Backup Policy in a Company (Local PC's files/ system backup and etc)

By Nikki_J ·
I'm a system admin in a office, but just a beginner....

Now we are trying to define the backup policy on user's laptop/ desk top PC.

We have file server but currentry used for only sharing purpose.
So when uer's PC crushes, their data will be gone. Though if all users save ALL data they have, file server may be slow or full.(Rather, we can imagine how it will be)

Some people backup with portable HD or USB, but some don't.
Also there are a lot of video/photo data in the office which can not be all stored in the file server. (because the size is big) Those are saved on to the DVD-R and C drive locally now.

I'm looking for a good practice regarding internal controll for the backup plicy.
How other company manages the data? How often do people backup and in which media?

Though we have exchange server(some users are in Exchange mode, moste of them are pop user), we still want email backup with pst file. But how often should the user back up?

Yes, its all depends on the compnay but I'd like to know how other companies manage.
Becasue I have to suggest the policy!!

Backup objects are:
1.PC's image backup (System backup)
---External hard disk? Once in 6month?

2.Local PC's files(Excel, Word,etc)
----USB or portable HD? Once a month?

3.Emails (pst file)
----USB or portable HD? Once a month?

4.Photos and videos
---DVD-R& external HD, once a month?

Is it too frequent to Backup?

Please give me some tips and references....
Thank you so much in advance!

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

We use a completely different paradigm

by neilb@uk In reply to Backup Policy in a Compan ...

Your scenario gives me cold shivers.

In our office NOTHING is backed up from local C: drives and EVERYTHING is kept on the server. Users are aware that anything they put on the C: drive had better not be business data AND we check. Disks are cheap, NAS is cheap, data is expensive and the users cannot be trusted to secure it. We do it for them - and for us as we in IT will get the blame if something goes missing.

We don't use pst files as this leads to huge complications with data accessibility regulations (no idea what the rules are in Japan) and that lead us to central storage of Exchange data and central backup so we can get data easily.

You don't have to image PCs if they are all the same.

You are suggesting once a month. ****, we do daily and I'd like to do more often. If thieves break in and steal all of the PCs on the day before backup day and you have to rebuild and restore, can you really continue to run the business with data a month out of date? I think not!

Brrr! I wish you luck because that's all that stands between you and disaster.


Collapse -

More scenario is welcome

by Nikki_J In reply to We use a completely diffe ...

Thank you Nailb for sharing the scenario.
Yes, as you can imagine, the data management is not fixed at all.
And it is scary.

I just joined this office and have to suggest how they can manage the data.

>You don't have to image PCs if they are all the same.

Thats the problem. There are MANY kinds of laptop/ desk top PCs in the office.
Different OS / versions/ languages......

Ok, I understand that user should save files on to the File server, nothing shoule be kept on the local PC.
Do you actually CHECK their PC if nothing is saved locally?

About emails, I'm very sorry but could you please tell me more details? (I'm really a beginner in IT)
> central storage of Exchange data and central backup so we can get data easily.

Do you mean that do backup Exchange server with a backup software for both POP and Exchange mode users' emails?
Or have a backup server for the Exchange server?

Especially for POP users, there is no backup at the moment....

I have a senior engineer but I have to research and think before I speak to him with some reasons....

Thank you soooo much for your advice!!!

aozora.yozora @

Collapse -

OK, here's a bit more information

by neilb@uk In reply to More scenario is welcome

We also have different types of PC but in all cases, if the users PC or laptop breaks, they simply get another one with a standard build. If they have any particular additional bits of software then we'll just put these back. We restore no data whatsoever as it's all still on the servers.

We do check their PC for local files but not to stop them saving stuff. We check for illegal files and unapproved software but don't get too stressed if they save a few photographs just so long as they are aware that they are not being backed up.

If they save work to their local had drive and the drive goes down and the data is lost then they know that it is their fault.

For laptops we sync offline files back to the network when they log on locally or we like them to use remote access across the Internet to a Citrix session so that files don't leave HQ.

All emails are held on the Exchange server and backed up in one hit daily. We don't use POP or any other protocol. External users either use Outlook Web Access across the Internet onto the email server or remote onto a Citrix session and use Outlook.

We're a government organisation so we have to be able to find stuff.

The key fact to remember when discussing this is that data is very valuable stuff! In real terms, much more valuable than any hardware that it sits on. You want to be able to safeguard data and know that you're doing it as often as is reasonably possible. In the event of something getting broken, you want to be able to fix it as cheaply as possible and to restore the data as close as possible to the point at which it broke.

Neil :)

How many users do you have?

Collapse -

I'm curious, Neil.

by Ron K. In reply to OK, here's a bit more inf ...

In what form is your backup of the server(s) and data? Is it a full image? If so, how long do you keep images? If it's not a daily image do you have an image of the server?
What software do you use?

Collapse -

Well, it's a bit complicated

by neilb@uk In reply to I'm curious, Neil.

We use a product called CommVault which is very configurable for different data sets.
We do a normal "weekly full plus incrementals" of the server data which we keep for a week for everything and then the fulls for whatever schedule is required - six months for Exchange for instance. All this is done to a tape library which spits out an offsite set qwhich goes to external storage and keeps the last few weeks in the library so we can restore recent data immediately.

All of our mail, file data and database servers are clustered. If one of the cluster servers goes down we just rebuild it and put it back into the cluster. We don't keep images of physical servers at all. Although I back up servers to the point that we could do a bare metal restore, we find it easier to just rebuild the server.

We're gradually going over to VMware for almost everything other than the clusters so snapshots and snapshot backups are the norm now.

That's all pretty normal.

We are also paranoid - all of our central data stores (File, Exchange, MS SQL and Oracle) are synchronously replicated to a site 15 miles from here so we have no data loss in the event of a total loss of HQ.

Neil :)

We're a governemnt organisation with around 700 users and a fair bit of public-facing processes for licensing and such like.

Collapse -

Most of that was over my head.

by Ron K. In reply to Well, it's a bit complica ...

I'll thank you anyway as that's my problem, not yours.<br>

Collapse -

Thank you Neilb

by Nikki_J In reply to OK, here's a bit more inf ...

Thank you for sharing and sorry for late responce.

We have 70 users in the office and the servcers are in the office too.
We have only 10 servers inc Exchange server 2003.
Wow, you are managin 700 users....10 times bigger...

I see, I will definetely propose the policy to save all the files on to the File server like your office so that the users can just copy necessary fales from the file server when ther PC breaks down. Right.

DO you have any idea for POP user's backup method? Because we had some complications between servers, currently we installed new Exchange server. The new policy is that all users except Blackberry users have to use POP to avoid complications. So once they download their emails to local Outlook, no email is backed up in the server. Users can only backup locally. (right?)
So in this case, only pst file(on to the thumb drive or external HD) is the solution for their backup?

I looked up what HQ means. Is the below correct meaning?
HQ---open source monitoring and management for web operations??

>For laptops we sync offline files back to the network when they log on locally or we like them to use remote access across the Internet to a Citrix session so that files don't leave HQ.

Could you kindly explain what you mean by "so that files dont leave HQ" ?

I really appreciate your advice and sharing the experience and practice!
Thank you!!

Collapse -

Sorry! Bit late picking this one up

by neilb@uk In reply to Thank you Neilb

HQ is an abbreviation of "headquarters". Our policy is to keep all documents on file servers in our central office so we can keep them secure and back them up. We do have users who use laptops and they have personal folders on our file server that are synchronised with the local laptop copy when they log into the network. If they make changes to these files at home then the changed files are automatically copied up to the main server next time they log in.

We also use Citrix so that users can log onto the network across the Internet. Citrix runs on a central file server in HQ and all that runs on the laptop or other remote PC is a Citrix client which mirrors what is happening on the Citrix server. The users files don';t leave HQ. You can get the same with Microsoft Terminal Services (for less money).

Hope that makes sense!

Neil :)

Collapse -

In addition to what Neil has said

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Backup Policy in a Compan ...

You can get a copy of

Administrators Guide to Disaster Planning and Recovery Volumes 1 & 2 from Tech Republic.

These are excellent Publications with all of the information that you will ever require on this topic.

However if this is of any help I do daily backup's on my personal Home Systems as I consider any longer is way too long.

As Neil has said HDD are cheap, NAS is cheap Storage Space on Servers is cheap, Data Recovery is horrendously expensive. I have personally spent well in excess of $56,000.00 Au just to recover data off 1 dead 80 GIG HDD. Granted this was done within 24 hours as a Priority Job but if they could have had the drive for longer it would not have been that much cheaper. The only good thing was that they had the dead drive that was dropped and destroyed when a NB was stolen so it was possible to recover the Data. If the only Data that they had was on the HDD of the Stolen NB they would have been up for considerably more money well into the 6/7 Figure amounts attempting to rebuild just their Accounting Data so they got off extremely cheaply considering.


Collapse -

Thanks a lot

by Nikki_J In reply to In addition to what Neil ...

Thanks a lot for the info Col.
I will get the books you recommended!!
Yes, backup is cheaper than seems so expensive.....

Still looking for an idea for POP user email backup....DO you have any idea for them??

Thank you

Related Discussions

Related Forums