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Optical (DVD) Backup Software

By kg5vw ·
I just replaced the server on our small office peer to peer network and had a DVD-RW drive installed. I'm looking for a good backup software for our daily backups that supports optical drives. So far I've only found the one that NTI makes and would like to look at all my options before settling on the first I find. Anyone have any experience with daily backups with DVD-RW drives? If I can find good software, this has to be better than the tape system we've used for the last 4 years! BTW, I've email the makers of Drive Image and they replied stating that they do not support any of the DVD recorders currently on the market, only CD recorders.

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Optical for home, tape for office

by TheChas In reply to Optical (DVD) Backup Soft ...

The problem with most backup software that includes optical (CD/DVD) drives, is that it is written for the low cost 'home' market.

Most companies want to set up unattended backups when the users are off of the network.
Even with the 5GB or so available on a DVD-RW, that is a very small data set for almost any company.

With a tape drive, you can backup a very large data set on a single tape.

As to DVD-RW and backups, I would follow the same precautions that I recommend for CD-RW users.
optical RW media is NOT archival in nature. Think of it as a very large floppy disk.

I would right my weekly / monthly FULL backups to 2 sets of DVD-R media. (redundancy)
Then use 10 (or 14) DVD-RW disks for your daily / incremental backups.
The concept behind the stratagy is
1. Media life
2. Data integrity. Should a DVD-RW disk fail, you have only lost 1 days data.

I myself have had several CD-RW disks 'loose' their format between sessions on the PC.

Any data that I place onto a RW disk has at least 2 other copies stored.


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Thanks for the suggestions

by kg5vw In reply to Optical for home, tape fo ...

I appreciate the info tips. I've been using tape for about the last 2 1/2 years at this office. I plan on following the same procedures as before, just the media will be different now. It is pretty much the same as your outline above, except that I'm not too concerned about loosing the previous days data on the backup. No more than I have (1-2 Gbytes) the changes that occour daily are fairly easy to re-enter if necessary. However, I don't see a problem of lost data happening to the DVD-RW disks. If I do experience this, I'll try swapping to a different mfr. of media until I find one that is stable. The advantage of the optical is the speed, at which point the office manager will be able to do the backup before going home and can verify that there were no errors that interrupted the backup all together. With our tape system we've had several times when they come back to work the next day and find the backup didn't work at all.

Right now what I'm looking for is some kind of backup software that will automate the backup process, or atleast will be user friendly so the "girls" can use it without extensive training. So far I've located 2 software packages that claim support for DVD-RW drives. I need to research more before deciding on which one I'll implement.


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TrueImage to DVD?

by alanmcrae In reply to Thanks for the suggestion ...

We're looking at imaging our Workstations to DVD using Acronis TrueImage software. We've been imaging with TrueImage to an external USB Hard Drive, then copying the images onto our NAS for on-line disaster recovery, and backing them up to tape for off-line storage. We're very pleased with TrueImage, but when pressed for a hardware compatibility list for DVD imaging they have not been forthcoming. Since they don't provide built-in support for imaging to DVD as yet, they are reluctant to state any particular compatabilities. Note that we also utilize PowerQuest Deploy Center to image to our NAS, as it works very well over the direct wire to the NAS. But we have not been successful imaging over our VPN from remote offices, so we have been using the TrueImage/USB Hard Drive solution for that. We're ready to buy an External DVD Drive and use it for hard drive image backups, but TrueImage won't give us a hardware compatability list and we don't want to fund our own test regime. Perhaps other users will share their test results with the rest of us?

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Update to DVD backups

by kg5vw In reply to TrueImage to DVD?

It's been almost a 9 months since I installed the backup system and thought an update to what I found out might help others. Fist of all, I've settled on Backup MyPC as the software and I've had mixed results. I would like to try the NTI BackupNOW to see if I can get better results. I just finished reading a review of Backup MyPC and some of the same results were what I've encountered. First and foremost, the biggest headache I've had with it is having to close all applications on all of our computers on the network (peer to peer) and reboot the server. The DVD+RW drive is installed on the server (where all of the data files are kept), and the software will not backup any data unless this computer is rebooted. Unattended backups are out of the question because of this. I'm only backing up about 2.5GB daily, and it is not a full system backup, only the program and data folders. Also, if any of the files are still in use by one of the workstations, the backup job will not complete. It does not simply skip the file in use and continue. It hangs up and give an error and aborts the backup job.

Since we used tape for several years in this office, the software was very familiar to the "girls", as it is simply an updated version of the old Veritas, Seagate, and HP backup programs. This was a nice feature and very little training was required. Since the DVD-RW data can't be simply overwritten, I had to teach the "girls" how to format a disk to prepare it before each backup. That is a hassle I had not thought about before going this route. Tape would have the option to overwrite the media without intervention, DVD does not.

I think I'm still looking for the perfect solution and would appreciate any feedback from the listening audience. I don't want to step back to the slow days of tape if I can get something optical to work without problems. Any ideas?


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