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Hardware Thread, Why Tape Backups are Still Necessary in Technical; This is a great thread!!...
  1. #61
    AButters's Avatar
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    This is a great thread!!

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    One of the major parts of our job is to design solutions, taking in requirements, feasibility and resources available. Each case is different, requirements differ, feasibilty differs and resources available differ, therefore there is no 'right way' to do it that covers every case in every organisation. In addition, questioning someone's professionalism for addressing a problem in the correct way is, frankly, offensive.

    If anything, acting with such rigid thinking is unprofessional as you are not tailoring the solution to the problem, leading to possible over-speccing of the solution and wasting money and resources needlessly that could be diverted for more useful purposes.
    Last edited by sparkeh; 14th May 2014 at 09:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    One of the major parts of our job is to design solutions, taking in requirements, feasibility and resources available. Each case is different, requirements differ, feasibilty differs and resources available differ, therefore there is no 'right way' to do it that covers every case in every organisation. In addition, questioning someone's professionalism for addressing a problem in the correct way is, frankly, offensive.

    If anything, acting with such rigid thinking is unprofessional as you are not tailoring the solution to the problem, leading to possible over-speccing of the solution and wasting money and resources needlessly that could be diverted for more useful purposes.
    Certainly, take requirements into account and such. But, everyone must decide what their minimum standards are regardless of the "requirements". If you have no minimum standards then you're just shifting sand beneath someone's feet. I turn down jobs where someone wants me to cut corners that I'm not willing to cut or where the bar is below what I believe is acceptable (regardless of what they think). You can do what you will. there were times in the past where I've crossed the line and bent to someone's will or "budget" and it ended badly. I refuse to do that anymore. If that is "rigid" - then I'm as rigid as they come.

  4. #64

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Certainly, take requirements into account and such. But, everyone must decide what their minimum standards are regardless of the "requirements". If you have no minimum standards then you're just shifting sand beneath someone's feet. I turn down jobs where someone wants me to cut corners that I'm not willing to cut or where the bar is below what I believe is acceptable (regardless of what they think). You can do what you will. there were times in the past where I've crossed the line and bent to someone's will or "budget" and it ended badly. I refuse to do that anymore. If that is "rigid" - then I'm as rigid as they come.
    You must live in a place with lots of jobs available then. Not really like that here. Jobs are few and far between. Competition for jobs is very high. Being rigid will not get you employed around here, that's for sure. Me? I like being able to pay my rent and feed myself, so I will work with my budget and create solutions that fit according to risk assessments. There's no such thing as a generic "minimum standard" in a school - if there was, I wouldn't know of schools with 10 year old PCs and 7 year old servers running".
    Last edited by localzuk; 14th May 2014 at 11:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    You've just specified 3 absolutes which have only one solution, without providing reasoning. Why offline? Pretty sure cloud backup providers who have invested millions into their infrastructures would disagree with you.

    Any not a different building? What's different about 2 buildings 1 km apart on the same site compared to 2 buildings 1 km apart but on different sites? Is there a specific distance we should work with? To put it bluntly, if something could take out all like the buildings on our site in one go, we'd have much larger things to worry about than losing data...
    Disks and SSDs are not suitable as the sole backup due to the data retention problem when powered down too long. Some disks are ok but many are not made to be powered down for months or years without losing data. But there is nothing wrong and in fact I think its a good idea to have an offline disk or SDD backup. We have an offline disk backup that is powered up once a month or two. That solves the data retention problem.

    I agree with Seawolf its good practise to have 1 offline backup as I always see online backups as a quick secondary backup. One example is say you have a lighting strike that takes down your server and internet. At least you can rebuild a new server and worry about the internet later with an offline backup. While online only backups means extra headache and longer time to get back online.

    The other problem with many types of online backups is they override files and automatically backup. Say a file gets corrupted or deleted and no one notices this can cause most online backup systems to automatically delete files and uploads the corrupted file as it detects a change. We almost got caught out once as no one noticed a very important folder that is rarely used had been deleted. After 3 months I noticed and if I had not noticed for just 1 more week the online system would have cycled out all the backups of the folder. Lucky even before this I keep a monthly offline backup which is off site.

    Personally I think a different building does count as long as itís not on the same site. If something takes out both sites thatís what the online backup is for. In our case if something takes out both sites chances are the entire town has been destroyed and no one will care about backups.


    TLDR: I guess I am saying good practise is to have both online and offline backup. Never relay on just one backup system and be aware of SSD's that lose data when powered down for months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    YYou pretty obviously don't work directly in a school.
    ...And you pretty obviously are making an assumption that is 100% incorrect. I've been the IT Manager, and head IT and AV solutions designer, at a College for 3 Year old Kinder to Year 12 (VCE and VCAL) students for the past 5 years.

    My last budget here for backup, for 5 years, was £2500. Including all hardware, software, training, etc... You aren't going to be able to fulfil both "quick day to day data recovery" and "tape based archival backup for offsite storage" with those funds.
    I just wouldn't take job if that was the sort of budget I was given. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt and never going to do it again. If it doesn't bother you, then so be it. I would be fighting like a banshee to get more money though. That's just me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    ...And you pretty obviously are making an assumption that is 100% incorrect. I've been the IT Manager, and head IT and AV solutions designer, at a College for 3 Year old Kinder to Year 12 (VCE and VCAL) students for the past 5 years.
    The what?! AV solutions designer!? There's money for such a role?? I'm *very* lucky to have a technician 30 hours a week. But then, I don't think of "college" as a school - they are a much larger organisation usually, with lots of extra money. Our budget here is such that if we hadn't built up reserves, we'd be looking at redundancies right now...

    I just wouldn't take job if that was the sort of budget I was given. Been there, done that, have the T-shirt and never going to do it again. If it doesn't bother you, then so be it. I would be fighting like a banshee to get more money though. That's just me.
    You're lucky to be able to be picky.

  8. Thanks to localzuk from:

    elsiegee40 (14th May 2014)

  9. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The what?! AV solutions designer!? There's money for such a role?? I'm *very* lucky to have a technician 30 hours a week.
    Yes, I'm the IT Manager, Senior Network Technician, Senior Sysadmin, IT Systems Architect, DBA, AV Solutions Designer, and Help Desk Manager all rolled into one. I didn't say I had a cushy, high paying job and no, there's no extra money for the extra skill set or duties.

    But then, I don't think of "college" as a school - they are a much larger organisation usually, with lots of extra money. Our budget here is such that if we hadn't built up reserves, we'd be looking at redundancies right now...
    In Australia, a "College" is interchangeable with "High School", "Primary School", "Secondary School", or a combined Primary and Secondary school. It does NOT indicate a larger organisation with lots of extra money.

    You're lucky to be able to be picky.
    You quite often than not get what you ask for. If you ask for it in the right way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The what?! AV solutions designer!? There's money for such a role?? I'm *very* lucky to have a technician 30 hours a week. But then, I don't think of "college" as a school - they are a much larger organisation usually, with lots of extra money. Our budget here is such that if we hadn't built up reserves, we'd be looking at redundancies right now...
    I used to think like that but not anymore. We are an Academy now and have linked to another large school(s), multiply sites with linked servers and linked backups and IT staff move around the group. A lot of academy’s now rival or beat colleges in size.

  11. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    ...And you pretty obviously are making an assumption that is 100% incorrect. I've been the IT Manager, and head IT and AV solutions designer, at a College for 3 Year old Kinder to Year 12 (VCE and VCAL) students for the past 5 years.
    Schools are clearly very differently funded where you are in Australia to the UK. We live in a land of small and shrinking budgets for education. Redundancies are a reality and hard choices are being made. Localzuk's budget is not untypical for secondary schools in this country
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 15th May 2014 at 04:10 PM.

  12. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottsey View Post
    I used to think like that but not anymore. We are an Academy now and have linked to another large school(s), multiply sites with linked servers and linked backups and IT staff move around the group. A lot of academy’s now rival or beat colleges in size.
    Not down here they don't. Maybe this is a rural thing...

  13. #72
    JMB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottsey View Post
    its good practise to have 1 offline backup as I always see online backups as a quick secondary backup.
    I found this threat at just the right time! I'm looking at improving our disaster recovery capacity by investing in a secondary server and NAS, so that in addition to the backups I run on alternate nights, I have an ongoing incremental backup in another building. I also intend having that backup copied to removable drives so that one can be kept in the safe and one off-site (rotating roughly each month) as an extra precaution. Does that seem adequate to you guys and girls? And is there a particular backup software you recommend? I've tried fbackup and Commodo but they both seem a bit...woolly. Commodo in particular. Thanks!

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    @JMB - My recommendations for backup software are Veeam Backup if you have vSphere/Hyper-V and BackupAssist for backing up Windows servers, file servers, and Hyper-V (BackupAssist does a decent job for Hyper-V backups, but not as good or full-featured as Veeam in that respect).

  15. #74

    localzuk's Avatar
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    I agree with those 2 choices. Veeam is superb for virtual machine backup, but if you can't stretch to its pricing, BackupAssist is pretty good (its what we run here). It hasn't let us down yet.

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    JMB
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    @JMB - BackupAssist for backing up Windows servers
    Thanks, @seawolf, I've downloaded BackupAssist now and will give it a go. I think my main issue with Commodo is that once you configure a backup, you can't then see it in a list and configure it. So it's not clear if, when adding a new one, you're not actually just overwriting the settings for the first. Pretty poor. Free, but poor. But I shall try BackupAssist with renewed hope, thanks!

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