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Windows Thread, Backing up staff laptop data in Technical; Okay, someone will have asked this before, but I can't seem to find anything. I'm pretty sure that we're supposed ...
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    User3204's Avatar
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    Backing up staff laptop data

    Okay, someone will have asked this before, but I can't seem to find anything.

    I'm pretty sure that we're supposed to be backing up staff data from their laptops, but I'm not sure how to do this.

    The staff all save their files on their laptops, but I want to be able to back this up onto a central server. The offline files won't work, as it's the wrong way round.


    How do other people backup staff data ?
    Avoiding (if possible), saving all their "personal" music files.



    We don't back this up as frequently as we should, currently we just copy everythig across to a fileserver, when (and if) we bring it in for a service. ops:

    I'd like to avoid something that hogs the bandwith, as we use a wireless network, and I don't really want 100 staff all logging on, on a Monday and having something attempting to copy across 1gb of data each.

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    When you say offline files dont work because they're the wrong way round - what exactly do you mean?

    With us it's a case of user education. We set up a certain folder to synchronise with offline files and they are told to put important stuff into that folder. Large music/video files are prohibited

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    This is a policy issue for us. Just stick something in your AUP that summarises the following.

    We wash our hands of it and it's up to staff to sort themselves out. Of course we'll explain/demonstrate how to do it if asked. But the bottom line is that if staff don't practice good backup procedures and lose data, tough.

    This is also applicable to usb pen drives/floppy disks/cds as well.

    Oh, and you might want to cover data protection issues too while your at it.

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    Same here. We tell staff that they have home folders on the network to save files to that we back up 9 times (mon to thur, 4 fridays and termly).

    If they chhose not to save files there, the risk of data loss becomes their responsibilty.

    I do mention data protection about taking potentially sensitive content off site.

    I also make it clear that USB drives will eventually corrupt and everything will be lost when they do.

    Strangely that firstly applies to all of our SMT. They think it's not so secure to keep files on the network than a single copy loose on an unprotected USB Drive. Unbelievable but true.

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    @TeddyKGB

    Well I _thought_ offline files only worked for shares from the server.
    Our users save their documents into the local "My Documents" folder. I didn;t think there was anyway I could tell Windows to upload this folder to a server...

    I get annoyed sometimes with the offline files, as we get it trying to synchronise with the Application Shares.... So I switched it all off..

    @Geoff and Mark.

    Oh, yeah, I tell them to copy their docs up to the server, but this doesn't mean they do it...
    And we're running low on space on the staff user file server...


    If they save their docs onto the server, then they can't access them from home.. it's the usual problem.



    I was hoping someone had a good piece of software that auto-synchronised the data with a server. Ah well.

    One of our retailers is trying to sell me ArcServer to do this, but I was afraid it would use all the wireless bandwidth.

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    I use a product called Smartsync (http://www.smsync.com/) to synchronise files between laptops and the user's home network folders. Allows you to allow/deny certain files (great for mp3's, avi's etc). I've set it so it synchronises at startup and logoff and also every 30 minutes during the day (each laptop is offset, so there's only 3 laptops syncing at anyone time). I have a wireless network here with about 100 staff laptops with this setup and it all seems to work great,

    Rob

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    This is a policy issue for us. Just stick something in your AUP that summarises the following.

    We wash our hands of it and it's up to staff to sort themselves out. Of course we'll explain/demonstrate how to do it if asked. But the bottom line is that if staff don't practice good backup procedures and lose data, tough.

    This is also applicable to usb pen drives/floppy disks/cds as well.

    Oh, and you might want to cover data protection issues too while your at it.
    This is what i have done here. They soon learn when they bring the laptop to me in a sorry state. I simply dont have time to fanny around trying to rescure the work, there for i just re image them. It eventually sinks in

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    We give the staff a Laptop and a 256mb Flash drive... thats all...

    If they do work on the laptop they use the Flash drive to transfer the files to the school servers..

    The reason it's only 256 is that we find that the staff will fill a 512 or 1gb flash drive and copy it all to the server.. than they will do it again repeating most of the stuff they have copied before... so we give them small Flash drive.
    The backing up of their laptops os thier problem...

    We also do not allow the staff laptops onto the Domain.. they are kept as stand alones..

    Much better this way

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    @Grommit
    Does SIMS work like this ?
    Or do you use something else, we have wireless network and laptops for each staff to _make_ them do the register every lesson (No, it doesn't work).

    @robknowles
    I will have a look at that, the only thing I wanted to do, that I have been told Arcserve will do, is make it centrally controlled... although not sure how much.


    I want to take the onus of backups away from the staff, as they're not doing it. I could probably get away with a weekly/ monthly backup rota, and leave anything else up to them.

    I also wanted them to be able to backup over the wireless (if they're in school), or the internet (if they're not).

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    Smartsync isn't centrally controlled, however, you can export a profile (all the settings for the sync) and then import it into each user/machine and then just modify, in my case, the UNC Path for user's my documents.

    You may be able to do this programmaticly via a script (AutoScript?), but I've never investigated this.

    The program does allow the backup to a zip file which can be set to upload to an FTP Server - so useful for the last point you made about the internet.

    Rob

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    All our staff laptops (except the head's and child protection officer's - both for confidentiality reasons) are on the school domain so 'My Documents' gets backed up as part of the user's profile. When staff go away from the school network (we do let them out of the building occasionally!) they get a little warning from Windows that their profile is not available but they know how to live with that.......

    All of the user profiles are also copied to a backup server on a daily basis - the backup server is physically located at the opposite end of the school building to protect against fire etc. Each weekend the entire contents of the backup server are automatically uploaded to a remote FTP server.

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    We set up staff laptops as stand alone, i.e. not on the domain so we use Microsoft's SyncToy. It's free and it does the job. Strangely it can be found in the digital photography section of Microsoft's website. It has some limitations but it seems good enough for the staff, they end up with a synchronised copy of their work in a folder in their user area which is then backed to tape each night.

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    What I do: Staff laptops are part of the domain and the re-directed MyDocuments synchronises at logon/logoff using offline files. This seems to work fine over wireless... I get the user to do the initial synchronisation plugged in though. We handle large files through policy... it is technically illegal to have any music files that are not royalty-free or owned by the school and I know for a fact that the school doesn't have an iTunes account

    An alternative that I thought about: Retrospect Multi-Server (which I use for backups) has an unlimited client license which could in theory do a proactive backup of the user areas whenever the backup server sees the laptop. You can set exceptions in this too.

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    Quote Originally Posted by User3204
    @Grommit
    Does SIMS work like this ?
    Or do you use something else, we have wireless network and laptops for each staff to _make_ them do the register every lesson (No, it doesn't work).

    .
    They do not use SIMS on the Laptops as every classroom has a Teacher PC, the satffroom has 4 PC's and Ecah Departmental Office has 4 PC's for the staff to use...

    The Staff use Bromcom Winfolder on the Staff PC's for Registers..

    If every room on the site has a PC in whats the use of Laptops on site ? nothing reallly so they take them home..

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    Re: Backing up staff laptop data

    Our staff can logon to the network or locally on their laptop. In school they are supposed to logon to the network side of things where their My documents folder is redirected to their network home folder.

    If they logon locally (e.g. at home) then My Documents is on the C drive. I have shown them how to copy from My documents on C to their network folder and usually create a shortcut in their network folder that points to my docs on the C drive to allow they to do this easily.

    However ANY work that they keep in the my docs folder on the C drive is THEIR responsibility and our laptop agreement that they sign when they are first issued a laptop makes this clear and our SMT fully support this policy.

    Teachers want to count themselves lucky, I have a friend who works for Disney in America on the IT side of things who told me that any equipment that leaves their site e.g. laptops taken home by staff is not supported in any shape or form, I wonder how they would like this? :twisted:

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