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Backup and storage ideas for a nonprofit?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I currently work for a very small government non-profit (six employees total) ... just brainstorming some ideas for security, cloud storage, and backup. My predecessor had no working knowledge of IT.

What we have:
Windows 2008 server
Two 1TB local space, 1TB USB
SQL server for database management
Jungle Disk, backup everyday and at a 12 months worth's of restore points
Six computers on an active directory domain, etc.

Our nonprofit uses at MOST 200GB of data for everything we've had for the last 10 years. Growth really isn't a problem.

I think that much cloud storage is a bit overkill, and the rate of backup everyday ... taking up cloud space is a bit much when we have more than enough space to host locally...


My ideas-

Proposal 1: Hybrid

-Use the two 1TB in a RAID1
-Have local backups with something like Acronis for our sever.
-Use limited cloud space as storage and backup ... saving cost... Like 2-3 months worth of shadow copies/incremental backups.
-Use the 1TB USB to also provide archival/imaging storage capabilities
-Have monthly DVD backups, as to have long term storage



Proposal 2:

-Change nothing, keep using ~$300+ worth of cloud storage and hosting fees
-Implement monthly DVD backups of archived data
-???

Proposal 3: ???


I feel as if much of the hardware isn't being implemented, and there's too much dependency on cloud storage. If anyone has good ideas, or thoughts that would be awesome considering I'm the only IT capable personal at my organization.

Thanks OCN thumb.gif
Edited by Blindrage606 - 4/1/14 at 12:08pm
 
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post #2 of 11
If you only have 200GB to store with very slow growth...I'd just replicate it in its entirety to another drive and not use any true back up software...though I absolutely love Acronis.

And honestly if you made a third copy of it offsite you could get rid of the DVD backup. Just set up a server on old cheap hardware in your basement if you don't want to use the cloud...unless you deal with sensitive data. I've seen more than one organization find out that optical storage isn't as long term as originally thought.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

If you only have 200GB to store with very slow growth...I'd just replicate it in its entirety to another drive and not use any true back up software...though I absolutely love Acronis.

And honestly if you made a third copy of it offsite you could get rid of the DVD backup. Just set up a server on old cheap hardware in your basement if you don't want to use the cloud...unless you deal with sensitive data. I've seen more than one organization find out that optical storage isn't as long term as originally thought.

Great ideas, however it is sensitive data .... And would not look liable if someone were to rob my house lol

How long does a CD/DVD last?
 
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindrage606 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant Storm View Post

If you only have 200GB to store with very slow growth...I'd just replicate it in its entirety to another drive and not use any true back up software...though I absolutely love Acronis.

And honestly if you made a third copy of it offsite you could get rid of the DVD backup. Just set up a server on old cheap hardware in your basement if you don't want to use the cloud...unless you deal with sensitive data. I've seen more than one organization find out that optical storage isn't as long term as originally thought.

Great ideas, however it is sensitive data .... And would not look liable if someone were to rob my house lol

How long does a CD/DVD last?

I believe they should last at least a couple decades, but all it takes is for one person to mishandle them and they are gone. I even know of one example where a secretary threw out about 15 years of data because, "her computer didn't even have an optical drive".

I would also pose the question on where these DVDs would be stored. I've seen places do a physical media backup and then store them in the server room with the data on the hard drive. Meaning if a fire came through it would take out both copies any way so they are just wasting their time. You really just need three backups going. One on site for IT troubleshooting and restore reasons, and one off site so that if the main site is lost you still have the data.

Though even with sensitive data the basement server would be OK provided you had encryption going. I'd be more worried about DVDs getting lost or stolen then a Bit Locked hard drive being read.
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post #5 of 11
Being that backups are 50% of my job and I backup around 1200 Servers amounting to the double digit petabytes rolleyes.gif

Number 1, RAID is not a backup. It's an uptime *feature*. Nothing more.
Number 2, DVD is not a backup solution either. It's for making movies or "mixed tapes". That's it.

If you guys are serious about backups; you NEED offsite storage in case of DR. That's how it is. That's the point of backups. So either go with "the cloud" or get yourself an LTO tape system with some tapes and a plan to store them offsite. You should have Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Archival backups. Please do not use incremental.
    
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

Being that backups are 50% of my job and I backup around 1200 Servers amounting to the double digit petabytes rolleyes.gif

Number 1, RAID is not a backup. It's an uptime *feature*. Nothing more.
Number 2, DVD is not a backup solution either. It's for making movies or "mixed tapes". That's it.

If you guys are serious about backups; you NEED offsite storage in case of DR. That's how it is. That's the point of backups. So either go with "the cloud" or get yourself an LTO tape system with some tapes and a plan to store them offsite. You should have Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Archival backups. Please do not use incremental.

It is slow growing data....
Full for monthly.
Differential (or full) for weekly.
Incremental for daily.

Might be a faster/cheaper approach?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindrage606 View Post

I think that much cloud storage is a bit overkill, and the rate of backup everyday ... taking up cloud space is a bit much when we have more than enough space to host locally...

I feel as if much of the hardware isn't being implemented, and there's too much dependency on cloud storage. If anyone has good ideas, or thoughts that would be awesome considering I'm the only IT capable personal at my organization.
Cloud storage is not just about space..... it's also about physically remote in case of a regional disaster like earthquake, hurricane, or nukes.

If you are a non-profit, you might be able to reach out to a some cloud storage companies and see if they have any free/discount programs.

However, if you data is sensitive.... what are the laws on it?
Edited by DuckieHo - 4/2/14 at 8:23am
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

It is slow growing data....
Full for monthly.
Differential (or full) for weekly.
Incremental for daily.

Might be a faster/cheaper approach?

For our small sites we usually do:

Weekly Full, on a tape 1st to 4th week rotation.
Monthly Full, saved for 1 year, labeled the current month.
Daily, Diffs for speed.
Archives, only on demand. Usually fulls.
    
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

For our small sites we usually do:

Weekly Full, on a tape 1st to 4th week rotation.
Monthly Full, saved for 1 year, labeled the current month.
Daily, Diffs for speed.
Archives, only on demand. Usually fulls.

Tape is probably out for them, budget it probably a concern, and support is probably minimal...

Maybe something like this:
Weekly full automated to on-line backup server to physically separate HDDs on 4-cycle rotation.
Daily diff automated to same on-line backup server to physically separate HDDs on a 2-cycle rotation
Monthly full manually to external off-line HDD #1-#12
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

Tape is probably out for them, budget it probably a concern, and support is probably minimal...

Maybe something like this:
Weekly full automated to on-line backup server to physically separate HDDs on 4-cycle rotation.
Daily diff automated to same on-line backup server to physically separate HDDs on a 2-cycle rotation
Monthly full manually to external off-line HDD #1-#12


You're right. Tapes are around $100-$150 EA. Tough for a non-profit.

I think to an online backup system would be the best option for them. You can get fairly good plans out there for cheap. Heck if OP is really interested he could get a Backupsy VPS with 500GB storage for $7. Put it on an OpenVPN connection and make it internal.

Keeping an on-site backup is good too, in case someone needs to restore data quickly. It happens, we all delete "that file".
    
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by killabytes View Post

You're right. Tapes are around $100-$150 EA. Tough for a non-profit.

I think to an online backup system would be the best option for them. You can get fairly good plans out there for cheap. Heck if OP is really interested he could get a Backupsy VPS with 500GB storage for $7. Put it on an OpenVPN connection and make it internal.

Keeping an on-site backup is good too, in case someone needs to restore data quickly. It happens, we all delete "that file".

Problem with sensitive data is the rules governing it..... i.e. Are they allowed to place the data on hardware that they do not fully own? Even if encrypted?
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