Local and Off-site backup

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Backup and Recovery
I have a client who would like his XP desktops to backup to a Windows 2003 server and then have the Windows 2003 server be backed tp to a tape drive. He also wants the information to be copied off site. He was thinking to one of those online storage sites, the ones where you pay per month for storage. Does this sound like a good solution for backing up? Are there better ways? Does anyone know of an automatic way to backup his data to an online storage place? any suggestions on which online place to use? Any help would be great. Thank you for your time.

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Exactly what sorts of things are being stored on user desktops that need to be backed up? If this is important data, you really do not want this stuff being backed up online over the net. Then again, there should not be any important data whatsoever stored on user desktops, it should all be on servers, with secure space allocated to general “available to everyone” areas, department and/or workgroup spaces, and if desired personal spaces.

For offsite storage of backups, I recommend Stacs, if they operate in your area. Media are shipped to their facilities in sealed containers either via courier or picked up and delivered by a representative. You will need to research such a company in your area, they are usually in the Yellow Pages under computers or data storage/archiving.

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  • KevinJ
    Agreed that you should evaluate the data being stored on the client side, but the reality is that in all but the very best (and most secure) situations, there WILL be data distributed to the client architecture that needs to retained. The difficult associated with doing client backups is usually not "how" but "when." Controlling users on when they do and don't power down their desktop is challenging at best. Even worse when you begin to consider notebook users. A better solution might be to consider a replication product that will duplicate changed data from their client device to a NAS and then perform the centralized backup from there. There are a number of products (DoubleTake, Replistor, ActiveSync, Foldershare, etc., etc.,) you could consider for desktop synchronization. Another strategy maybe to home their "my documents" on a NAS/fileserver through a group policy and then configure it for offline file sync. However, look around on that one, or maybe someone else can add some thoughts to that. Despite the lure, it has its own challenges. The safer direction to go and one that would make a compliancy officer smile, is to completely redirect the user's ability to save locally and retain everything on a server. Then implement a file archiving tool (Enterprise Vault, DiskXtender, etc.) Meets compliancy standards, provides a single instance store to reduce your storage requirements and decrease your backup window, facilitates a global search capability for compliance needs, and potentially provides an automated deletion capability if you needed. So many choices...
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  • Skepticals
    Thanks for all the great ideas. I can easily redirect the workstation to save on the server. I do not think my client will want to mail his data to an offsite storage place. He is gearing towards an online place. Is this a bad option? I suggested tape backup and just take the tape home each night. He is looking at doing a tape backup once a week and an online backup once a day. Any thoughts on this? or better ways? Jeff
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  • Mistoffeles
    Online backup storage is just about the worst way you could possibly go for security reasons, because the whole world can potentially/theoretically access your backup data as it is being transmitted, regardless of encryption protocols and so on. All they have to do is intercept the packets and store a copy, and they have virtually unlimited time to crack the encryption. There is no such thing as an unbreakable encryption algorithm, it's just a matter of how much computer power you can apply to it and for how long.
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  • Skepticals
    I agree, what would you suggest? A tape backup each night?
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  • Benjamin92
    I agree, online backups to a third party company is a bad idea. I would always suggest organisations handle their own backups (if outsourced, let the outsourcing company handle it) primarily for security reasons. Tape still has a place in today's backup market as they're so easy to take offsite. It really depends on what your customer wants to do - whether it's to speed up backups, increase resilience or strengthen the DR plan.
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  • Skepticals
    My client is very simple minded and just wants any type of backup. He is not too concerned with security. As of right now, I would think a tape backup is the best solution.
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