Small-business backup software?

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Small-business with Windows 7 Professional machine being used as a file server and to pull certain files from 8 client machines (7 PCs, one Mac) for backup. Once a day the backed-up files are copied to an external drive that goes home with somebody. There are two external drives that take turns being the go-home drive each day. That is it. No "cloud" storage, no fancy stuff, just what I give above. Backups need to be automated and reliable. Not interested in "free" software or hacks. Need business-quality. I appear to have have several options for backup software, the most likely being: 1) Windows 7's built-in backup software 2) Acronis (so many versions!!!) 3) Norton Ghost. Any opinions on which of the above three are best for the use given above?
 
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Originally Posted By: Tegger
Small-business with Windows 7 Professional machine being used as a file server and to pull certain files from 8 client machines (7 PCs, one Mac) for backup. Once a day the backed-up files are copied to an external drive that goes home with somebody. There are two external drives that take turns being the go-home drive each day.
Ugh. "backups" like that are a disaster waiting to happen! Crashplan. Goes in the cloud, is automatic and you don't have to worry about someone walking off with the company's documents. You don't have to worry about someone losing the drive, the drive dying, etc. Just use the personal version (business is 25 seat minimum) and be done with it. Been using them for 6 years now and wouldn't think of going back to local backups.
 
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Your plan is incomplete, so no s/w recommendation will fix that. If you want industrial strength backup, get Veritas NetBackup and some real hardware and a real bare metal recovery plan and a real rotation plan.
 
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None of those 3 would be my choice. I had HP backup tape on my server(s) until Carbonite came along. $59/year, set it and forget it. I have restored 3 complete data crashes in less than 24 hours. That's 72 hours of downtime in 48 months. My systems back up every night at 2:00am. I keep (5) redundant complete DB files in 4 locations. My DB files rotate one copy weekly. I keep 24 months of email backups.
 
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Use the cloud man.... No matter how big or small you business, it is the best solution. Edit: i see you said 'no cloud.' Can't offer any opinions on the software you listed.
 
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Originally Posted By: Donald
I would use RAID arrays for backup.
FAIL. RAID is not backup. It is disk redundancy, and nothing more. It will protect your current data if one disk fails (in a typical RAID1 or RAID5 setup). That's all. RAID can't restore the file you just deleted. RAID can't backdate the document your cat just highlighted, overwrote and saved by walking across your keyboard. RAID can't restore your system to the state it was before it was hacked. RAID can't give you bare metal recovery when the O/S [censored] out and trashes the filesystem. RAID can't replace the data that was lost when your entire RAID volume gets hit by lightning, stolen, or flooded. RAID can't restore your yearly accounting from 3 years back when you get audited. Only backups, with some kind of offsite duplication/rotation can do that.
 
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Originally Posted By: Donald
I would use RAID arrays for backup.
Dear God no. During my 20+ years of IT work I've been bitten MANY times by RAID. Seen the controller die taking out the array, one drive die and the rebuild fails because something's not right, seen the rebuild take out another drive in the array. Seen 2 driver fail in a short time period (before you can get to it), etc. Yes you can backup to multiple RAID arrays. But for the cost of it it's much better to shift off to tape or the cloud!
 
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What itguy08 said. I took two servers out of service last week. One is the RAID, either two disks or the controller, haven't dug deep enough yet. The other is most likely RAM or M/B. Even if it is RAM or M/B, the filesystem is trashed. RAID will assure it is evenly and thoroughly trashed across all the disks in the set. That's why Backup exists. Verify your backups with trial restores.
 
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Originally Posted By: BigD1
Hey Hangfire. Just want to let you know that your website is on a block list http://www.malwaredomains.com/.
Wow what a useless site. Two mirrors are down and two have latest updates from.. 2012? Latest update supposedly Dec 2015 and the only working d/l Index only goes to Oct 2015? OK I found ONE working d/l index and I'm not on the latest list. No search function? No remove request ticket system? [censored]? Useless site. Anyway Google search thinks I'm OK, so I'm OK.
 
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None of those links exist. I wonder if they date from the previous domain owner. So I did the full verification thing... and my new Norton account disappeared, so I had to recreate it, and do a new verification. Then, it said verification failed, even though show source shows exactly what they want to see. Another [censored] site. Well, thanks for warning me anyway, even if there is no tool to allow me to do anything about it. I entered a ticket, but this is Symantec support we're talking about here.
 
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Yes, probably from the previous owner. Hope you get it delisted. Sorry for derailing the thread! Carry on!
 
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Windows SBS products can do full automated backups of workstations. You can then use a tape solution to do a full backup of the SBS server. Either way you're looking at a new server with a lot of RAID storage as well as a tape backup solution. No single one of these is an answer, but all of them combined is pretty good disaster recovery for a small business. You also really need to change your mind about cloud solutions, they can be yet another additional layer for your DR plan. You do have a DR plan, right?
 

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Update: Remember, I'm on a budget and I need to keep things simple. Plus we have very simple requirements: Keep some data files from going poof. What I ended up doing on the PC that is being used as a file storage server: -- Install three 4TB drives in the PC -- Two drives are mirrored (RAID 1) -- The third drive is an internal system-backup for the mirror -- That backup is then copied to an external drive for offsite storage each day. I ended up buying Acronis Backup Advanced 11.5, which handles the system backup from mirror to third drive, and that's all it does. Acronis is set up to keep three days' worth of data. Client data files (Mail, My Documents, etc.) are pulled by Vice Versa Pro, which also copies the Acronis backup to the external drive. All of this is scheduled using Windows' Scheduled Tasks utility. I know the professional IT guys out there will probably sneer and pretend to barf at my setup, but it's simple and it's working well. This version of Acronis also has an option to install a client on each user's machine that coordinates with the installation on the "server" machine. This client works with the server to create bare-metal backups of each user machine, all of this being stored on the server. It is necessary to purchase a separate license for each user machine involved, so it can get pricey. We may eventually go that route, but not now. Either way, we're set up for it if we should decide to use it.
 
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If that works for you, good luck. But it fails on the "automated and reliable". It's also got a lot of moving parts vs a simple cloud based solution that would probably cost about the same. May Murphy not cross your path the day the person responsible for the backups be out and a fire starts in the server room. Or they get in an accident and that drive gets "lost". You are at least encrypting the drive that goes home, right?
 

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Originally Posted By: itguy08
If that works for you, good luck. But it fails on the "automated and reliable". It's also got a lot of moving parts vs a simple cloud based solution that would probably cost about the same. May Murphy not cross your path the day the person responsible for the backups be out and a fire starts in the server room. Or they get in an accident and that drive gets "lost". You are at least encrypting the drive that goes home, right?
No encryption. I appreciate your concern, but there's nothing worth encrypting in our files anyway. At our place, the ladies leave their purses unattended and unlocked in their offices and in the lunchroom. Security is not my concern, simplicity and avoiding loss-of-data is.
 
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I suggest whatever setup you have, to try it by pulling one drive out to ensure it works. Otherwise it's no good as if you've done nothing.
 
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