Backup/sync solutions?


  • Banned

    (Nothing to do with pfSense at all)

    Im trying to think up of some backup and sync solutions for a project and I wanted to know if I could get some ideas.

    Im looking for file based weekly backups. Nothing image.

    What is needed to be stored is a RAID5 volume.

    3 places:

    1: A offsite backup to a external USB 3.0 HDD
    2: A onsite backup to a NAS
    3: A offsite synchronization to a NAS connected via VPN

    I thinking of doing incremental backups.

    Right now Im trying out Windows Server Backup built into WS2012R2 and Norton's solution. Im not too fond of them because as far as Im seeing they are doing image backups.

    I have nothing implemented as of yet for the synchronization part.

    Tips and ideas?



  • Rsnapshot is file based and uses rsync to only mocve/copy data that has changed.

    http://rsnapshot.org/



  • For Windows we are using a hard-link tool:
    http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/ln/ln.html
    and a Powershell script of our own that reads an INI file and does its thing:
    https://github.com/International-Nepal-Fellowship/Windows-Tools/tree/master/ntfs-hardlink-backup

    The first time it runs it makes a full backup to the destination. After that the "ln" hard-link tool makes incremental backups of only the files that have changed, and adds hard-links back to the files in the previous backup that have not changed. This means that the folder-tree of every backup looks just like a full backup, but only takes the actual extra space needed for the changed files. That makes recovery easy - no messing with last full backup plus restoring each incremental…

    You will also find a Robocopy script version in that repo. We use that to make and keep up-to-date a mirror of all our file shares at a remote place over OpenVPN. Robocopy is very robust at trying again and again when there are link issues, so it is good to use for sites that have crap internet but want to make off-site backup.

    All free to use as you wish.


  • Banned

    @stan-qaz:

    Rsnapshot is file based and uses rsync to only mocve/copy data that has changed.

    http://rsnapshot.org/

    This is Linux based as far as I see…..I have been thinking that since there is no truely "good" backup solution on Windows, I might make a Linux VM thats sole purpose is to take care of backups. How does that sound? I would need domain integration which I think all Linux distros have now.

    @phil.davis:

    For Windows we are using a hard-link tool:
    http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/ln/ln.html
    and a Powershell script of our own that reads an INI file and does its thing:
    https://github.com/International-Nepal-Fellowship/Windows-Tools/tree/master/ntfs-hardlink-backup

    The first time it runs it makes a full backup to the destination. After that the "ln" hard-link tool makes incremental backups of only the files that have changed, and adds hard-links back to the files in the previous backup that have not changed. This means that the folder-tree of every backup looks just like a full backup, but only takes the actual extra space needed for the changed files. That makes recovery easy - no messing with last full backup plus restoring each incremental…

    You will also find a Robocopy script version in that repo. We use that to make and keep up-to-date a mirror of all our file shares at a remote place over OpenVPN. Robocopy is very robust at trying again and again when there are link issues, so it is good to use for sites that have crap internet but want to make off-site backup.

    All free to use as you wish.

    Ive tried searching like crazy for a good Robocopy GUI but honestly I cannot find anything decent and/or that works.

    Scripting this is kind of sloppy even though I understand.



  • There are tons of serious backup solutions for Windows.  They just all cost an arm and a leg.  That is the Windows way, after all.  Some of them even work well, too.



  • Some of them even work well, too.

    The one we have put together in INF is free and works - "well" would have to come after independent assessment! After making a 1-line script to call the Powershell and referencing the INI file, it is just a matter of putting that in Task Scheduler for whenever you want it to run.
    Admittedly no GUI to click around in to write the INI file or manipulate the Task Scheduler task. I just looked on the readme in the repo, and NO GUI is listed as a feature :)


  • Banned

    @KOM:

    There are tons of serious backup solutions for Windows.  They just all cost an arm and a leg.  That is the Windows way, after all.  Some of them even work well, too.

    I dont mind as long as they work perfect.

    Acronis has a solution for example but I cant even use my credentials to log on to a share on a DC! I mean, the most simple thing in the world…

    Im actually thinking of making a Linux VM to do all my backup and syncing.


  • Banned

    @riahc3:

    Acronis has a solution for example

    No, they don't. They have giant buggy POS with zero support.



  • Acronis has a solution for example

    They have giant buggy POS with zero support.

    I use Acronis for some physical systems, but I wish I had something else.  Backups fail for random, mysterious reasons.  Days go by without a valid backup and no warning email.  But as soon as I log in and clear the error, then all the warning mails arrive.  I used to use Ghost when it was made by the fine folks at Binary Research.  Sadly, they sold it to Symantec and now it's the same horrible POS as Acronis.  Does nobody have a good, reliable image-backup for physical machines that doesn't cost a small fortune?


  • Banned

    As for Acronis, they actually damage Windows beyond repair. Other than that, their strategy is to release exactly zero bugfix releases, then release a new version and try to rip you off more money, stripped of even more features, even more idiotic and even more buggy.


  • Moderator

    I have had some good success with "Backup PC"

    http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/

    BackupPC is a high-performance, enterprise-grade system for backing up Linux, WinXX and MacOSX PCs and laptops to a server's disk. BackupPC is highly configurable and easy to install and maintain.

    Version 3.3.1 released on January 11th, 2015


  • Banned

    @doktornotor:

    No, they don't. They have giant buggy POS with zero support.

    ;D They are good for imaging but like I said not being able to authenticate with my credentials is kind of a huge bitch.

    I was thinking back to what you guys mentioned with scripts….

    The first (1) script is pretty easy.

    s:/ = source
    d:/ = destination
    n:/ = nas
    v:/ = vpn connected nas

    robocopy s:/ d:/

    Set it to run every friday weekly. Only issue I have is would this overwrite ALL the files or only files that have changed. Also under what user (which wouldnt be logged in) would I run it?

    The second (2) script is also pretty easy

    robocopy s:/ n:/

    Same thing: Set it to run every friday weekly. Only issue I have is would this overwrite ALL the files or only files that have changed. Also under what user (which wouldnt be logged in) would I run it?

    The third (3) one is a bit complicated because it might kill my network.

    @echo off
    SETLOCAL ENABLEDELAYEDEXPANSION
    SET times=999999999
    :startagain
    IF %times% NEQ 0 (
    robocopy s:/ v:/ /mir
    SET /a times=%times%-1
    GOTO startagain
    ) ELSE (
    echo infinityscriptfinished
    )

    This would infinity run robocopy in mirror mode to make sure everything stays in sync. I would run this script every computer startup (just in case)

    Are these good ideas or complete overkill? Obviously I would also need it to run "userless".



  • If you want any proper backup history then you need more smarts than just robocopy. And that is important when the user accidentally deleted some files then realises a week (moth, year…) later - it is no help when the Robocopy mirror has faithfully deleted all the files from the "backup" miror also.
    We do something like the Robocopy mirror to offsite across OpenVPN. That keeps a current copy of our data for disaster recovery. Then do some incrementals of that at the remote site to keep a few recovery options.
    It is easy to just make a small "bat" file and then schedule it in Task Scheduler for whever you want - e.g. we schedule on servers at night, and on clients (laptops...) to server backup share around lunch times.
    We make a username for backups (pick something - company.backup) and give it the necessary read access to all the user data and write access to the backup locations. Then use that username in Task Scheduler.


  • Banned

    @phil.davis:

    If you want any proper backup history then you need more smarts than just robocopy. And that is important when the user accidentally deleted some files then realises a week (moth, year…) later - it is no help when the Robocopy mirror has faithfully deleted all the files from the "backup" miror also.

    The backups, to the USB and the onesite NAS, would keep updated copies. That syncd mirror is just a third location.

    @phil.davis:

    We do something like the Robocopy mirror to offsite across OpenVPN.

    Exactly. Thats what I have planned….across a VPN.

    @phil.davis:

    We make a username for backups (pick something - company.backup) and give it the necessary read access to all the user data and write access to the backup locations. Then use that username in Task Scheduler.

    But can it be done with the PC only on and no user logged on?



  • In Task Scheduler on the General tab select "Run whether user is logged on or not"



  • I have had some good success with "Backup PC"

    Thanks for the suggestion.  I had tried it before maybe a couple of years ago but it was not suitable at that time.  I will look at it again.

    They are good for imaging but like I said not being able to authenticate with my credentials is kind of a huge bitch.

    I've been using Acronis in an AD environment since v9 and I've never had a problem authenticating, and I backup multiple domains.  One set of creds for the backup job and another set for the target location.  Works like a charm.


  • Banned

    @KOM:

    I've been using Acronis in an AD environment since v9 and I've never had a problem authenticating, and I backup multiple domains.  One set of creds for the backup job and another set for the target location.  Works like a charm.

    My issues were just looking at the source, much less the destination…

    What Acronis edition were you using exactly?



  • I've been using Acronis in an AD environment since v9

    9.0, 9.5, 10.0, 11.0, 11.5.  No problem with its AD integration.


  • Banned

    @KOM:

    I've been using Acronis in an AD environment since v9

    9.0, 9.5, 10.0, 11.0, 11.5.  No problem with its AD integration.

    I ment edition, not version, sorry.


  • Banned

    I think, even though it is a overkill, for offsite and onsite backup in a task weekly:

    Source = s:
    Destination= d:

    robocopy s: d: /E /MT:2 /R:50 /W:10 /V /ETA /LOG:robocopy.txt

    E = I include every subdirectory including empting ones
    MT = Im kind of confused on this one. It creates multi-threaded copies BUT I only have 2 cores on the VM and HT turned off. Would 2 do anything?
    R = Number of retry times. Shouldnt do it ever as the office is empty and it isnt in use
    W= Wait times. I dont want it to wait forever so every 10 seconds is enough. Basically max 8 minutes per file.
    V = Gives output
    ETA = How long it is going to take
    LOG = Make a log file. Is it possible to do something like robocopy%date%%time%.txt?

    I think this will be enough for my local copy and my onsite NAS.

    This isnt a true "sync" for my offsite NAS thru VPN but if I dont find anything else….Ill do it this way too...



  • I ment edition, not version, sorry

    Various.  TrueImage for Servers, Backup & Recovery for Servers.  Always server editions.


  • Banned

    @KOM:

    I ment edition, not version, sorry

    Various.  TrueImage for Servers, Backup & Recovery for Servers.  Always server editions.

    Thank you. Will keep in mind.


  • Banned

    Task Scheduler and Robocopy were a lot trickier to set up than a simple BAT file. Got it to work but…



  • cygwin + rsync?


  • Banned

    @Mr.:

    cygwin + rsync?

    Was one of the solutions I was looking at. A rsync client looks pretty OK to setup in Windows but a server? I gotta look more into that.

    Besides robocopy is take a ETERNITY to complete 2.22TB started on Friday at 10PM is still running Sunday at 4PM….



  • @riahc3:

    @Mr.:

    cygwin + rsync?

    Was one of the solutions I was looking at. A rsync client looks pretty OK to setup in Windows but a server? I gotta look more into that.

    Besides robocopy is take a ETERNITY to complete 2.22TB started on Friday at 10PM is still running Sunday at 4PM….

    Robocopy is MS's interpretation of 'automation' ( ;D ;D ;D ) (why copy what hasn't changed?).

    From your 3 targets, why do you need to install an rsync server? If you have a common NAS (Syno, Qnap, FreeNAS), rsync server is built in, and for the USB-disk you don't need a server. You can simple rsync source target, e.g::

    rsync: c:\docs e:\docs (plus the switches of course, which I don't know by head  ;D ).


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