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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, upgrade paths and general advice. in Technical; Backing up on to a USB HDD isn't a long term backup, it's a temporary solution and not an ideal ...
  1. #16
    mrbios's Avatar
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    Backing up on to a USB HDD isn't a long term backup, it's a temporary solution and not an ideal one at that, no matter what size the school.

    You'll get far more out of a new server with vmware, most hardware isn't fully utilised with a single install running on it. Even your second server in the OP i could easily make run 4-5 VMs by just whacking a tiny bit more ram in it. That could easily be a fileserver, web server, linux proxy and a WSUS server all in one box. Hell there's no reason it couldn't run a DC on there too doing AD, DNS, DHCP.

    By going down that route you're giving your school a larger scope for expansion in the future without having to spend more money on hardware (if you have a small budget already, it's silly not to save them money in the future!) all you'd need on top of that then is an improvement to your backups.
    Last edited by mrbios; 12th January 2012 at 03:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    Backing up on to a USB HDD isn't a long term backup, it's a temporary solution and not an ideal one at that, no matter what size the school.
    ok first of all I've never had the pleasure of using tape for backups, I'm competent so I know I'd work it out but..
    I fail to see how tape is a better solution vs a HDD these day. Even if I went down this road I barley have time to do HDD backups.
    with about 800 - 900 GB of data to backup each week there is no chance I'd have time to keep swopping tapes for such a huge backup each week.

    each medium has a life span and I know they need replacing but the cost spent on the external HDD and the speed gain I see it a a no brainier. sure if the school wanted to throw more money on back ups I'd look at some sort of off site remote backup. but we have like 10k a year to spend on IT.
    after about 2 - 3 year (should I still be there) then I'd plan to replace the ext hdd's

    I'm the only full time IT staff ( 1 guy comes in once a week for 3 hours for extra support and that contracted existed over a year before I started)

    I appreciate replies so far but what I really wanted was an opinion on the specification of the system I posted.
    is it a good price?
    would it be adequate for a school of 550 users approx? ( average user at a time 25 - 60)
    Potential to expand. ( considering space is scarce I doubt much expansion would come about. maybe a few more laptops and maybe ipads)


    regards

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    Hi Rage
    People are not having a go at you but due to experience they can see potential problems with some of the plans and are just trying to advise as best they can. We all have budgets but for core systems management should be asking how much will it cost to get a server/s that does x, y and z not here’s X amount of money go cobble something together but that is down to the management at your school and at the end of the day all you can do is advise them.

    Re your discussion of backup method: it’s not the media that is the issue but the way it is used i.e. with tapes you have a set which you rotate, the tapes that are not in the server should be somewhere secure in a different location secure from flooding, fire etc... If you have multiple external hdd’s and are treating them the same way as a tape solution then its fine. But if you only have a single hdd that sits on top of the server day and night then it’s at the same risk as the server is i.e. flooding, fire and electrical damage. By the way LTO4 will back up 800GB Native on a single tape and there are newer higher capacity systems available but it is a mute point because you can’t afford it if your school doesn’t take data protection seriously.

    “I'm the only full time IT staff ( 1 guy comes in once a week for 3 hours for extra support and that contracted existed over a year before I started)”

    I work at a 3 form entry primary Reception to year 6 + Nursery + a small childrens centre, IWBs and PCs in every room, laptops and a suite of 30 PCs. So that’s about 200 Machines in total although a lot of the laptops don’t get much use and I also work on my own as you do. Originally it was a split post i.e. I was supporting a second school of the same size for a number of years.

    For major works they should provide additional support / pay for server migration etc… but once your network is running efficiently i.e. software installed via group policy, MS updates installed from a WSUS server it will take some of the pressure off you.

    “I appreciate replies so far but what I really wanted was an opinion on the specification of the system I posted. is it a good price? would it be adequate for a school of 550 users approx? ( average user at a time 25 - 60) Potential to expand. (considering space is scarce I doubt much expansion would come about. maybe a few more laptops and maybe ipads)”

    It’s difficult to predict future load on a server who knows they could win the lottery next week and decide to buy 550 laptops your current use seems pretty low but I still would not want things like WSUS on a DC. Processor use can be quite low but you need to watch the load on the NICS and hard drives as they can get a thrashing if you have software running from network shares etc.

    Price – if you’re not sure then you should be asking more companies for quotes / solutions then you can show the head and say this one is in budget but this one is slightly over but has a backup solution then it’s down to them they either find the money or accept that the backup solution is poor.

    Our setup
    PDC – Curric server
    Admin Server- also a DC (same domain so shares logon load etc)
    Old curric server running WSUS, door access control system, internal intranet page
    Old admin server running Sophos

    They are all getting on a bit now but they all have raid 5 arrays with 10/15k rpm drives and gigabit connections

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Damnit i had typed a reply but i went away, came back and for some reason the box was blank, luckily ToyHeartsFan has pretty much covered what i was going to say

    In addition to what he says about backing up to USB disk though, i'd just like to add one thing: You drop that disk and you potentially lose the disk and everything that's on it. You drop a tape, the biggest issue is bending over to pick it back up

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    sorry if I sounded blunt, one of the servers crashed and rebooted this week and thats the 7 year old box. I'm concered it's going to pop it's cloggs all too soon so I'd just like to get it sorted.
    Apart from that I'm up against a old setup, old policies and old software and I beleive some technical issuse without going into them are cause by these crappy servers so I just want to get a replacement and begin it's intergration asap, of course within reason.




    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    In addition to what he says about backing up to USB disk though, i'd just like to add one thing: You drop that disk and you potentially lose the disk and everything that's on it. You drop a tape, the biggest issue is bending over to pick it back up
    lol

    after a back up I store the external HDD in the school safe. each drive is dedicated to each server. so they are not at risk in that sense.

    lol

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyHeartsFan
    Price Ė if youíre not sure then you should be asking more companies for quotes / solutions then you can show the head and say this one is in budget but this one is slightly over but has a backup solution then itís down to them they either find the money or accept that the backup solution is poor.
    I'm currently waiting on another quote acctually. what I should have said was bassed on the law of averages. is that price about right. I know you cant give me a definative answer but has anyone see this setup for alot more or less?

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    sorry if I sounded blunt, one of the servers crashed and rebooted this week and thats the 7 year old box. I'm concered it's going to pop it's cloggs all too soon so I'd just like to get it sorted.
    Apart from that I'm up against a old setup, old policies and old software and I beleive some technical issuse without going into them are cause by these crappy servers so I just want to get a replacement and begin it's intergration asap, of course within reason.




    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    In addition to what he says about backing up to USB disk though, i'd just like to add one thing: You drop that disk and you potentially lose the disk and everything that's on it. You drop a tape, the biggest issue is bending over to pick it back up
    lol

    after a back up I store the external HDD in the school safe. each drive is dedicated to each server. so they are not at risk in that sense.

    lol

    Quote Originally Posted by ToyHeartsFan
    Price – if you’re not sure then you should be asking more companies for quotes / solutions then you can show the head and say this one is in budget but this one is slightly over but has a backup solution then it’s down to them they either find the money or accept that the backup solution is poor.
    I'm currently waiting on another quote acctually. what I should have said was bassed on the law of averages. is that price about right. I know you cant give me a definative answer but has anyone see this setup for alot more or less?

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