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Discussion Starter #1
I have a project in one of my classes to build and maintain a set of servers and a firewall. Part of the project is backing up.

I'm supposed to document a backup policy/procedures list. Problem is that I don't know what method I should use to backup.

Right now we are doing full bit-by-bit backups via Clonezilla and a USB hard drive. This is fine and dandy but where do incremental backups fit in with that? What is normally backed up in an incremental backup? I would assume anything that has changed since the last backup but how do I know what has changed and what hasn't?

I would assume that if I were to set up a weekly full backup and daily incremental backups and a hard drive failed, I would use the full backup to get the machine back online and use the incremental backup to get it up to date.....is this correct?

What programs or methods should I be looking at here?

Here are the machines we have to backup:

Smoothwall - Hardware firewall for the network
Server 2003 - Active Directory/DNS/FTP server
Server 2003 - Exchange Server
XP SP3 - Windows user station
SuSe - Linux user station


Thanks for any info.
 

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I would do Full Backups once a week, and incrementals after that. Depending on how sensative the data is, and how small the files are, you could get away with doing multiple incrementals daily if needed.

the user stations you might be able to do an incremental on WEdnesday and Full on weekend as those normally dont bring hte company down if they crash.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What is your definition of "full backup?" Is a full backup a bit by bit backup or something else? I've been trying to figure that out for the majority of the morning.
 

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I would probably run a corporate backup suite, like backupexec or Tivoli. For the important servers with rapidly-changing data like AD and Exchange, I would do a weekly full backup with daily incrementals. Smoothwall I'd consider putting on a weekly incremental and monthly full backup since not much changes on it. You'd probably only be changing routes on it, and those could easily be rebuilt if neccesary. Both the XP and SuSe (seriously? SuSe? wtf...) workstations would probably be a weekly incremental and a monthly full.

The one trick to following a weekly incremental and monthly full on workstations is I would redirect the user's My Documents folders to a file server, where the file server would be backed up on a daily basis. Other than the user's documents, the whole machine really doesn't need to have a backup at all. I run the network I'm responsible for with the user's my documents redirected to the file server, and never back up the user's workstations. However, the file server gets backed up nightly. In a corporate environment you should have something like standardized ghost images of your workstation machines. Armed with a ghost image, you can easily have a user's machine back up and operating within 30 minutes easy, 15 minutes if you have your hard drive images streamlined to get the extra crud out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We were going to redirect the my docs folder and desktop folder to the 2003 server to only have to do one incremental instead of 4.

SuSe is the only distro we could find without having to download another one so we just went with it :histerica

Also, we're running on a low budget here (meaning free) so retail stuff won't really work with the project.
 

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Good stuff like what you'd want doesn't come for free. If you were just backing up directories on a windows machine, I'd suggest SyncToy, it rocks!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I'm not looking for anything dramatic here. Just a simple way to back up the data that is important.

He told us today that we will be faking a hard drive failure, and we will have to put a new one in and have it back up and running by the end of the class.

He said he wouldn't tell us when or what machine was going to fail.

I'd better get to work on this! :D
 
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