Backing up about 50 computers

By mistyibuki ·
I was literally thrown into my IT postion. I am a newb. I know some but not enough for what my position is so I'm asking for help :). I am the ONLY IT person in my company and have about 60-75 computers. What is the best way to backup all of these computers? We will be moving buildings in about 6 months and I will be responsible for moving the computers, servers and phone lines. (yippee) On top of that it has to be done cheap very very cheap.. In my experience you can't seem to move 3 computers without one of them getting messed up some how so I am trying to backup everyones computer just in case of failure after the move. Any suggestions? (less than 1/4 of them actually have cd burners.. and are over 4 years old.)

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by Toivo Talikka In reply to Backing up about 50 compu ...

The simplest way is to get imaging software like Norton (Symantec) Ghost and make a compressed image of the hard drive of each PC and store it on a separate hard drive which is large enough to keep all the images.

If your users are allowed to store their files on the local hard drive in their PC, instead of the server, the compressed images can become quite large. If all the data is stored on the servers and the image comprises of the operating system and the local applications, the image files may still be 1GB to 3GB.

Imaging saves a lot of work in case an individual PC develops a problem, because you can restore the earlier image of the hard drive and get the PC working quickly, beofre restoring the data, if the users store their files on the local drive, assuming that you have a backup system for local data. Therefore you should be able to justify getting someone with experience in imaging to develop the procedure for your environment and/or do the whole excercise.

Of course, if your IT environment already uses an SOE (Standard Operating Environment) which is based on an image which is ghosted to a new PC to get the operating system and at least the most common applications installed in 5 minutes (instead of 3 hours by conventional manual methods), you would just use a base image if you need to re-install a PC.

However, 75 computers may not quite justify the planning and implementation effort for a full SOE, especially if they consist of different brands and chipsets.

If this sounds too daunting, you need to check what went wrong in your previous computer moves. Maybe you should just do a dry rehearsal first with a couple of PCs and set up standard procedures for your crew.

Keep the move simple with the minimum of changes and do not attempt to revamp the whole IT architecture on the fly during the move but, if you absolutely have to use the opportunity, set up a small test system first, in time before the move.

If you are only worried about saving the local data from the hard drives, you could get a large external hard drive which connects through USB, for example Maxtor OneTouch with 200GB - 500GB capactity. You can install the software from a shared network drive. For small volumes of data you can just use a 1GB USB memory stick, back up and save the data to another PC without having to install any additional software, if your PCs run Windows XP.

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by CG IT In reply to Images

Like Toivo suggests, I'd do it with HDD on the network and some backup software. Ghost is ok if you can take a snap shot just before you turn em off to be boxed up and moved. But for users to turn em off on Friday and come back on Monday with everything there they did on Friday, seeing how what can go wrong will, Network backup to a storage device.

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It setup

by mistyibuki In reply to NAS/SAN

Our It setup reminds me of someones house or a lan party. Everyone is hookedup to routers and are networked like you would a basic home. You can only see each other and mess with files. Other than being mapped to a few network drives to run programs off of the server computer everything is on individual computers. They range from 6-present in date and are all dell computers. Almost none are the same.

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external hdd

by jamesatmaisonverre In reply to Backing up about 50 compu ...

I can only presume you do not have a backup server installed onsite.So the best way is to by an external hdd and run a backup with the backup wizard on each pc.

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Backing up work stations

by dseedorf In reply to Backing up about 50 compu ...

You can use Norton's Ghost, I at one time used Norton's Ghost 7.5 and I was able to to run my backups from a remote location. I would set it up to run at night when the person was not at work. They did need to leave their system on and I would backup about 20 systems per night.

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