Backup System For 5 PC SMB



  • I have a friend who has a business with 5 PCs they want to back up. For various reasons, they do not want a server. They need all 5 PCs running separatelty, and want backups. They also need to be able to retain versions of the files for 7 years.

    I was wondering what products you guys use for scenarios like this.

    I was thinking about something like Acronis with the cloud option, but figured I would come here and see what options are out there.

    I'd like a local and cloud based copy of the files. I would also like to be able to spin up the backup in a VM.

    I use Datto and Shadowprotect, but I'm not sure they are good fits here because of the cost of the cloud retention. I suppose I could manually dump a backup to USB every month, but I'd like something more elegant if possible.

    So, as always, I am ready and willing for comments and advice!


  • Banned

    Well, you need something to backup to.

    So does he want to backup to a cloud service, such as drop box?

    You can use ShadowProtect for backups, if they are looking for a free solution you might look at Create Synchronicity. Which can be scheduled to run whenever and backup to any network share you have.



  • Crashplan would probably be a good fit for this as well. At $6 per computer per month, you get cloud backups and unlimited storage and file versioning as well (double check with Crashplan on how long you can keep file versions!).


  • Banned

    And I have to ask why does he not want an on-site server to backup these PC's too? And what data are you looking to backup from these PC's?



  • I guess I should have clarified this more when I said I wanted to spin up a VM, but I need this to be an image based backup so they can get back up and running quicker.

    I just assumed (I know, I know) everyone does image backups these days.

    I also use CrashPlan but in the event of a system crash, it's a pain.


  • Banned

    So these aren't physical computers, but VM's.

    Well that changes the question, what hypervisor is at your friends business?



  • No, they are physical.

    I mean I would like the option that, say, ShadowProtect has to be able to spin up the backup as a VM.


  • Banned

    Oh

    Well have you considered a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure? What Desktop OS's are in use? The only way you'd be able to take advantage of a VM "backup" is if you have the infrastructure for it.

    Which if you do, you're likely already running a Hypervisor of some sort. What Hypervisor is at the site?


  • Banned

    @DustinB3403 said:

    Oh

    Well have you considered a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure? What Desktop OS's are in use? The only way you'd be able to take advantage of a VM "backup" is if you have the infrastructure for it.

    Which if you do, you're likely already running a Hypervisor of some sort. What Hypervisor is at the site?

    VDI for 5 Pc's? Heck no, you need lots of scale for VDI to make sense. There are lots of costs involved with a VDI deployment. Desktops would be far far cheaper both in captial and operational expenses at this size.


  • Banned

    For cloud backup look at Nitro dirt cheap for unlimited computers:

    http://www.nitrobackup.com/plans-and-pricing/



  • You could use something like Veeam's free EndPoint Protection product to backup to a local NAS device.

    And something like CrashPlan to backup only the data from the machines to the cloud.

    In case of full DR, you could restore the Veeam image to a VM on whatever platform you like, and for a complete site loss, you'd have Crashplan for the data.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    The only way you'd be able to take advantage of a VM "backup" is if you have the infrastructure for it.

    Perhaps I"m not explaining myself properly. (Good probability!)

    Using ShadowProtect you can use the backup to boot a virtual copy of the machine so they can use that while you are reconstructing the broken machine. Same thing with our Datto box. We can export either a VMDK or VHD and virtual boot the system up in a few minutes. I'm looking for something like that if it is around, but in more of a SMB package.

    I do like file-based backups such as the ones that have been mentioned, but I am looking for more of a image-based solution which will not work with services like CrashPlan and the like.



  • But what are you going to run those VMs on when the PC fails and you need to use it?



  • Whatever you're using for the VM's you could spin up a new VM and restore the Veeam EPP image to the VM, reboot, configure drivers (will probably always need to be done) and then you're golden.



  • @Dashrender said:

    But what are you going to run those VMs on when the PC fails and you need to use it?

    The VM is just a temporary fix.

    Boot the VM. Fix (or replace) the PC, then do a bare metal to get it back up and running.



  • @BRRABill said:

    @Dashrender said:

    But what are you going to run those VMs on when the PC fails and you need to use it?

    The VM is just a temporary fix.

    Boot the VM. Fix (or replace) the PC, then do a bare metal to get it back up and running.

    Boot it on what? For example, if you store the images on a NAS, you can't boot the image on the NAS, it doesn't have a hypervisor to run it on.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Whatever you're using for the VM's you could spin up a new VM and restore the Veeam EPP image to the VM, reboot, configure drivers (will probably always need to be done) and then you're golden.

    That Veeam free product is intriguing.

    I wonder if there is any good way to replicate that offsite.

    That would probably be exactly what I am looking for.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Boot it on what? For example, if you store the images on a NAS, you can't boot the image on the NAS, it doesn't have a hypervisor to run it on.

    Both ShadowProtect and Datto use VirtualBox.

    I'd take a laptop there with VirtualBox, copy the image over, and boot it.



  • It sounds a bit like you're trying to reinvent the wheel a bit, no offence intended.

    Why not have restore disks hot and ready for these PC's and do crashplan? That will cover you WAY better if you replace a tower too.



  • Also a good way to ensure the backups are actually working. Virtualboot the image every now and again.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    And I have to ask why does he not want an on-site server to backup these PC's too? And what data are you looking to backup from these PC's?

    And this might have been answered already, but does a dedicated desktop, a semi-dedicated desktop or a small NAS device count as the server in this scenario or would the customer be okay with those kinds of things?



  • @BRRABill said:

    No, they are physical.

    Pretty much no one does image backups of physical desktops, because it is virtualization that generally powers the image-based backup system.



  • @MattSpeller said:

    It sounds a bit like you're trying to reinvent the wheel a bit, no offence intended.

    Why not have restore disks hot and ready for these PC's and do crashplan? That will cover you WAY better if you replace a tower too.

    None taken. I feel the same way, which is why I asked.

    The users store a lot of data on their machines. In my experience it would take far too long to restore then pull the data back down. They used to have a service that they would express you the data, but that is now quite pricey and it adds a few days to the equation.



  • @Jason said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    Oh

    Well have you considered a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure? What Desktop OS's are in use? The only way you'd be able to take advantage of a VM "backup" is if you have the infrastructure for it.

    Which if you do, you're likely already running a Hypervisor of some sort. What Hypervisor is at the site?

    VDI for 5 Pc's? Heck no, you need lots of scale for VDI to make sense. There are lots of costs involved with a VDI deployment. Desktops would be far far cheaper both in captial and operational expenses at this size.

    Way better to pay for a really robust backup system than for VDI licensing!



  • @BRRABill said:

    @Dashrender said:

    Boot it on what? For example, if you store the images on a NAS, you can't boot the image on the NAS, it doesn't have a hypervisor to run it on.

    Both ShadowProtect and Datto use VirtualBox.

    I'd take a laptop there with VirtualBox, copy the image over, and boot it.

    You can't have a product like ShadowProtect or Datto without something to run it on. AKA a server. That's not to say you have to run a server OS (though often, but not always, is the best situation).



  • @BRRABill said:

    @MattSpeller said:

    It sounds a bit like you're trying to reinvent the wheel a bit, no offence intended.

    Why not have restore disks hot and ready for these PC's and do crashplan? That will cover you WAY better if you replace a tower too.

    None taken. I feel the same way, which is why I asked.

    The users store a lot of data on their machines. In my experience it would take far too long to restore then pull the data back down. They used to have a service that they would express you the data, but that is now quite pricey and it adds a few days to the equation.

    Why not change the way they store data? A robust NAS, like a SAM-SD would be awesome here.

    If you want local storage of the backups as well as cloud based, you're going to need something onsite to hold that data, what do you/they plan that device to be? NAS/server with internal storage/old PC with internal storage, etc?



  • @BRRABill OH! Easy peasy then. Get a synology NAS and setup "cloudsync". That'll keep all the data in any folder you could ever want, restore will be as fast as your LAN can go and if you REALLY want to keep full images onsite there will be nothing stopping you.



  • @BRRABill said:

    The users store a lot of data on their machines. In my experience it would take far too long to restore then pull the data back down. They used to have a service that they would express you the data, but that is now quite pricey and it adds a few days to the equation.

    Should not, a good re-imaging process plus data backups is often fastest. Not like a VM that you can restore directly from an image, you'd be re-imaging the machines anyway.

    I think you'll find either approach about equally fast if done well.



  • @BRRABill said:

    I mean I would like the option that, say, ShadowProtect has to be able to spin up the backup as a VM.

    Yes, but it does not take an image backup. It takes a block level backup and builds an image. 🙂 Complicated, I know. It uses a custom driver inside of the OS.


  • Banned

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @BRRABill said:

    No, they are physical.

    Pretty much no one does image backups of physical desktops, because it is virtualization that generally powers the image-based backup system.

    Central the Data in some manner then back it up. No one wastes time with doing bare-metal backups on desktops, not worth the trouble.


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