Pardon my redundancy: i am looking for an overall backup staregy!

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Roger Thomas, Feb 6, 2007.

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  1. Roger Thomas

    Roger Thomas Registered Member

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    Greetings,
    I have been looking at Acronis for a while, studied the website and the differences between TI9 (Home) and 10 (Wkstation). I am ready to purchase SOMETHING!
    But I do remain with some fundamental, strategic questions.
    I have a wired business network for my retail business - 3 office desktops (2 with HD containing about 20 gigs total, 1 with HD carrying 5 gigs ) and 2 Point of Sale workstations (each with HD contaning 1.5 gigs total). OS is Window 2000 Pro.
    Primarily of course, I need backup for the fundamental data files underlying my retail program (they are backed up everyday in their entirety right now - a few gigs to an exterior HD).
    BUT, I am have become mindful of the fact that IF one of the 5 computers involved breaks down - HD failure for example - I would of course prefer to get that workstation back on its feet AT ONCE, i.e. without having to reinstall OS, programs, files, etc... That is the reason i have been looking at Acronis, including its ability to Backup BUT also to Image and Clone, and restore to "Bare Metal"
    Question: what would be a best strategy for me? Using full backup - say, weekly - and then Differential or Incremental in the meantime, OR start using Imaging or Cloning? I familiar with using Full Backup and then Increm. or Differ. backups (even though - fortunately - I have never had a chance to restore a full backup!), but I am NOT familiar with using Cloning or Imaging. I suppose that restoring a Full Backup, say to a new Hard Drive, would NOT be the same as "restoring" a Cloning or Imaging?
    So, perhaps Cloning or Imaging the systems once in a while, AND backing up in between?
    Thanks for any advice!
    - Roger T
     
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    I'll offer some general comments:

    First thing you have to decide is how much data you are willing to lose -- an hour's worth, a week's worth? Then you need to backup the data often enough to never lose that much.

    For critical data that needs to be up-to-the-minute, you probably want to run a true RAID mirroring setup so that if a drive goes hardware wonky, you won't lose any data.

    Then backup each machine every day, week, etc. Keep multiple backups and keep copies off site! Keeping copies only on site is like locking your door and leaving your windows open -- Most days you won't get robbed but. . .

    Whether yo use diffs or incs I think is a matter of data amounts. If it only takes 10 or 20 minutes to make a full backup, then why muck about with diffs and incs -- it's simpler to just do full backups everytime and not have to ever think aobut which fiels are related to which.
     
  3. Roger Thomas

    Roger Thomas Registered Member

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    Thanks a lot for the informative reply... Which also made me reconsider my whole intent and worries!
    I'll try not to waste your time- but the point is that I HAVE to come up with a better strategy than just backing up a limited number of key data files throughout the network. I'll comment on your specific statements:

    *****First thing you have to decide is how much data you are willing to lose -- an hour's worth, a week's worth? Then you need to backup the data often enough to never lose that much.*****
    Well, actually, I do not want to loose but VERY LITTLE data nor waste too much time recovering/restoring in case of major hdw or sftw failure.
    I run a retail network including workstations now aged 2+ years (I know, this is not ancient). The systems remain powered up at all time.
    TOPOLOGY: LAN network with 3 office machines - among which ONE is the server for the point of sales terminals downstream (the point of sale workstations just accumulate sales data throughout the day and post it to the main office computer at checkout time). I envision a time when EITHER the main office computer/server will fail OR one of the point of sale workstations. I cannot envision having any serious interruption of operation of the business.

    *******For critical data that needs to be up-to-the-minute, you probably want to run a true RAID mirroring setup so that if a drive goes hardware wonky, you won't lose any data.******
    Unfortunately, I am not familiar with RAID and such. Sounds complex!

    *****Then backup each machine every day, week, etc. Keep multiple backups and keep copies off site! Keeping copies only on site is like locking your door and leaving your windows open -- Most days you won't get robbed but. . .******
    No problem with that: I understand!

    ******Whether yo use diffs or incs I think is a matter of data amounts. If it only takes 10 or 20 minutes to make a full backup, then why muck about with diffs and incs -- it's simpler to just do full backups everytime and not have to ever think aobut which fiels are related to which.*****
    That's the interesting part of your comments!
    I do need to go beyond mere backup of key data files.
    I want to be able to have external backup material able to restore ANY of the computers involved (main server OR point of sale terminals) very quickly, and also to different hardware (Example: one computer's HD fails and has to be replaced; I must be able to restore that computer full functionality at once, preferably without having to reinstall OS, drivers, utilities, datafiles, etc...)
    So, your suggestion to use FULL BACKUP all the time is good. I am also wondering about:
    1. What use if a Full Backup in terms of restoring a system to full operation - does a full backup include OS, Drivers, sectors info, etc... (of course, we might refer to specific ACRONIS capabilities, even though I have not purchase it yet)? or does the OS and other such things have to be reinstalled before Full restore is applied?
    2. Concept of Hot Backup - i.e. as I understand backing up open files on the fly. Good? ACRONIS reviews brag about this capability.
    3. Concepts of Cloning, Imaging: are they better condusive to quick restore to a system original HD or to a new HD in case of HD failure? Seems the ACRONIS reviews also brag about Incremental Backup ups in the context of Imaging.

    The features specific to ACRONIS TI10 or WorkstationVersion 9.1 have made me think about all this. NOTE: I am actually not sure about which version to purchase.

    Thanks for the invaluable help!
    I am finally working on this backup business... for a critical business environment!
    - Roger T
     
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