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Automatic backup fileserver? Help needed on where to start

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi! Thank you for looking here to see if you could help.

Scenario: I need to make a backup server for my parents computers. Two desktops, two laptops. Three are Windows 7, and one is windows Vista. (Upgrading it is not an option at the moment)

Reliability is important, not speed.

The server needs to back up all user data on all the machines, and keep it separately, categorized by machine. This is to keep is simple for my parents to use in the event that they need to access data off the backup server.

Backups need to be done automatically at least every 24 hours, and be as simple for my parents as possible on their client computers. Ideally, when the laptops logged on to the home network, data would update.

What would be nice: a system that would save earlier versions of files, and be able to access these old versions easily, through the server itself. (Extra insurance against user error)

Raid 1 or a software equivalent of it for possible hard drive failure.


Yes I realize that this will take a TON of physical hard drive space. However, their data is mostly word and excel files, and thus space demands are not terrible. 3 TB is more than sufficient.

A system to restore over the network is not necessary.

Other (less important) uses.

A simple way to back up the backup servers data onto A) An external hard drive and/or B) Multiple DVD's would be nice.

I would like to use this machine to run folding at home. (I assume a Quad core would not be taxed much by this server load, having it fold would make better use of it)

I would also LOVE to have a way to access it online from a linux computer, and have it be a personal file server for me. (Not automatic backups, just a place to store files)
^Ideally I could remote desktop to it, and download torrents etc through it and then take the downloaded file and move it to my computer at college. (Legal uses- linux DVD's for one) This would enable me to run a download all night without having my college computer on, and it would be on a more reliable connection.

Hardware: My sig rig would be turned into this server, minus the hard drives and GPU. I have never used RAID, but I am fairly sure my board supports it.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Looking at the scenario, is there an easy way to do this? I do not know how I could set up automatic backups.. could you point me towards a solution?

Thank you!
Edited by christian_piper - 12/29/10 at 1:50am
post #2 of 16
I was a bit tired there..skipped almost half your post...sorry...
You have more ore less the same user needs as I do:
(Backup, torrents, folding, web server, FTP, file server, transcoding +++)

As an example my server is a Dual Xeon with plain old XP on it.
The I added the services i wanted:
-Backup - Syncrify (free client/server app)
-Torrents - uTorrent (free downloader with client "uRemote" on other machines
-Folding - Well this is just BOINC
-Web server - Abyss Web Server (Free & plenty advanced for home use, well docmented)
- FileZilla FTP Server - (free, and remote controllable)
Edited by gizmoronimo - 12/29/10 at 2:55am
    
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post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Windows Home Server looks quite interesting- especially the ease of use bit. how does it handle backing up file versions?

I saw this software- syncrify - recommended on another forum. How would WHS compare with this, or an open source version of this?
http://web.synametrics.com/Syncrify.htm
Edited by christian_piper - 12/29/10 at 2:53am
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by christian_piper View Post
I saw this software- syncrify - recommended on another forum. How would WHS compare with this, or an open source version of this?
http://web.synametrics.com/Syncrify.htm
I would say WHS is more user friendly...

If you don't need network restore features, you can also use Microsofts own NTbackup...Does what it's supposed to do:
Choose folders for backup, choose location to backup, choose times to backup..(roughly like that)...
    
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by christian_piper View Post
Windows Home Server looks quite interesting- especially the ease of use bit. how does it handle backing up file versions?
The backup of file versions is nothing I use, so i don't know...
are you thinking about shadow copy(XP name)?
    
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
What I mean is this:

A person has a word document, they edit it once a day for a week. With file version backup, any of those different versions could be restored.

Thanks for your help! It has been quite useful already
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by christian_piper View Post
What I mean is this:

A person has a word document, they edit it once a day for a week. With file version backup, any of those different versions could be restored.
Very well explained for my tired face...
I completely understand, but I have never looked into this....
Maybe mr.Google has some of theese answears?
And I do believe this is a part of the "shadow copy" features of windows.
But I believe this can be sceduled with NTbackup:
- one complete backup every day.
- One weekly backup
- One monthly backup...and so on...
Edited by gizmoronimo - 12/29/10 at 3:16am
    
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am looking into that. Sadly, Mr. Google is very hard to use for me right now- In a foreign country using my cellar phone to tether to my laptop for internet during my downtime (Yes I have an international data plan) Sadly, the internet speed is currently around 0.2 - 0.5 Kbps..... each page takes a few minutes to load.
post #9 of 16
WHS is probably your best option for this particular scenario.

Unless you want to "pay" for enterprise-level options and learning-curve on using them...
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post #10 of 16
I'm using WHS "Vail" & its backup works quite nice, I am very impressed so far. The server wakes my computers (4) & backs them up each night. I have replaced failing hard drives for some friends too, backed up their rigs to the server, install new drive & restored, way easy. My server keeps a dozen different backups for each computer, it seems to keep a few of the older ones (the first one & maybe 3 others), & then 8 or so are from the past 8 days or so. So do have the option of picking from many different backups for complete or file folder restoration. For me losing valuable pic & vids & files was a concern, I feel better about the situation now. Now I am trying to find a good way to back up the server, I want to be able to remove the backup from my home & store at different location.
    
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