Our SLA with the local council means that they take care of the school backups. However, we've never been told in what form they take, and how far back they're stored. All I know for certain is we have seven days worth of onsite backups.
This is what I'm planning:
Two machines, one in the main server room, another in a separate building. The server room machine will back up the data, and then the remote machine will mirror it during the wee hours. We'll only need to do this once a week, due to the system already in place.
What I'd like to know is what would be the best way of performing the backups? If we did a full backup every week, then I don't think we'd be able to go back more than a few months. I'm currently toying with the idea of a four-week cycle, with a full backup taken in the first week, and then either differential or incremental backups for the final three. After a year, it won't matter.
So I need to design, build and implement a system that will do this automatically, creating new backups and deleting the old ones.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Also: We have no money presently, so any software needs to be free!
If you are not fussed about file permissions you could create the backups in WIM images and run any subsiquent backups that week as seporate volumes in the image. This way it will only store the changes saving you space and time.
Furthing this you can actually backup the file permissions with SetACL and restore them afterwards even though WIM images don't store them directly. This will also use single instance storage so that any duplicate files are only stored once.
NTBackup is also a good little product if you have server 2003 and robocopy is also a nice solution for directly mirroring files.