What backup software do you use and why?

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Rich, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Rich

    Rich Guest

    I'm currently looking for an alternative server backup solution and am
    interested to hear what software you are using, and why do you use it?

    BTW On my servers I use a mix of NTBackup and Symantec Backup Exec v10 &
    v11. Have also tried Acronis True Image Server. And am not in love with any
    of them ;-)

    --

    Rich

    http://www.badangling.com
    ....talking pollocks since 1996
     
    Rich, Feb 13, 2008
    #1
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  2. I use ShadowProtect Server on all of my member servers. It's really great
    software for a variety of reasons - it's quick, reliable, simple to
    configure, and it just works well all the time. I do a full backup of each
    server once a week, with 4 incremental backups per day, to a storage server
    on the network. At night, the ShadowProtect backups copy out to a High Rely
    external SATA drive for offsite storage. I recommend downloading the trial
    version and using it for a couple of days, after which you'll be sold on it.
    It won't interfere with any other backup software you may be using now, so
    the trial isn't much work. It'll uninstall cleanly if you don't like it, or
    you can just buy a copy and add the license key to the existing install.
    (One thing to note is that it doesn't support tape).
    http://www.storagecraft.com/

    On my SBS, I'm using Arcserve 11.5. The primary reason why I'm using it is
    because I bought it prior to the release of SBS 2003. IMO the backup in SBS
    2003 is so good, I would not spend money for a 3rd party backup solution if
    I hadn't owned it previously. Another reason for Arcserve is brick level
    Exchange backup. Again with Exchange 2003 and recovery storage groups, not
    something I would spend money on. Arcserve on my SBS is working fine, which
    is the only reason I have not abandoned it in favor of the ShadowProtect SBS
    version.

    As an aside, I've had an absolutely horrible experience with Arcserve on my
    64-bit Windows 2003 Storage Server. IMO, although their support quality has
    improved greatly over the years, their software quality has room for
    improvement.
     
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Feb 13, 2008
    #2
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  3. Rich

    dan Guest

    Dave, can you say why ShadowProtect is better than Acronis True Image Server
    in your experience? I use Acronis but not ShadowProtect and I'm curious what
    it does better than Acronis. Thanks.
     
    dan, Feb 13, 2008
    #3
  4. Sorry, I'm the wrong one to ask. I have almost no experience with Acronis,
    although I know it's a well respected product. I was having ongoing backup
    issues with a member server, and someone introduced me to the ShadowProtect
    crew at SMBNation in 2006. I installed the trial when I got back, and I've
    been using it ever since. It's really the only thing I've used other than
    Arcserve and SBS Backup.

    If you're interested in trying it, I'm pretty sure you can just go to their
    web site and download the trial. I ran it on a test server for a while, so
    I can confirm that it installs and uninstalls cleanly, at least in my
    experience.

    One other thing - does Acronis have hardware-independent restore?
    ShadowProtect has a thing where you can restore the backups to a VM, or to
    different hardware, by booting off the ShadowProtect disk and configuring
    the drivers for the new hardware as step 1 in the restore process. I have
    not had to use this, but I've seen it demonstrated where someone restored a
    server to a VM on a laptop and got up and running relatively quickly. I
    sleep better knowing that if a server goes down, I'll be able to restore it
    to whatever hardware I have on hand, and that the office will be running
    while we wait for replacement hardware.
     
    Dave Nickason [SBS MVP], Feb 13, 2008
    #4
  5. I really couldn't say one is better than the other
    however if you want something more than the SBS Wizard Backup (Which Works
    BTW)

    The ShadowProtect for SBS is Cheaper than the Acronis

    ShadowProtect Small Business Server Edition 3.1 $495.00 USD
    http://store.storagecraft.com:80/ac...t-Small-Business-Server-Edition-30-P24C8.aspx

    I actually do both myself SBS backup and Shadowprotect.

    And yes you can get a free 30 trial.
    The only Difference between the SBS and NON sbs is that the SBS version will
    only install on SBS.
    And Cheaper of course.

    Russ

    --

    Russell Grover
    Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
    Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist.
    MCP, MCPS, MCNPS, (MCP-SBS)
    North America Remote SBS2003 Support - http://www.SBITS.Biz


    -
     
    Russ \(SBITS.Biz\), Feb 13, 2008
    #5
  6. Rich

    dan Guest

    Thanks for responding Dave. Yes, Acronis does have hardware independent
    restore capability, but I haven't tested it.
    Maybe someone else monitoring the newsgroup has.
     
    dan, Feb 14, 2008
    #6
  7. Rich

    Rich Guest

    1. NTBackup is great for a free product, backs up Exchange nicely. But it
    doesn't allow brick level mail restore - and also seems to have the tendency
    to stop working withotu warning and for no reason (in the case of tape
    backups anyway). Tis a bit clunky to use too.

    2. Backup Exec is great for a straight forward backup to tape, but my
    experience of using network folders on a NAS have been less than
    satisfactory - much corruption of network backup destinations. It's also
    very complicated to setup - for me personally a backup system should be
    extremely simple and foolproof ;-) Oh, yes and it's now owned by Symantec so
    it's probably going to end up being ruined by them.

    3. Acronis - I really like Acronis and use True Image a lot for quickly
    grabbing images - it also supports imaging to and from network devices
    really well - even during bare metal restores. I have tried the server
    version though and am trying to use it to backup to tape. It's giving lots
    of tape errors, whereas Backup Exec on the same box works fine. I'd like to
    get this working well, but ShadowProtect sounds like it's worth
    investigating.

    IMHO ;-)

    --

    Rich

    http://www.badangling.com
    ....talking pollocks since 1996
     
    Rich, Feb 14, 2008
    #7
  8. Rich

    Holz Guest

    I use ntbackup only for the system state & C drive to disk. It is the
    fastest way to recover from bad installations.
    Follproof depends on the scenario / $$$. As a rule I always extract all
    the mailboxes using exmerge, and have one outlook open all night
    running a VBA script to backup public folders to an external disk. If
    push comes to shove, I can restore them all by hand after re-building
    the server. At a different client, I have the services stopped and
    MDBDATA directory copied to an external drive. I also have a client
    where Exchange is running on a 2003 virtual machine on Linux host,
    snapshots taken twice a day, clone every night. If I need to recover I
    use the clone or snapshot.
    I use Acronis in house, not to tape. I let the tape pick up the images.
    I guess what I am trying to say, there is no on size fits all, it is
    what you see as a must have.
    My 4 cents :), since it cost 2 cents to make one!
     
    Holz, Feb 14, 2008
    #8
  9. Use both Acronis and Shadowprotect. Both image and can restore to alternate
    hardware. Big difference, as stated here, Shadowprotect has an SBS Version
    that costs $495. Acronis does not have and SBS version, which I have
    suggested to them many times. You will need to purchase Acronis True Image
    Echo Server for Windows $699 and if you want the independent hadware feature
    you need Acronis True Image Echo Server Universal Restore $299. You must
    also purchase maintenance for the first year $140. Add it up, $1138. Hard
    sell to SMB customers.

    --
    John Oliver, Jr
    MCSE, MCT, CCNA
    Exchange MVP 2008
    Microsoft Certified Partner
     
    John Oliver, Jr. [MVP], Feb 14, 2008
    #9
  10. Rich

    Rich Guest

    I've been trying to backup an image to tape using Acronis for a few days and
    it's been pretty glitchy. Have managed to backup a single volume, but trying
    to backup 2 volumes gives non specific tape errors.

    Think I'll give up on that idea as I was looking for something to work 'out
    of the box'.

    Will definitely look at Shadow Protect even though it won't fulfill the
    straight to tape option.

    --

    Rich

    http://www.badangling.com
    ....talking pollocks since 1996
     
    Rich, Feb 15, 2008
    #10
  11. Hmm, I have used Acronis to backup to tape successfully for months now.
    Does it give you any errors?

    BTW: For the most bang for your dollar and speed in restoring, I would
    suggest External USB hard drive for images. Much faster than tape and the
    cost is minimal. Besides, you do not have to change a tape every day which
    is handy if you have someone who forgets or you go on vacation.

    --
    John Oliver, Jr
    MCSE, MCT, CCNA
    Exchange MVP 2008
    Microsoft Certified Partner
     
    John Oliver, Jr. [MVP], Feb 15, 2008
    #11
  12. That's the path I've taken for a few years, since portable drives got so
    big and so cheap. At one point I thought the new high-capacity DVD formats
    (eg. Blu-Ray) would be the next backup medium but they took so long getting
    to market that portable hard drives blew past them.

    Under what circumstances does tape gain an advantage? I've always found it
    awkward to use.
     
    Kenneth Porter, Feb 15, 2008
    #12
  13. High Speeed tape devices like LTO can be just as fast if not faster than
    USB. For most small businesses they cannot afford the cost of LTO, so
    external hard drive or NAS device makes sense. The Netgear Storage Central
    Turbo NAS is very affordable and provides redundancy.
     
    John Oliver, Jr. [MVP], Feb 15, 2008
    #13
  14. I've had tapes fail too many times over the last 20 years.
    Cost is not the issue IMO it's reliability.
    Not alone the Rotation, Head cleaning, Proper tape storage.
    Most small business don't want to mess with all this.
    And usually leave this MOST important job to the least Skilled person to do
    it.

    In the next version of SBS2008 TAPE backup is not supported with the wizard
    Which IMO even emphasizes TAPE is Dead With Microsoft.

    You are welcome to fuss with it, but IMO it's too much work for something so
    unreliable.
    Price means nothing if the backup is no good.

    Russ

    --

    Russell Grover
    Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
    Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist.
    MCP, MCPS, MCNPS, (MCP-SBS)
    North America Remote SBS2003 Support - http://www.SBITS.Biz


    -
     
    Russ \(SBITS.Biz\), Feb 16, 2008
    #14
  15. I've been using USB's for over 5 years now.
    In that time all the clients that were on TAPE and swore by it
    Their units have failed and then they swore at TAPE units.

    I've had too many tapes fail and Zero USB backups fail.
    Like I said Even Microsoft has realizes TAPE is dead
    And they are usually the last to recognize obsolete hardware.

    An unreliable tape unit IMO is not a solution but money wasted.
    You are welcome with your consulting practice to keep pushing Tape on
    people.
    I've just find it not reliable enough and not worth the risk...

    We will just have to differ in consulting that's all. :)

    Russ

    --

    Russell Grover
    Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
    Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist.
    MCP, MCPS, MCNPS, (MCP-SBS)
    North America Remote SBS2003 Support - http://www.SBITS.Biz


    -
     
    Russ \(SBITS.Biz\), Feb 16, 2008
    #15
  16. The only tape system I have seen regularly fail is Travan.

    Yes, I test my backups. If you don't test restore you don't backup.
     
    SuperGumby [SBS MVP], Feb 16, 2008
    #16
  17. Wait as Sec?
    You said a USB Drive has electrical parts that Screw up a Server?

    Where do you get this Data From?

    Russ

    --

    Russell Grover
    Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
    Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist.
    MCP, MCPS, MCNPS, (MCP-SBS)
    North America Remote SBS2003 Support - http://www.SBITS.Biz


    -
     
    Russ \(SBITS.Biz\), Feb 16, 2008
    #17
  18. Wow a hard drive mess up a server
    News to me, I guess we should take out Hard drives out of servers Laugh.

    Boy Mark some of the things that happen to you is weird... LOL

    Russ

    --

    Russell Grover
    Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
    Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist.
    MCP, MCPS, MCNPS, (MCP-SBS)
    North America Remote SBS2003 Support - http://www.SBITS.Biz


    -
     
    Russ \(SBITS.Biz\), Feb 17, 2008
    #18
  19. Rich

    Rich Guest

    Hi John,

    Have just received a response from Acronis (nice people) with some updated
    drivers to try.

    Saying that, I might give up on the concept anyway as it occurs to me that
    in backing up an image to tape (or anywhere else) I'm also backing up swap
    files, temp files and all manner of junk that isn't needed for a restore. If
    WSUS is present would be an extra 20Gb or so in the backup.

    ....also backing up via image doesn't flush Exchange server log files so they
    start to build up too.

    I'm not sure imaging is a realistic means of backing up as a regular offsite
    backup strategy.

    My main reason for still using tape is for ease of creating off-site
    backups. I still think external HDDs are a bit chunky in comparison to tape.

    Reading many of the great posts here it seems there still isn't a 'silver
    bullet' when it comes to backups ;-)

    --

    Rich

    http://www.badangling.com
    ....talking pollocks since 1996
     
    Rich, Feb 18, 2008
    #19
  20. Have a look at Windows Home Server. A single, daily SBS Backup and a daily
    WHS backup will go a very, very long way.

    --
    Les Connor [SBS MVP]
    ________________________
    Get the SBS BPA here:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940439/en-us
     
    Les Connor [SBS MVP], Feb 18, 2008
    #20
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