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Old 04-30-2012, 09:05 AM
Gabzor Gabzor is offline
 
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Default Backup Program request!

I need a backup program for a CPA client of mine

He has a server sitting in his closet, and has a 500gb external drive

He wants it to back up nightly, without compression, just a direct folder copy.. thats easy enough..

now the hard part, he wants multiple backups in a database sort of way, where
the server backs up, to certain dates

for example, the server backs up a list of clients, but the whole folder itself obviously is getting copied to to the external

so backup #1 is the simple one, just the whole folder copied, replacing each file every night..

but backup #2 probably should be before backup #1.. but to a different folder, but arranged with dates, for example day1 backup, day2 backup while backup 1 is in a different folder/directory

this way if something fails, and he needs client data from a week ago or something he can just plug the external in..

so what program is capable of doing these functions, and for things like backup 2, make it replace files in a xx # of days?
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:37 AM
Tekguy Tekguy is offline
 
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The free version of GFI Backup has a feature called Stack Backup that creates versions & allows you to specify how many versions to keep. You could create a sync profile for backup 1 which would sync the source & destination folders & then for backup 2 create a daily backup profile with as many versions as you want.

Last edited by Tekguy; 04-30-2012 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 04-30-2012, 12:17 PM
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I would avoid free options, you get what you pay for. A business should be using a business class solution. That being said, we typically use ShadowProtect. It can be configured to do exactly what you are looking to do.

Another thing to consider is regulatory compliance. You should speak with your client and see if he is bound by anything similar to HIPAA. He may need to take some additional steps in order to be compliant.

One last thing, I would highly recommend you use a strong encryption. It will make the backup take longer, but in the end you will both be better off for it.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:23 PM
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I agree completely with motztech and I'll add this...

I have had numerous cases where clients had automated backups that have failed or stopped working. In almost every case they didn't realize this until they NEEDED to recover data. If you setup an automated backup I would recommend selling them on a monitoring or maintenance program... even if you have to do it manually (assuming you're not a MSP). Otherwise, if the data isn't there when they need it they will be screaming at you because you set it up. I also sell my backup clients on a service whereas I simulate disaster recovery to verify their backup data is indeed functioning properly as well as verify that their disaster recovery plan/policy/procedures are correct. Don't assume anything... you know what it does
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:31 PM
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I agree with MotzTech and Tech in SC. Check with the CPA to see if he needs to be compliant or anything. I do some work for CPA's too and sounds like I should review and talk with them to make sure their backups are compliant. Its been a while since I reviewed their backup stragety and many things have changed in the industry too. But as for the backup software, I would definitively go with a Paid product because this is what they do best and offer support if you have any issues.

As for your backup strategy, It sounds like you want a typical classic setup (which saves space and fast restores), which is....

A monthly full backup with a weekly differential and daily incremental (This is what I use as my backup strategy for clients that might need to restore to a certain date or something). That way you can restore fairly quickly any day you need during the month. All you would need to do is restore monthly full backup, then the weekly backup that the day falls on and then all the daily backups during that week up to the day you need (ex.. You need Wed, then you need to restore Mon, Tues, and Wed Daily backups).

You could also go with a monthly full backup with a daily incremental; but then you will be restore every daily backup up to the one you need (ex.. You need the 13th of the Month, then you need to restore every daily from 1st to the 12th on top of the full monthly backup).

You could also just go with a monthly full backup with a daily differential; but your backups will take up more space compared to the above strategies.

Well sorry if you already knew this... I'd thought I would just put it out there. You could also go with other software that saves file versions but I wouldn't know how to control versions so you get one once a day. I also haven't messed with software that does it other than online backup software. Well Good Luck and take care my friend.

Last edited by kevinjhaag; 04-30-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:34 AM
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he is definitely down to pay for the product of course
that being said, shadowprotect looks great, also been looking into some acronis products, and of the latter in the data recovery/cloning industry

kevinjhaag, what program are you talking of, and techinSC what are you using, and doing to make a fake disaster?

i am very outdated software/hardware wise, but i know the general concept, but yeah still havn't messed with online or cloud mumbo jumbo and most of my clients have their company servers that do it for em since all they do is mostly rdp
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:59 AM
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For our higher end clients with higher end needs (so we're mostly talking healthcare and accounting)...we push our highest backup services....DattoBackup.

2x parts to this backup strategy....local backup with near immediate virtualized server recovery, and offsite backup. But you can lead the sales pitch by first discussing "What would happen if your server caught fire/blew up?"

Have them think about that first...and lay out the realistic steps to getting a new server, and having their network back up and running.
*Their server has some big problem..they call you
*You arrive onsite within a few hours
*You spend at least another hour troubleshooting...(now we're into early/mid afternoon...so one day is shot for them)
*You've determined that their server is really shot...need to order a new one. Procure money, get a new server configured...and place the order.....wait...at least several days for one.
*New server arrives...that day you rush onsite....build it, install the OS, and then spent time running "restores" from their "hopefully" good backup. There goes another day.
*Incremental backups in the mix? Yuck....hope the entire chain is good.

(I never do incremental backups on traditional removable media backup with any clients....it's always a full daily backup..always. Been through the nightmare of piecing together a restore from an incremental backup)

Let me illustrate newer backup methods...especially good for clients that need fast D/R (Disaster Recovery). There are other brands of backup services that do this, I chose DattoBackup because they're local (based in my same state..Connecticut)...and I'm a firm believer in in keeping business local when I can. Their support is excellent...I've had issues where I'll place a troubleticket..and within an hour or two one of their tech guys will have remoted into the appliance at my clients site and fixed the issue. And...even though prices will initially seem high to those not familiar with this type of high end backup, their prices are actually good compared to others.

*Now...for the first part..their "Siris" product. A local appliance is placed next to your clients servers...on the network. Basically a NAS. The size/capacity/power of it (and price) is based on how many servers you need to back up....and disk space needed. They range from a small form factor single core processor 250 gig appliance..to 1U rack mount servers with multi cores and RAID...to 4U rack mount servers with multiple sockets, tons of RAM, and huge disk arrays in RAID. It runs on a customized *nix distro. On each server you will back up, you install a special version of StorageCraft ShadowSnap software they had custom made for them. You run a checkdisk and defrag on each server to prepare them...and then you do your first backup...which is a full image based backup. From then on...each server does a fancy equivalent of an incremental backup..and it tracks the changes and is able to keep separate full backup images based on that. You can set your backup intervals...daily, hourly, etc.....you can get crazy granular and customize to your hearts content. The backups are kept in VMDK file format..which is what VMWare uses. A virtual image file.

**The appliance will test each days backup by booting up the backup file of each server...taking a screen shot of the login screen, and e-mailing it to you. This appliance will keep approx 30x days of backups...depending on what size you bought..disk space wise.

***If your clients server(s) fail...you can remote into the Siris appliance (web interface)..."boot up" the server(s) in the virtual environment, set the servers virtual network card...and make it "Live" on the network. In about 15 minutes.

Lets back up and think about that last point for a minute. "Clients server fails...there's no way you're going to fix that server in one days time"....and..."I can have your services back up on your network in about 15 minutes!"

****The Offsite part....the Siris appliance synchs the backup data to two offsite locations, one on the east coast of the US, the second on the west coast of the US. It is initially seeded with a "roundtrip device" to copy that initial huge chunk of data to the cloud...in case clients internet connection isn't crazy fast with upload. By default it will keep up to 365 days worth of backup...you can purchase additional time retention. Now comes the cool part about this...for D/R. Lets say your clients business has a catastrophic disaster...flood, fire...something that basically destroys their office...network, computers, server(s)..even the local Siris backup appliance. No problem. The Datto tech guys will "mount" your cloud backups of the server(s)...boot them up in their data center, and have them available to you via either VPN or RDP...within about 2 hours. How cool is that?

Think about that for a minute....such a huge disaster as your clients building being leveled, and you can provide your client access to his/her server(s) and data in about 2 hours, from wherever they are as long as they can get to the internet.

Expensive? Well...initially, it can seem expensive. Initial purchase of the local Siris appliance...price varies based on which model they get naturally. And the monthly recurring subscription price...(part of which is profit for your pocket each month). But I recently brought this service to an accounting firm client of mine who is very tight with his wallet. His servers tape drive died. Price of a replacement tape drive, plus new tapes, plus my time of replacing the tape drive...was about equal to 9 months worth of this backup service. And he doesn't have to purchase new tapes each year...so there's 1x month subscription paid for each year. And he doesn't have to worry about backup status (gets e-mailed report). Doesn't have to worry about having tapes brought offsite by staff, lost tapes, etc. Satisfies his long retention, each months end backup, year end backup.

The Siris appliance can push restore an image to "new/different hardware"...it will probe the server you will restore the image to, detect it's brand/model....go out and download drives, inject those drivers into the image..and then push restore the image...making your restore to a new replacement server easier and quicker.

...gotta get more coffee...
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post
For our higher end clients with higher end needs (so we're mostly talking healthcare and accounting)...we push our highest backup services....DattoBackup.

2x parts to this backup strategy....local backup with near immediate virtualized server recovery, and offsite backup. But you can lead the sales pitch by first discussing "What would happen if your server caught fire/blew up?"

Have them think about that first...and lay out the realistic steps to getting a new server, and having their network back up and running.
*Their server has some big problem..they call you
*You arrive onsite within a few hours
*You spend at least another hour troubleshooting...(now we're into early/mid afternoon...so one day is shot for them)
*You've determined that their server is really shot...need to order a new one. Procure money, get a new server configured...and place the order.....wait...at least several days for one.
*New server arrives...that day you rush onsite....build it, install the OS, and then spent time running "restores" from their "hopefully" good backup. There goes another day.
*Incremental backups in the mix? Yuck....hope the entire chain is good.

(I never do incremental backups on traditional removable media backup with any clients....it's always a full daily backup..always. Been through the nightmare of piecing together a restore from an incremental backup)

Let me illustrate newer backup methods...especially good for clients that need fast D/R (Disaster Recovery). There are other brands of backup services that do this, I chose DattoBackup because they're local (based in my same state..Connecticut)...and I'm a firm believer in in keeping business local when I can. Their support is excellent...I've had issues where I'll place a troubleticket..and within an hour or two one of their tech guys will have remoted into the appliance at my clients site and fixed the issue. And...even though prices will initially seem high to those not familiar with this type of high end backup, their prices are actually good compared to others.

*Now...for the first part..their "Siris" product. A local appliance is placed next to your clients servers...on the network. Basically a NAS. The size/capacity/power of it (and price) is based on how many servers you need to back up....and disk space needed. They range from a small form factor single core processor 250 gig appliance..to 1U rack mount servers with multi cores and RAID...to 4U rack mount servers with multiple sockets, tons of RAM, and huge disk arrays in RAID. It runs on a customized *nix distro. On each server you will back up, you install a special version of StorageCraft ShadowSnap software they had custom made for them. You run a checkdisk and defrag on each server to prepare them...and then you do your first backup...which is a full image based backup. From then on...each server does a fancy equivalent of an incremental backup..and it tracks the changes and is able to keep separate full backup images based on that. You can set your backup intervals...daily, hourly, etc.....you can get crazy granular and customize to your hearts content. The backups are kept in VMDK file format..which is what VMWare uses. A virtual image file.

**The appliance will test each days backup by booting up the backup file of each server...taking a screen shot of the login screen, and e-mailing it to you. This appliance will keep approx 30x days of backups...depending on what size you bought..disk space wise.

***If your clients server(s) fail...you can remote into the Siris appliance (web interface)..."boot up" the server(s) in the virtual environment, set the servers virtual network card...and make it "Live" on the network. In about 15 minutes.

Lets back up and think about that last point for a minute. "Clients server fails...there's no way you're going to fix that server in one days time"....and..."I can have your services back up on your network in about 15 minutes!"

****The Offsite part....the Siris appliance synchs the backup data to two offsite locations, one on the east coast of the US, the second on the west coast of the US. It is initially seeded with a "roundtrip device" to copy that initial huge chunk of data to the cloud...in case clients internet connection isn't crazy fast with upload. By default it will keep up to 365 days worth of backup...you can purchase additional time retention. Now comes the cool part about this...for D/R. Lets say your clients business has a catastrophic disaster...flood, fire...something that basically destroys their office...network, computers, server(s)..even the local Siris backup appliance. No problem. The Datto tech guys will "mount" your cloud backups of the server(s)...boot them up in their data center, and have them available to you via either VPN or RDP...within about 2 hours. How cool is that?

Think about that for a minute....such a huge disaster as your clients building being leveled, and you can provide your client access to his/her server(s) and data in about 2 hours, from wherever they are as long as they can get to the internet.

Expensive? Well...initially, it can seem expensive. Initial purchase of the local Siris appliance...price varies based on which model they get naturally. And the monthly recurring subscription price...(part of which is profit for your pocket each month). But I recently brought this service to an accounting firm client of mine who is very tight with his wallet. His servers tape drive died. Price of a replacement tape drive, plus new tapes, plus my time of replacing the tape drive...was about equal to 9 months worth of this backup service. And he doesn't have to purchase new tapes each year...so there's 1x month subscription paid for each year. And he doesn't have to worry about backup status (gets e-mailed report). Doesn't have to worry about having tapes brought offsite by staff, lost tapes, etc. Satisfies his long retention, each months end backup, year end backup.

The Siris appliance can push restore an image to "new/different hardware"...it will probe the server you will restore the image to, detect it's brand/model....go out and download drives, inject those drivers into the image..and then push restore the image...making your restore to a new replacement server easier and quicker.

...gotta get more coffee...
That sounds like an awesome D/R solution. Thanks for sharing.
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