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Old 11-25-2003, 01:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do I Protect Data on a Network?

Today I received a surprise phone call from a potential employer through my college's state work study program. In addition to someone who can create a website presence for them they also want to setup a network. The guy did not mention any specifics.

Unless they want something more than a simple small office network I would of coarse tell them I am not qualified, but assuming they wanted a small office network, how would I go about setting this up as far as data backup goes and anything else that I should be aware of? I have a basic understanding of computer hardware and networking.

Specifically how would I automate the backup of their data on a daily or weekly schedule and anything else that would assure they do not have too much downtime because of data loss or hardware failure? Is there a piece of software out there that would help me do this easily? I think what they are looking for may be a cheap and easy solution.
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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havent you seen the commercial... WIN 2k3.. Automated system recovery.. lol.. but yeh i have windows 2003 and i think it automatically creates back up points.. 'restore points' u just have to find out how to but yeh... this is assuming you would want the same backup on all the client computers..
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think you misunderstood A_Zip1, I am looking for an affordable and simple solution. Setting up a server would definately not be cheap or easy. I do not want to create restore points to backup their operating system. I want to back up actual data like word documents, spreadsheets, and things like that in case the hard drives in their workstations failed or if they accidentally delete something important.
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Old 11-25-2003, 12:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, Win2k3 would not be a good solution for you as you mentioned above. Too expensive and it is total overkill.
For a small office network, I personally, would allocate one machine for backups.
Now, your machine is going to depend on your budget for this job, but you want a machine running Win2k (Pro or Server). Pro is fine for a SoHo network. The machine doesn't need to be a powerhouse....main concerns here are stability and drive space. This machine is going to act as your SAN.....nothing more. It a dummy terminal that just sits there and stores data.

Now, purchase either Veritas Backup or Retropect....or even use the integrated Microsoft Backup Exec. Whatever software you go with, use the same on every client PC. Just create a seperate partition on the "Storage PC" for each client. Then map the client's partition to their local machine and use this drive letter and path for the backup path.
Now you can choose what you want to backup....obviously not the entire OS. Just seperate folders, files, etc.

If you ever need to restore data....you will thank yourself for creating all of those extra partitions....All of the client's individual data will be in a seperate drive letter than everyone elses.

-Michael
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Old 11-25-2003, 01:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Only concern there TrueTechie is that you are using HDD for the Backup media. ALthough this is a good idea for cost effectiveness, you would be in a very bad spot if the drive died.
Soemthing that is pretty cool is Ghost Enterprise Console. If you have a dummy server, you can setup the console to run from there without ever needing to touch it. (BTW, this is for Desktop backup) The Console sets up a schedule to capture the machine's data at the set point, and all you need is several GBs of space for it. Then you can have a DVD burner to make your backup copies (desktop images)and even make them bootable (Nero or discJuggler)for quick restore.
The cool thing about the console is that the whole process runs in about 1 hour for 1 to 10 machines. it's rather fast, as long as your network is 100mb... and very effiecent in my opinion. If the office is a Monday-Friday 9-5 sort of place, the process can run after hours without much trouble. You can set them up for daily or weekly or what ever you want...

Just a few thoughts...
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Old 11-25-2003, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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yeah i was thinking roughly that idea but wasn't sure about the specifics. win2k Pro sounds like a good idea. what do you recommend out of the three softwares you mentioned mikesgroovin?, we need ease of use over cost as long as that cost isn't too big.

and about creating partitions and mapping them to each client.... what about simply having 1 large partition and mapping folders to each client machine?

I do not think security is an issue at this office because today at the interview the employer told me they currently have 3 win98 machines using dialup. the office happens to be the chamber of commerce for a city. But just in case we need security, after mapping partitions/ folders, can i enforce passwords so that only authorized people have access to backup on the partition or folder?

to inaris:
yes i thought about this failing on me and i think that as long as the workstations and storage machine don't simutaneously die i would not lose all data, it would just be a pain in the ***.

i am not sure but ghost enterprise may be a bit to expensive, but archiving the data to CDs or DVDs is a good idea. that is something i should think more about.
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Old 11-25-2003, 11:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Most certainly, you can just create a single partition. I would actually create two partitions...one that the Win2k system resides on...(C: or whatever) and the other for storage. This will help performance. Every user that logs into the network will have to have an individual account on the Win2k Pro machine with sufficient rights to their individual folders.
Archiving to an optical medium, such as CDs, is a good solution, but the software mentioned is a little expensive. I would just go with the drive and then you could also just backup the individual folders to CD-RWs once a week for fault-tolerance.
I personally like Retrospect from Dantz. The software is under $100.
If you need assistance with the networking permissions/authentication aspect...let me know..

-Michael
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