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Enterprise Software Thread, Backup Advice in Technical; Hi everyone I wanted some advice regarding backups. We are a Primary and Secoundry school on the same network but ...
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    Backup Advice

    Hi everyone

    I wanted some advice regarding backups.

    We are a Primary and Secoundry school on the same network but separate buildings ( primary 100 yards up the drive)

    We currently backup to disk and tape.

    My question is could we do without the tape backup and just back up to disk between the two schools?

    I am interested in people opinions as to whether this gives us our offsite backup or if people think we also need the tape back up as well?

    Thanks

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We have a split site, probably around 800m between the two as the crow flies and we do exactly this, storage devices either end as backup locations for the servers at the other side. This works well but we're starting to play safe and backup to external (portable) devices that can be stored in a safe and/or offsite.

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    Thanks synaesthesia

    Our current tape drive has just died, and I'm wondering if I can get away without replacing it.

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    Only you can do the risk assessment. How likely is it that you could get a power failure at both sites causing damage to both servers and external drives simultaneously? You need to be certain that whatever causes you to lose a server is unlikely to cause a problem meaning that you lose the backup medium at the same time. Having drives that you swap out and are unlikely to be affected by events in the school containing the servers is best. Taking them properly offsite may not be necessary

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    Back to disk is fine you could send small 2 drive nas off site in case. But how do you archive data that had to be kept for 25 years?

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    A good backup strategy has to incorporate multiple generations of data - so at any time you might have the data as it was :

    1. Over the last 7 days, nightly.
    2. The last 4 weeks every Friday.
    3. The last 6 months, last Friday of Every month.
    4. The last 2 Years, Last Friday of Jan and July
    6. Long term archives to comply with rules on data retention (7 years minimum).

    IMO it's a problem to have all that on spinning metal (in terms of cost and long term reliability). The only real answer is to archive it off to tape.

    Of course, some may say you don't need all that. In the end as @elsiegee40 says, only you can do your own risk assessment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggster66 View Post
    Hi everyone

    I wanted some advice regarding backups.

    We are a Primary and Secoundry school on the same network but separate buildings ( primary 100 yards up the drive)

    We currently backup to disk and tape.

    My question is could we do without the tape backup and just back up to disk between the two schools?

    I am interested in people opinions as to whether this gives us our offsite backup or if people think we also need the tape back up as well?

    Thanks
    An essential part of your backup strategy is to always have (at least) two copies of your backups. Whether you achieve that with disk or tape is another matter, but one of the copies should either be off-site if possible (100m away isn't quite off-site) or as a second best choice stored in a fireproof, waterproof storage such as the iOSafe drives.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    If you've ever tried to restore from a 6 year old tape you know that isn't quite true. Do the world a favour and kill it off.

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    zag
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    Yeh ditch the tape, and just backup to a machine on each end of the school.

    Thats what we do.

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    seawolf's Avatar
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    Only ditch the tape if you are using cloud-based off-site secondary backups (most can't afford the pipe to make that feasible) or you use a disk-based storage solution that allows you to rotate the backup media and take the disks off-site.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Yeh ditch the tape, and just backup to a machine on each end of the school.

    Thats what we do.
    Is all your backup online (as in no offline copies)? So someone with sufficient credentials could delete everything all at once?

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Is all your backup online (as in no offline copies)? So someone with sufficient credentials could delete everything all at once?
    Effectively yes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Effectively yes.
    So in some scenarios you don't actually have a backup...

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    Thanks for all the advice.

    I going to look into the options suggested this week.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    So in some scenarios you don't actually have a backup...
    Indeed very true, but I guess it depends how far you take disaster recovery.

    I do at the very least backup all our SQL databases encrypted to the cloud with sqlbackupandftp.

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