How Can We Backup Gaming Boxes?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by DasFox, May 5, 2006.

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  1. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    I'm working for a pc gaming/cafe. Since the games installed on each box have their own serial number, how does one go about ghosting a box with such issues and then be able to back up other boxes that go down?

    I mean games are not the only thing with it's own unique serials, software of course is like this as well.

    So given this serial number issue, how are you going to be able to make a backup image with a box that has 30 games installed on it? Then you have another box go down in the company and you use this ghost image to back it up with it's own serials, so it can play.

    Not to mention won't the windows updates be affected this way too?

    THANKS
     
  2. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Hm well Ghost doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with Acronis True Image. I suggest you talk to Symantec about Ghosting things - I will close this thread now. However, should this simply be a mistake in terminology, let me know.
     
  3. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    I've reopened your thread; I apologize for this inconvenience and thanks for contacting me!

    The misunderstanding is clear from this thread.
     
  4. Tech1

    Tech1 Registered Member

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    Is your issue that you want to make one backup of a drive and be able to restore it on any of the other machines, should that machine fail?

    Seems you would need an Acronis license for each machine and each machine be backed up individually to ?? a backup server perhaps...
     
  5. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    You will have to backup each machine separately. Are they all standalone systems or are they networked?
     
  6. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    They're stand alone, the only thing that has them Networked together is this software, http://www.antamedia.com/, "Internet Caffe Software".

    I'm going to start working for this guy, but he has very little PC experience and just put them as stand alone boxes with the only networking in place as this Caffe Software that has them linked together.

    But each box has it's own seperate game license, according to him buying them individual rather then a commerical bulk account was easier and cheaper to do.

    If we have to backup each machine separately and these are not on any network other then this Caffe software, then I'm going to have to be creative here and think of something to back each of them to. I mean at this point in time It seems like the best thing to do is get a "Server" box and network that to all of them and then make the backups onto that, otherwise it seems like I'll need to use a plugin/removable storage device then to write to and one backup plugin/removable storage device for each box does seem extreme, LOL.

    THANKS
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2006
  7. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Well not necessary for more than one backup/storage device but one with a humongous hard drive :D :D. Do these systems have usb ports? And being a gaming situation, it would be prudent to store the backups off location.
     
  8. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Well there are 18 boxes with on average of about 20 games, not to mentions some other software as well, so yes I'm going to need one BIG huge, removable drive.

    By the way what's the biggest removable drive out there now?

    THANKS

    P.S. sheesh what a chore this will be, putting Acronis TI on each box to perfom backups one at a time. :(
     
  9. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Well there are certainly 500GB removable USB drives. :)

    Is there any general consensus for who makes the best removable, large capacity USB/storage drives?

    I need something around 400-500GB in size. When it comes to internal drives I know who's who, so I'd figure possibly the same with their removable storage drives, but then I've never used any of them.

    Do any particular companies stand out as the best with removable stoarge drives and come with 3-5 yr. warranties?

    THANKS
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2006
  10. LegolasFett

    LegolasFett Registered Member

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    DasFox you could just buy an enclosure (go to www.newegg.com and read the reviews and see what one is best for you and your job). Then you can buy a good internal IDE drive (since you know about those alread). If one gets full just buy a new one or you can get like 18 HDs (one for each PC) and just use 1 enclosure.

    That is my personal opinion. I am going through something very similar with my company except for laptops.

    Hope that helped.
     
  11. dbergan

    dbergan Registered Member

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    If you use SmartLaunch (http://www.smartlaunch.net/) to manage your computer network, the SmartLaunch program has a license key server for games and other programs that you can use... meaning you enter all the keys into smart launch and it distributes them to comps on the fly as the users start their various games. You don't even have to have a key for each computer... if you have 20 comps at your place, and 10 keys of battlefield 2, then SmartLaunch regulates that the first 10 battlefield 2 players get keys, and the 11th gets a "sorry you can't play" message.

    Of course you can still get 20 copies of the game, but for games that aren't too popular, there's no need to max your store out.

    For imaging, this means you can use the same image on all computers in the store... Smart Launch will dynamically setup the necessary keys as they are needed. Of course you'll have to enter the Windows Product key on the first boot, though... but much less of a hassle than juggling an image for each comp.

    That's how our store does it.

    BTW pulling the image through a gigabit network is much faster than going through USB 2. I did it both ways: 5 comps simultaneously through the network off the same image on a server computer: 1 hour 15 minutes. 1 comp off a USB 2.0 external hard drive: over 3 hours. Spend your money on a gigabit switch rather than an external drive.
     
  12. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    dbergan, the owner of the company already setup the cafe with this software, also running it as the network.


    Internet Caffe Software
    http://www.antamedia.com/

    Unfortunately the system is in place and setup, so not sure there will be any convincing him to switch to another program.

    As far as a gigabit switch there is no network setup for the boxes other then this "Internet Caffe Software" The owner that set this company did not have much experience in doing things right.

    I suck at Networking, but at least I would of set something up better then it is right now.

    I'll just have to wait and see, maybe in the future I can get him to switch over to SmartLaunch.

    One gaming center near me uses it, is SmartLaunch the best out there?

    Ok so here is a Netgear gigabit switch as example:
    http://www.netgear.com/products/details/GS608.php

    If you only have a basic Cable connection, how are you going to gain a speed increase with this across the LAN?

    THANKS
     
  13. dbergan

    dbergan Registered Member

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    I'm not totally clear on your company's setup. What do you mean that there is there is "no network setup for the boxes other then this Internet Caffe Software"? How do the comps connect to the Internet? I've never heard of a company with more than 2 computers not using a LAN where the LAN is then connected to the internet.



    SmartLaunch was recommended to me as the best... I didn't look too closely at other options since the guy helping me owns his own successful shop that has been doing nicely in the neighboring city. He gave me all kinds of custom scripts and such, too, to get certain games working better. Other software simply wasn't an option for us.

    However, I can tell you that SL does everything I could dream of a management programing doing, plus a ton more. For you especially, it keeps track of game keys which is the one problem you are running into with your backup solution. Which also means saving money on buying just a few copies of a less popular game instead of maxing the store out to make sure there are unique keys. It's $58 per client computer, but that might be worth it in the long run... better to be set up right in the first place than have to re-do everything a year down the road.

    I looked through all the online help files for your program and it doesn't seem to offer any kind of game-key management. So with what you have, you'll either (A) need images of every comp or (B) one image, and then find a bunch of scripts that allow you to change the game-keys after you restore it. Then you just keep on file a master list of which keys go to which computers.

    The switch we bought from newegg is right here:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833122058

    You also need to make sure you have compatible network cables, I think either cat5e or cat6 (we have cat6).

    This doesn't mean faster internet (a 100 Mbps switch already maxes out a cable/DSL/T1 internet connection), but it does mean faster computer-to-computer rates within your LAN. You can pull those massive Acronis image files (mine was 75+ GB) through the network in under an hour. That is 2-3 times faster than using an external drive with USB 2.0... AND you can copy over to 5 computers at once through the network, whereas an external drive solution means you're going one box at a time. So what I'm saying is that it might be in your best interest to use the external drive money and buy a gigabit switch instead. You could buy another internal hard drive to store the image on if you don't have the hard drive space... make that drive the "image holding server" share it on the network and put the Acronis startup thingy on all your computers. Then if any computer ever goes down, you just push F11 pre-boot and snatch the image from the "image holding server." 1 hour later that computer is ready to go.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  14. DasFox

    DasFox Registered Member

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    Yeah my bad, there is a Cisco router I believe, I didn't have a chance to look at it yet that networks all the boxes together for the Internet connection.

    There is one box in the back they said is there server, so I'll have to look and see if it is really seeing all the other boxes, then keep one image on it like you said and then be able to back it up in this fashion.

    By the way are those Netgear switches tough to beat for the cost?

    One thing I forgot to mention, I'm not sure if the NICs in the boxes support Gigabit and if not, then that's having to redo all the boxes with NICs that support a Gigabit connection and personally at this point in time given my boss is a newbie with all of this, I think I'm going to just have to live with the downsides and do things like, well, to put it, as a Home user would have to do them, even if this is a business. Because the truth is, he set this up not knowing how to do it properly.

    LOL oh well, hey I have a nice job, as long as I can keep the kiddes from hacking in, I'm happy, which shouldn't be to tough, hell if I have to back them up one at a time, so what, I'm getting paid. :)

    ALOHA

    P.S. I'll let you know how it goes, this should prove to be interesting. I actually almost croaked when he told me the only security is the Windows firewalls, THEN I realised this guy is just a home user running his business the same way, hehe.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  15. dbergan

    dbergan Registered Member

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    Best of luck to you. Who really cares about security if you can image the computer back to normal? As long as you protect the master image (an external drive and a safe is sufficient) you really don't have any worries.
     
  16. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello DasFox,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    If you just want to backup your computers then we recommend that you use Acronis True Image 9.0 Home or Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation for your purposes. The major difference between these two Acronis True Image versions is that the latter provides you with the ability backup networked computers remotely.

    If you want to create one master image and then be able to restore it to any of your computers then we recommend that you use:

    - Acronis Snap Deploy in case all machines have the same hardware configuration;

    - Acronis True Image 9.1 Workstation in conjunction with Acronis Universal Restore if your machines have different hardware configuration.

    We recommend you to download and install the free trial version(s) of the product(s) you are interested in to see how the software works on your particular software\hardware configuration.

    You can find the detailed instructions on how to use the software in the respective User's Guides.

    Please visit Acronis online store to purchase the full versions of the products mentioned above. Note that we have a flexible system of discounts and the amount of the discount varies depending on the number of copies you want to purchase. In case you are planning to purchase many copies, please contact our Sales Team at sales@acronis.com.

    As far as I can understand, you also worry about licensing issues as each game\program installed on your machines has it's own serial number\license. Theoretically, there should not be any problems with licensing until the quantity of installed\restored programs is equal to the quantity of licenses you own. However, some modern programs\games might refuse to work if they find on your network a computer having the same program\game installed with the same serial number. Such issues are not related to Acronis software in any way and therefore the best way to figure out if this will work is to test it yourself.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
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