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  • #963978
    Carbonite Australia
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    All the PC magazines talk about it, but how many small business owners actually do daily backups of their data and what do they use?

    Has anyone considered or tried going online to do their backing up?

    Arthur Koulianos
    BDM AVG & Carbonite

    #1001729
    ahortin
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    AKoulianos, post: 736 wrote:
    All the PC magazines talk about it, but how many small business owners actually do daily backups of their data and what do they use?

    Has anyone considered or tried going online to do their backing up?

    Arthur Koulianos
    BDM AVG & Carbonite

    Hi Arthur,

    It’s certainly a good idea to do backups of your data, even if you’re not running a business. With the proliferation of digital camera’s and the like, I’d hate to think how many people have lost 1000’s of photo’s (& their precious memories) because they haven’t backed them up. Obviously, if you’re running a business, there’s even more incentive.

    Personally, I have a seperate hard drive in my PC and have scheduled weekly backups of my main “work” pc as well as my development web server which I use. I also create regular “images” of my machine and store on external devices.

    As fas as software goes, I use a combination of Acronis True Image and also the std “Windows backup” software. I haven’t used any ‘online’ backup facilities so I can’t comment on them, sorry.

    Cheers,
    Anthony.

    #1001730
    Adam Randall
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    If you do nothing else you should do a daily backup, even if its onto a cheap $10 thumb drive that you keep in your wallet, it provides some protection.

    Just remember if its not offsite, its not a backup. Thieves are likely to steal everything and fire is likely to burn everything including backup drives/tapes/disks.

    For a small business starting out you could buy 5 cheap USB drives and rotate each day. There is a program that will do an automatic backup each day in the background to the USB drive, its free although I highly recommend spending the $30 odd on the SE version as it backs up open files (outlook uses a single file called a pst file) If its always open then it will never get backed up with the free version. Considering 70% of business data is stored in the email system, its a big chunk of data to lose.

    There are places that do online backups for free too, be cautious of any that require a credit card up front though, you might find it automatically cuts in unless you ring a number (that is never manned)

    We provide a fully featured online backup service that can do restores over the internet but its aimed more at local businesses in Adelaide as if they lose everything we can provide same day disk delivery etc, we also do test restores etc to make sure the backups actually are working.

    I have created a data loss calculator PDF and its the last page of the document.

    Remember, you only need to backup if you value the work you do.

    #1001731
    tildavirtual
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    I haven’t used them yet but I’ve heard great things about Mozy and Carbonite for online backups.

    #1001732
    Glenn
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    A new service is GetDropBox (getdropbox.com). It integrates into Windows Explorer and the Mac Finder, any folders under your drop box are automatically copied offsite. You can share these folders with other people, so you can use this like a network drive for a small business.

    You get 2Gb on the free plan, or it costs $10/mth USD for 50Gb.
    And it is very easy to install – just download and setup with your email address.

    #1001733
    Susan Oakes
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    I looked at going with an online backup but decided to just get an external hardrive and use Genie-Soft which automatically backs up each night.

    #1001734
    Past-Member
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    I agree with Susan as 2G would go nowhere with my files every day. (Design files are huge.) I move all my files off the computer to removable hard drives once the job is completed.

    I back up my system files to a removable drive monthly.

    I back up my MYOB data each week to a couple of separate USB sticks, one of which stays with me.

    All my digital or scanned photos are on their own portable hard drive now. I have moved them off discs and put them on the USB drive. Much easier to grab in the event of a bushfire or similar as our photo albums presently take up a whole cupboard.

    #1001735
    The Internet Bloke
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    I’d suggest doing a incremental backup daily, and a full backup every week.

    (If you use an offline solution, make sure you consider your bandwidth allocation.)

    Acronis backup software has already been mentioned, and it is excellent. I use it myself.

    If you use one of the small USB hard drives (about the size of a 5″x3″ index card and about 12mm thick) it’s just a simple matter of taking the drive out of your pocket and plugging it into the USB port of your computer.

    No external powerpack needed. The “sweet spot” is curently about $150 for a 320 gigabyte drive. Big enough for most computers, as the data is compressed.
    Ideally, use 2 drives alternately – one at work, the other stored in another location.

    The advantage of using the Acronis software is that you can access the backup files just like a normal hard drive, and restore one or more files.

    ( It’s sad, but most people don’t take backups seriously until they lose a computer full of data. )

    cheers, Eric G.

    #1001736
    Adam Randall
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    The Internet Bloke, post: 819 wrote:
    The advantage of using the Acronis software is that you can access the backup files just like a normal hard drive, and restore one or more files.

    ( It’s sad, but most people don’t take backups seriously until they lose a computer full of data. )

    cheers, Eric G.

    The other thing I love about Acronis is that if you do an image of you system disk and for some reason it dies then you can convert a TIB file (Acronis file) to a Virtual machine. While not being ground breaking for a workstation. For a server this is a great way to do a disaster recovery (which is not to be confused with data loss)

    #1001737
    Ric Willmot
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    Being from the dark side (Mac) I have a 500 GB external hard drive and it is connected by a USB cable. Every 15 minutes automatically backs-up everything using Time Machine.

    Never even give it a second thought – I know it’s always there and always current.

    #1001738
    ahortin
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    Another option that’s useful as well is setting up your drives using RAID. RAID 1, for example, will use multiple disks to store multiple copies of your data. If one disk dies, the data will be retrieved from the other.

    Of course, it’s always good to have offsite backups and/or ‘snapshots’ of your data that can be stored on a seperate disk.

    #1001739
    Ken Wood
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    ahortin, post: 879 wrote:
    Another option that’s useful as well is setting up your drives using RAID. RAID 1, for example, will use multiple disks to store multiple copies of your data. If one disk dies, the data will be retrieved from the other.

    It’s important to remember that RAID will ONLY protect against disk failure. It does nothing to protect against accidental deletions, software malfunctions, malicious erasure, viruses and so on – combined these are a much more likely cause of data loss than disk failure.

    If you can only do one or the other, get your backups in place before you start to think about RAID. And don’t forget to send your backups offsite to secure storage in a remote location, otherwise you’re still exposed to the risk of fire or another incident taking out all your backups along with the computer itself.

    I used to have an I.T. company that sold backup and disaster recovery solutions; believe me I have seen and heard it ALL in this space!

    Cheers,
    Ken

    #1001740
    Evangelus
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    I use Mozy (mozy.com). This is an online backup service that runs automatically from your desktop and backs up the files you select to a remote server. All your data is encrypted so it is safe.

    There is capability to manage multiple desktops if you need that.

    And it is cheap. I use about 20GB and it costs me less than USD $20 per month.

    Phil

    #1001741
    Devan
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    We use Mozy here as well, for my two laptops. Very cheap options, and has saved my bacon a couple of times when I have had to go back to an older document file. Mozy saves several versions of your files on their system so you can restore an older one at will.

    On our servers, we use a combination of Amazon S3 and Jungledisk, which is a really cost effective solution. We have over 10Gb of data backed up to their service and it costs me around $6 per month.

    #1001742
    2way Technology
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    Backup – great topic.

    We never recommend external USB hard drives. The life span of the hard drive is significantly reduced when they’re plugged in permanently. Most small external USB drives aren’t suppose to be switched on for more than 3 or so hours for the same reasons as Laptops.

    The devices don’t have a fan and so after a few hours of operation the hard drive starts to overheat, once that happens the Hard Drive’s Media starts to degrade and the ability to process a large job – such as a full Disaster Recovery is significantly reduced.

    We’ve had scenarios where Backups work fine and the data verification works fine, but as soon as you go to restore the data comes up with errors.

    Plus with USB drives, if you don’t perform a ‘Safe Eject’ you can damage them really easily.

    For on-site backup, we recommend products like HPs RDX (upto 500GB) or in smaller scenarios Iomega REV (upto 120GB).

    These devices allow you to simply and quickly exchange a solid-state cartridge with the push of a button, also the cartridges can sustain being dropped (which hard-drives can’t) and the size of the removable cartridge is small enought to be easily carried off site (usually in our clients handbag).

    We’ve never had a single problem when trying to conduct a full Disaster Recovery with these either.

    As for Backup software – we use Windows built-in NTBackup as this works fine, especially given it uses the Windows Volume Shadow Copy service it has the ability to backup files which are in use (such as your Outlook PST file and other Database files).

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