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Backups for Laptop Computers

By Coors ·
I am in a small company that has roughly twice as many laptop computer users as desktop computer users. Many of my laptop users are in the office daily for a least a short time. Every time a laptop has catastrophic failure, we generally lose user data because backups are not done often enough.

We are trying to figure out the least costly and administrative way to back up users computers either roughly once a week or every other week. We use Arc Serve Advanced edition to back up our laptops currently on an individual basis once every few months. We talked about trying to set up daily backups of everyone, but that lead to bandwidth and network performance issues on the tests we ran. We also talked about doing differential backups, but the problem is that it would be hard to track who was in on any given day when the backup ran, and to know what differential tape to use with the master tape for the most recent backup.

All we have come up with so far is to work hard at tracking down users and doing individual backups one user per tape in a two tape rotation once a week. This would work, but it would be very labor intensive.

I am putting a large point value on this to generate interest. I will award the person who I believe has the best answer for my particular scenairo.

Thanks in advance for your replies to this question!!

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by CG IT In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

Ha! Trying to get those laptops from your users is probably like pulling teeth. They don't wanna do it. You've pretty much answered your own question though labor intensive it is. Humm do the laptop users use a docking station? Wonder if someone could write a program where when the laptop is docked, the program scans for the latest backup date and if a set certain period of time has lapsed since then it automatically downloads and backs up. Not the least expensive way, but might be on TCO in the long run.

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by Coors In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

Unfortunately we do not have a programmer and answers 2 and 3 better meet the particular needs of my situation. I do appreciate your reply.

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by Coors In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

Point value changed by question poster.

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by Coors In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

Somehow this initially posted with a 150 point value after I had put 5000 in. So now I have upgraded the point value.

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by BudTheGrey In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

You mention ArcServe advanced edition; this implies that there is a NetWork involved. If so, the solution that's closest to ideal is to use the server as the place where data files are backed up to, or more accurately, synchronized with the laptop.

If the network is Netware 6, you might want to investigate iFolder -- it does exactly what I just described.

In you shoes, I'd investigate one of the dozens of "file synchronizers". My personal favorite is a product called "Second Copy" (www.secondcopy.com). Most can be configured to go into the network login script, and to synchronize select folders or file types to the server.

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by Coors In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

This answwer was very good, it has helped me see a low cost alternative in second copy. I will now be able to bring two solutions to the table. Thank you very much for your answer.

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by patty In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

Sounds like our company.

We use Veritas for our backup software, which backs up to a HP DLT tape drive. We're on a 2-week rotation that's scheduled to backup every week day night at 10pm.

We have created a Userfolder on our server with an individual userfolder for each user. Configure the client machines to have your users save everything in their userfolder, which then gets backed up every night. Most of our client machines are W2K professional so we enabled their 'My Documents' folder for auto synchronization everytime they log on/off. For our legacy client machines, we created a batch file that points to the server and sits on their desktop so all they have to do is double-click on it when they're in the office to backup all their files to the server.

The biggest challenge is to train your users to save their documents in their userfolder.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.
Patty

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by Coors In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

My experience with Microsoft is that they usually have great ideas for tools, but they often fall short. I had dismissed the offline files idea. Your suggestion made me take another look at it. This just might work for us. I thank you for your post. You have been very kind!

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Backups for Laptop Computers

by Coors In reply to Backups for Laptop Comput ...

This question was closed by the author

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