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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Backing up a File-Print Server in Technical; There's very little point nowadays to do 'full' backups. What value do they provide that is extra to a single ...
  1. #16

    localzuk's Avatar
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    There's very little point nowadays to do 'full' backups. What value do they provide that is extra to a single full backup at the beginning of a scheme, followed by incremental backups.

    In Bristol at the school I worked at, they backed up off-site via a 100Mb fibre, via incremental backups only. Here we do similar, although we do a full backup once a year for finance/audit purposes.

    A full backup of 640GB data for us takes about 40 hours, and everything is connected by 1Gbit, but the NAS and server only have SATA disks.

  2. #17
    fairm010's Avatar
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    We use Comodo Backup. Have it on each file server, set to service run, running incremental backup each night. Once its done a backup of everything it just backs up the changes to files and adds new ones. Best thing is its free!

    *edit* Forgot to add, once its done its initial backup (which will take an age to move 900Gb data, whatever solution you use) it takes half an hour to an hour depending on new files etc.
    Last edited by fairm010; 28th November 2012 at 09:34 AM.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    @localzuk - i guess from my point of view it would be the hassle and more importantly time taken to restore. If you only do one full back up at the start of the year, when it goes down, you need to replay all your incrementals. Depending on where they are and on what media this could be nasty, plus what happens if one of them is faulty? I'd prefer differentials but that will take a while too.

    I'd say in this case it is a reasonable solution though. Given the restrictions in place, 2 days isn't that bad. Maybe just be more selective in what is backed up, i.e. data that doesn't change much or isn't important can be left for longer.

  4. #19

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    If you only do one full back up at the start of the year, when it goes down, you need to replay all your incrementals.
    Interestingly, this issue came up just the other day while our new managed IT company were looking at our current backup system. I can't quite understand why the backup software doesn't just patch the base backup with the incremental changes every day / week / whatever. Is it because backup software is written to work on tape, and therefore can't see a base backup to patch? Is there better backup software available that knows how to ammend an on-disk backup properly? Thinking about it, the best way to store backups would probably be to store the most current backup as the full, "base" backup, and keep a bunch of differential backups going back in time from there. Each new backup, ammend the base backup and add a new back-in-time differential. Is there software available that does this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Thinking about it, the best way to store backups would probably be to store the most current backup as the full, "base" backup, and keep a bunch of differential backups going back in time from there. Each new backup, ammend the base backup and add a new back-in-time differential. Is there software available that does this?
    Yes Veeam does this. It used to do this by default using the Reversed incremental option, but I believe now uses standard Incremental as the default option as it's better for backing up to Tape and remote sites. Couple the reversed incremental option with their built in deduplication & compression + VMware change block tracking and you end up with some very fast and space efficient backups. Admittedly this probably isn't much use in this circumstance as Veeam will only work with VMware & Hyper-V VMs.

  6. 2 Thanks to Ashm:

    dhicks (2nd December 2012), vikpaw (2nd December 2012)

  7. #21

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    i was going to suggest looking at the way vmware snapshots work. it's not the same, but it does patch it's files, though i'm not sure how economically. i guess so long as you're backing up to disk it's easy enough to do, so we should do a complex backup to electronic media first then 'burn' as it were, to tape.
    i read there can be problems with using deduplication and reverse incremental at the same time.
    I just found out, our backup exec doesn't do reverse so that's not an option.
    @General - check which version of the software you have and what features there are, depending on how much your data changes, after your first full backup, you can maybe utilise some features to create a synthetic full backup using only the data that has changed to make it quicker. It might even have deduplication or other features.
    If you're on the express version, then it should have been replaced now by another product. Yosemite..?

  8. #22

    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashm View Post
    Yes Veeam does this. It used to do this by default using the Reversed incremental option, but I believe now uses standard Incremental as the default option as it's better for backing up to Tape and remote sites. Couple the reversed incremental option with their built in deduplication & compression + VMware change block tracking and you end up with some very fast and space efficient backups. Admittedly this probably isn't much use in this circumstance as Veeam will only work with VMware & Hyper-V VMs.
    +1 for Veeam, I utilise it alot with off-site replication, hourly/ bi hourly (depending on host). in a virtual enviroment imho its the best backup software available.

  9. #23

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    i was going to suggest looking at the way vmware snapshots work.
    Right, I've been and read up a bit on backups in general, and it's probably worth pointing out that when we say "backups" we are talking about three quite different things: files, VM disk images, and granular system state backups. The first two are easy to sort out - rsync and a deduplication script for file backups, and some kind of backup agent for whatever VM system you use. XenServer stores its VM harddrive images as LVM volumes, which can simply be read in/out with DD (or some more efficient rsync-type script if you like, or patch rsync to be able to sync devices), and it seems that for VMWare most people like Veeam.

    The problem comes when you try to do granular-restoreable backups of Windows servers. On Unix / Linux, this is just as easy as with plain files backups as "everything is a file" - your email inboxes and so on are actual folders on disk, so you just rsync them the same as you would all your other files. To restore them, copy them back again. However, on an Exchange server or something SQL Server based, your data is in a large binary blob of some sort, and you need something like Backup Exec to be able to haul your data out of there. For whatever reason, Backup Exec can't yet do synthetic backups of things like Exchange and SQL Server - I don't get why not, because you'd think that would be what you're paying for. Is there some way of configuring Exchange / SQL Server / general Windows machines so they can be backed up and restored by simply copying files around like Unix / Linux servers?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    veeam supports granular backups for exchange now with the ability to mount the edb and export the files needed.

    with regards to your comment about backing up windows like linux it would require pretty much all of the apps to be rewritten for it to work.

  11. #25

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    with regards to your comment about backing up windows like linux it would require pretty much all of the apps to be rewritten for it to work.
    I'm not that sure it would, though - for instance, does SQL Server store stuff in a binary blob that it rearranges peridoically, or does it append the end of a (large) file and keep a separatly updated index?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I'm not that sure it would, though - for instance, does SQL Server store stuff in a binary blob that it rearranges peridoically, or does it append the end of a (large) file and keep a separatly updated index?
    I couldn't tell you! I meant more for the configuration. although thinking about it that's what the registry is in some ways.

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