Backup to External HD?

By Tink! ·
Somewhat of a revisit of a topic, but really more of a continuation.

Summary: Looking to backup 40-50 GB of data from the Server on a daily (weekdays only) basis.

Previous setup was changing backup tape daily, and overwriting weekly. (In other words, 1 tape for Monday, which would be overwritten with the next Monday's backup)

That backup drive has gone kaput.

We were using Backup Exec software. I'm thinking I can use an External HD in place of the Tape Drive.

Found this on Newegg:

Being that it is so cheap, was thinking of either having 1 for each day (much like the tape setup) or have 3-4 to use 1 per week in a month.

What do you think?

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All Answers

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Similar to what I have implemented recently...

by SmartAceW0LF In reply to Backup to External HD?

With a few tips from TR forum members and the perusal of their posts, it would definitely appear that HDD backups are far more in favor to IT Managers than Tape. I have purchased several notebook drives and a couple of SATA docks for them to implement the Offsite backups and am currently using 3 stationary external drives for regular backups. And yes, backup Exec uses them with no problems. You will however find it necessary to edit your "jobs".

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Avoid continous work, Off-site storage

by TobiF In reply to Backup to External HD?

This kind of drives often lack ventilation and fans. If they are working continuously, they may get too warm and wear down quicker.
See if you can find a way to to turn them off when not in use.

What if you'd back up to two units in parallel (just in case anything would happen to one of these units)?
That would also allow you to, say once a week, to take one of the units for storage off site (maybe in a safe at home), as some kind of serious disaster recovery. Depending on your area of business, you may keep 2-3 weekly versions in a rolling offsite storage. (Remember to rotate the disks).

Edit: replaced a "censored" plus sign in the title with a comma

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You may want to invest in somthing more redundant

by markp24 In reply to Backup to External HD?


I use a Drobo Unit for a branch office ( This way i can recover from 1 of 2 drive failure. and it s upgradeable as well as holds a history of backups.

You can swap out a "disk pack (4 or 5 hdds)" and brin them off site and swap those ona an ongoing basis.

the single small drive, is too easy to loose and lose 2.5" drives are fragile.

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Tink these are way too fragile

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Backup to External HD?

They need Active Cooling and protection from Vibrational Damage. I've had to pay places like On Track thousands of $ in the past to recover Data off dead HDD that where used this way and on just about every occasion they where dead 2.5 Inch Drives.

Will the company accept the need to spend 56K to recover data quickly that is what I paid for a Priority Recovery a couple of years ago when the place got robbed and the only current Backup Drive was dropped and rendered unusable. They had an Audit at the Tax Office that week and just had to get the data recovered. Event hen I walked into the Tax Office an hour Late with the Data but at least it was there.

I'm not a great lover of external USB HDD even though I use one myself but I only have it in when it's in use and even then it's in an Actively Cooled Enclosure a MX1 from Antec. Not cheap but lots of capacity as I use 1 TB Drives. At least the drives never overheat though they are still subject to vibrational damage if knocked about.

Personally I still use a mix of Both Tape and External ESATA Drives the ESATA Drives are much faster but not as reliable as the tape and even with the Tape I always have the same Make Model Drive as a spare. When I am reduced to 1 Spare Tape Drive I go to a different Tape Backup Solution. While I've only needed the tape a few times in the entire working life on every occasion it's been a Life Saver and it's much cheaper than having to have a HDD recovered.

I find the ESATA as Fast but not overly reliable Backup but maybe that's just me I prefer NAS or that type of thing with Hot Swappable Drives if I'm using a HDD Solution for a company and even then I always chose Cloning Raid Arrays not Stripping.

Not the cheapest but certainly the most reliable and with the costs involved in recovering HDD it's much cheaper when it's really needed.

edited to add I use those cheap USB Drives as over-sized Thumb Drives. They are cheap easy to use and doesn't matter if they cark it. I just personally wouldn't want to trust them with Important Data that couldn't be got elsewhere though.


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totally agree with Oh Smeg

by Churdoo In reply to Tink these are way too fr ...

Our experience with external USB-connected disks as the primary backup device has not been favorable. I've never seen them last any significant amount of time, and we refuse to recommend them for backup.

Sure the price is attractive, but the reality is they simply don't work long enough or reliably enough for them to be considered a significant part of any DR plan.

I never thought of it the way you pointed out, but I guess you're right in that I too only use them as over-sized thumb drives.
For what it's worth.

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Learning from others' mistakes...

by SmartAceW0LF In reply to totally agree with Oh Sme ...

Is a thing you get better at with a little age and experience under your belt. Thank you all for your timely input into this issue as I had scheduled the implementation of the 2.5 drives this very day. Sent them back and ordered larger drives with fan-equipped enclosures. What timing. Thanks again.

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Your Welcome

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Learning from others' mis ...

I hope everything goes well for your new Backup System.


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Ok good to know.

by Tink! In reply to Tink these are way too fr ...

The reason I'm looking at such a band-aid solution is because the data we backup daily is not terribly critical. Plus, the cost of a new tape drive is a bit too high for right now.

There is really only one file that can be considered critical and I think I am going to have the girl who uses it, copy it to a flash drive daily.

As for the rest, a weekly copy would be sufficient in case anything were to happen. Plus, if all else fails, I do a full copy to CDs every year or two.

Sooo...I'm thinking a weekly backup to an external hdd (preferably eSata with fan). The HD for that week can then be stored somewhere Safe.

I was thinking 3 - 4 units for a month so that they weren't getting moved quite as often.

Let me know what you think.

(Amazingly this is the first time I've had to research and setup a backup solution. All my other places of employment had the systems already in place and I simply maintained them.)

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That will work

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Ok good to know.

But just remember that if things go drastically wrong it can be very expensive to recover from.

Though Actively Cooled Drive Enclosures make the Drives last longer they are not on the cheap side of things.


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