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Backup of data remotely.


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#1
shard92

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I have a friend who wants to backup his data from his business to a external drive both at his business site and to an external drive connected to his computer at home. I suggested he try the online data backup companies but he is apparently too paranoid or some such and doesn't want to do that. It would need to be a secure backup as it would contain customer data, etc.... He would have a small network at the site ( he is just getting this setup and is trying to save as much as possible that's why he's asking me!! ) and then one computer at home..... both locations would have 1 external drive for backing up all the information.... He did go to a company to get info but apparently didn't like their quote or with their proposal...

My question is what software/setup would I need to do so his data could be backed to both locations.... I figured since he would have multiple computers that most likely the one at the shop should contain a common database and then back it up to the home one. ( or at least make the computer with the external at the shop be the server for the database and then back up periodically to the external). He would like to automate as he travels alot but if he had to somehow log into something remotely and then have to do the backup personally that would be an option.... any suggestions would be appreciated...
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#2
starjax

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well, there are several solutions. I would suggest taking a look at our backup series of articles on the main page, http://geekstogo.com/

we are working on putting together a review of online backup services. It will be a while before those are posted. The problem with what he wants to do is all about connectivity. If all he has at home is a standard dsl/cable connection, most backups (in this scenerio) would saturate the connection. Then there is the issue of actually establishing connectivity between locations.

Engenering a solution that meets the needs requires a lot of informtion, much more than you would post on a forum. Especially as it would be proprietary and confidential info. Probably the easiest thing to do would be something like a Drobo or Terastation. These are NAS solution. Meaning they are a raid storage setup connected to the network. You could simply pull a drive out and replace it. Then take the drive home for safe keeping. Keep in mind that it will take a bit for the raid to rebuild itself. I would do this on a monthly basis.

some key questions to keep in mind: How much data? How valuable is that data? How much would it cost to replace it? How much would he loose if it were lost?

Then way that against a properly engeneered backup system Like a data center would use.
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#3
dsenette

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also....without getting into some more advanced connectivity....dumping his data over the internet to his PC at home would be LESS safe (as far as data snooping) than the online backup solutions who at least use SSL (and usually an encrypted stream)

i think starjax's suggestion of the NAS would be closest to the right idea (most companies don't do real time offsite backup...you backup to external media then take that media off site) but probably a little funky for the implementation

maybe have your buddy check out idealstor...it's a disk to disk backup solution that proves to be cheaper than a standard tape backup system...plus it uses off the shelf hard drives. basically it's an ejectable drive bay, and you put your disks in shock resistant cradles then insert them and eject them as you please....he could make backups daily, weekly, monthly, however and just bring the disks home or keep them in a safe deposit box.

the idea of backing up the data across the internet to another device at the guys house sounds a bit funky as far as data integrity is concerned too...if i were ever doing business with a company and found out that their main backup solution involved keeping copies of my info at someone's house i'd be finding a new company to give my money to
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#4
shard92

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Thanks for the info... How secure would a virtual private network be? He mentioned someone told him he could do that.... unfortunately I've never used that and dont' know how secure that would be... and yes security is a big concern... funny dsennette you mentioning about not being happy with a company that used the internet to back up... he said the same thing about not thinking his customers would be happy if he used an online backup company... Of course again all I can do is pass on the info and see what he thinks.... No I'm not nor will I be an investor in his business.... just trying to help him out....

thanks again for any and all replies.
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#5
dsenette

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a VPN is only as secure as it's set up to be...a VPN basically makes a tunnel through the internet so that no one can see your traffic/data....there are more secure VPNs and there are less secure VPNs...depends on the set up

any reputable online backup service (designed for businesses not as much home use) have extremely secure connections, extremely secure servers, and MOST of the big ones will even "insure" your data from theft/loss (due to failures on their part) up to a certain amount of money (i've seen as much as $1million)

even through a VPN i'd still be trying to steer this guy away from doing the backups at home...no matter how small his business is....it's just not a good idea

there are so many better ways of doing off site backups..
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#6
shard92

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Well he came up with the idea of remote backup as a precaution from site damage ( fire/theft/etc ) and from the fact he will be traveling and won't be able to do the backups himself on-site..... He's a bit of a control freak and rather paranoid.... didn't know this of him till he started talking setting up a business..... seems to think he is the only one who can securely and confidentially back up his data.... thank you again for information.... I'll see what I can do with the information given.... I will also tell him to check the local laws where the business is set up to see the requirements as he will be handling some financial data....
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