being backed up.

If we are talking about a home user, you can use a local backup mentioned above, and offer an off site backup like carbonite.

If it is a business, then it changes, you would need to know what they needed backed up, and design a plan to fit their needs.

Every situation is different.

mraikes
04-08-2011, 09:17 PM
I use Fab's 4 Techs (if you don't have it, get it.) and Ghost, depending on need.

Someone earlier mentioned a concern about Fab's missing files stored in unusual locations. But that's going to be true of any backup technique other than full cloning. And at least Fab's allows you to select additional locations/files to be included in the backup if needed. That said, it's rare (to never) that my customers save files in any location other than the defaults, and therefore really isn't an issue.

alluseridsrejected
04-08-2011, 09:24 PM
I just pop in my UBCD4WIN and it automatically maps a network drive, runs a chkdsk, runs a ghost image of C: to the network drive, and runs a defrag.

Just pop in & boot the CD/USB stick, answer a prompt asking for the customer name and come back in a few hours when it is all done. It actually does more stuff than this (a lot more) but I am still working the kinks out.

gunslinger
04-08-2011, 09:43 PM
It varies according to each job John. If I am just backing up my clients data, then I use Fabs. If it's a full clone, then its either clonezilla, or Acronis true image.

When using fabs, I keep a copy of their data on a secure server, for a period of at least 30 days. This is also backed up to the cloud each night.

I do the exact same thing. I use Acronis true image only, I don't like the clonezilla interface.

glricht
04-08-2011, 11:41 PM
I use Fab's 4 Techs (if you don't have it, get it.) and Ghost, depending on need.

Someone earlier mentioned a concern about Fab's missing files stored in unusual locations. But that's going to be true of any backup technique other than full cloning. And at least Fab's allows you to select additional locations/files to be included in the backup if needed. That said, it's rare (to never) that my customers save files in any location other than the defaults, and therefore really isn't an issue.

+1 for Fab's 4 Techs. Although it has some limitations, it's become an indispensable tool.

However, although many customers don't save files in places other than the default, it's not necessarily true for some applications. Quicken, QuickBooks, and a couple of others, by default save the user's data in the Program Files folder. It bit me a couple of years ago and now I always look to see what programs are installed. (Plus, if I'm doing a N&P, I'll backup the SWSETUP type of folders too.)

Obtech
04-08-2011, 11:55 PM
N & P?
N & P??:confused:

Ok, look, I'll ask....what's N & P?

BryanVest
04-09-2011, 12:10 AM
N & P?
N & P??:confused:

Ok, look, I'll ask....what's N & P?

N&P = Nuke and Pave = recovery

K007
04-09-2011, 12:25 AM
N & P?
N & P??:confused:

Ok, look, I'll ask....what's N & P?

I believe stands for Nuke & Pave

Obtech
04-09-2011, 12:35 AM
Thanks Bryan and 007.
Hadn't come across that term before!:o

BryanVest
04-09-2011, 12:44 AM
Thanks Bryan and 007.
Hadn't come across that term before!:o

No worries I had never heard it before coming here so you will learn some of the terms like that the more you stick around :)

tekserv
04-11-2011, 08:31 PM
Thanks everyone for the input. I really appreciate having a place to bounce ideas and get input.

It looks like I'll be developing a process that will include both an image and Fab. Hopefully I'll be able to automate 90% of our process.

Somewhat familiar with UBCD and BartPE. Any favorites for the automation process?

minc3d
04-11-2011, 09:11 PM
I have yet to be able to find a backup solution that offers the following:

* Boot a machine via LiveCD
* Backup selected directories or entire drive image to a NAS shared drive
* Image files that can have individual files "plucked" off of them for recovery purposes.

The only program that does this is Acronis True Image but I'd prefer to move to a freeware solution.

Anyone have a program that does the above? Clonezilla supposedly has some of these features but you cannot pluck files off the image backup file itself - a big downside for when a customer calls needing that "one important file" you forgot.

red12049
04-12-2011, 01:44 AM
I have yet to be able to find a backup solution that offers the following:

* Boot a machine via LiveCD
* Backup selected directories or entire drive image to a NAS shared drive
* Image files that can have individual files "plucked" off of them for recovery purposes.

The only program that does this is Acronis True Image but I'd prefer to move to a freeware solution.

Anyone have a program that does the above? Clonezilla supposedly has some of these features but you cannot pluck files off the image backup file itself - a big downside for when a customer calls needing that "one important file" you forgot.

Seems that Drive Image XML from the UBCD4WIN meets your requirements....

Rick

krutoi
04-12-2011, 03:56 AM
If I am just backing up my clients data, then I use Fabs. If it's a full clone, then its either clonezilla, or Acronis true image

Same here - Acronis and Fabs, also Double Driver if planning a N/P

pcpickup
04-12-2011, 04:44 AM
The majority of the home users that comes in don't have much more than a few docs, pictures, and maybe some music to backup and are using webmail. When the system is unbootable we usually just use ubuntu live USB/CD and an external HD or our NAS. To minimize the chance for any confusion the customers documents are put under a folder with their name and unique customer ID that our system assigns to them. When backing up we usually grab the whole /Docs and Settings or /Users folders. I also have a disclaimer on all of my quotes that the customer is made aware of that simply states we are not responsible for the data and they should have proper backups. We do this because I have recovered data for customers numerous times but when the problem was not a virus but a failed HD I don't want them to blame us.

I have been thinking about Fabs but I am not sure how much faster that would make the process, most of the waiting is while we copy GB's of music,pictures or our occasional torrent movie enthusiast.

NETWizz
04-12-2011, 04:48 AM
I use Microsoft's ImageX... it is way better than most.

I used Acronis in 2006 thouugh. Back in 2008 I used to use the Novell ZenWorks Image Engine. I have used CloneZilla with PXE... I have used PartImage...

Now, I like KACE too... it is a toss up.

TimJacobs
04-12-2011, 09:51 AM
What is the cost of Kace? And can it be used for Remote Backups?

iisjman07
04-12-2011, 10:07 PM
I'm currently in the process of getting one or two TB drives and sticking them in a freeNAS server from an old desktop. Right now I use the Linux program 'partimage' for file based image backups, and seeing as the freenas has no drives in it at the moment, I'm backing up to a couple of external hard drives. I also backup the drive mbr using the Linux tool 'dd', and I store these under a folder with the name of the job number of the computer.

tekserv
04-13-2011, 03:07 PM
I just pop in my UBCD4WIN and it automatically maps a network drive, runs a chkdsk, runs a ghost image of C: to the network drive, and runs a defrag.

Just pop in & boot the CD/USB stick, answer a prompt asking for the customer name and come back in a few hours when it is all done. It actually does more stuff than this (a lot more) but I am still working the kinks out.

Would you be willing to share how you are making these customizations?

parker.casey
04-15-2011, 08:23 PM
New here and I love what I've seen so far.

Just curious as to what other techs are using to back up their customers data.

The very first thing we do is back up our customers data. It's time consuming and I'd like to streamline the process. I know some techs clone every drive, but that's a lot of drives to keep around. Some create a image and also file copy data.

What procedure have you found works best? What is most time and cost effective?

Thanks for your input!

I run FAB's Autobackup4Tech, stick the data on the server, and manually grab anything the customer specified.

IAMPC
04-17-2011, 06:52 PM
N & P?
N & P??:confused:

Ok, look, I'll ask....what's N & P?

Nuke and pave / format the hard drive....

NerdHouse
05-03-2011, 07:33 PM
I've been using Acronis TrueImage 2010 for quite some time now to just do a complete image. This way I keep the image for 30 days and can pluck files by mounting the image if the client requests any files not given back to them. This actually takes a long time and would love to hear about streamlining the process. I'd also love to hear more if alluseridsrejected would like to share about how he made that customization where it auto mounts a network share, does a chkdsk and then creates a ghost image of the drive.

DCGPX
05-03-2011, 09:13 PM
I just pop in my UBCD4WIN and it automatically maps a network drive, runs a chkdsk, runs a ghost image of C: to the network drive, and runs a defrag.

Just pop in & boot the CD/USB stick, answer a prompt asking for the customer name and come back in a few hours when it is all done. It actually does more stuff than this (a lot more) but I am still working the kinks out.

I'd love to see the customisations as well. I started looking at this with using netboot disk but need some spare time to go into it. I'm sure there is a better way than that way and seems you've found yours.

I used to backup my own PC every week using Barts boot floppies and DriveImage and thought of trying to build something similar, but more upto date!!

pc-quebec
05-03-2011, 10:47 PM
What ever your customers use as BackUp solutions, they have to bring the BAckUp in another location

A typical build for a small customer: 2008r2 server hosting the 2008r2 server of the customer in VM, every day, they use whatever backup solution for their daily backup of data, and once a month ( a Saturday) , I shut down the VM and copy it on a removable HD, so if the hardware fail or the server burn or whatever, I can reinstall this VM in any server build on 2008r2 , as long as I keep it with the same manufacturer processor, Intel-Intel, AMD –AMD . It’s by far the fastest recovery solution for small company ( excluding my costly SAN and failover cluster …)

For the whatever daily backup, many customers like my Goodsync solution; the server copy the drive with data on a workstation in the night ( using goodsync ) , in the morning the operator of this workstation use also goodsync to sync a portable HD and his copy of the data in his WS, they can use a separate removable HD every day of the week
For bigger business I use DPM of Microsoft.

alluseridsrejected
05-04-2011, 08:43 PM
Would you be willing to share how you are making these customizations?


I'd love to see the customisations as well. I started looking at this with using netboot disk but need some spare time to go into it. I'm sure there is a better way than that way and seems you've found yours.


I have a posting about it here, but it has many new functions added to it :

http://www.technibble.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26734



Note: The backup and defrag and chkdsk and most of the functions listed in the WCSauto.cmd script that you are asking about seem to be working well, but watch out for bugs in the the WCSstart.cmd script that executes post boot. Most of it works too, but there are still unfinished pieces in both scripts. This is all a work in progress.

Tony_Scarpelli
06-12-2011, 06:05 PM
We have progressed to many stages of this.

In the beginning we would remove the HD put it into a USB cable/kit/box and back up manually to our backup server which has always had two or more giagantic drives in it.

Then we found Ubunti to boot up a not working OS and backed up over the network or to a USB 500 gig drive. It was tedious as we would create "customername" folder and move everything on their drive into that folder and then xcopy or teracopy that folder to the Network server or USB drive. Ubuntu was a great step forward.

Then we upgraded to gigabyte eithernet and now attempt to backup using that. We have workbenches for a 18 or so workstations so we just leave them to do their thing over the network. It is still not quite automated as much as I like but that is the goal.

We use Acrosnis as well and it is fast for both backups as well as re-imaging drives.

for our retail walk in clients we usually only backup those who are willing to pay $99.99 for that service. Otherwise we just blow them away with fresh install. We used to keep the files 30 days but even with 3 TB drives we now delete files 8-9 days after they are picked up. WE tell clients "you have 24 hrs to verify your files and call us if anything is missing"

When we go onsite we use external USB drives both for backups as reloads or reimaging. We normally do not do imaging onsite.

With business clients we have stopped using backup tapes as they seem to be very expensive and have a very high failure rate so we moved most clients to an acronis image over USB external drive. WE are trying to train our clients to do a test restore monthly if not weekly. I have yet to have an Acronis image fail.

BusyTech
02-11-2012, 01:03 PM
This one is simple, we boot into BARTPE and create a folder on the C drive called "Backup_Feb_12" and drag the contents of the C drive into this folder.

After reinstalling windows using the "keep file system intact" option, we scan the backup folder for virus's then just drag it necessary documents/pics/email etc back into the new windows install.

This saves us A LOT of time as copying 300+ GBs of data across a gigabit network is very time consuming.

Any comments on our method would be greatly appreciated.

PCX
02-13-2012, 08:31 PM
We Pretty much do the same as PCPickup. We have dedicated machines for diagnostics, cloning, data recovery and backup. These machines run Ubuntu or some other form of Linux depending on the usage. We basically make a folder for each customer and then go into their C drive, look for any folders that they made and then pull their Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, Desktop, Favorites and Contacts folder as well as any other folder that they made in their user account. Once we have finished their new installation, we merge their backed-up folders with their new ones (after we scan them for viruses) and thats it. There are exceptions of course, some programs put their important information folder in weird locations, but thats where you need to ask the customer what they programs they are running, whats important to them information wise and ask them if they keep regular backups of important information. The other exception is that some times you have to clone a failing drive before you can repair a corrupted file system and recover their data.

parker.casey
02-14-2012, 05:01 PM
I'm mobile now, but when I was in a shop I had a system with guts hanging out of it, just for grabbing data. I would pull the drive, hook it to the bench system, scan it, and back up the files from it using FAB's. Later on, I started using a NAS and the system that needed fixing most of the time, though I still pulled drives when it made sense.

Pretty much as long as you can retrieve the data when needed, you're good. That said, I don't feel comfortable storing my data on NTFS, and would much rather ZFS for this sort of thing.

lumien
03-12-2012, 09:17 PM
Other than when a customer pays you to clone their drive or backup individual files, in what situations do you decide to clone and in what situations do you decide to just do a backup like Fabs?

The reason I am asking is because I am planning on using partimage (due to command line options and being linux based) to clone drives before doing malware removal. This might be over kill and one downside is that I (as far as i know) would need to do a full restore to get at those backed up files.

I decided against using Fabs in my automation because it is windows based and would be more difficult to do than partimage - but I plan on keeping Fabs around for one-off issues.

I also am planning on using acronis, but as it is windows based as well, it suffers the same ailment of not being easily scriptable - even though it seems to offer better backup options than partimage. But I will be keeping it around for one-off issues as well.

Thanks,

Lumien