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Need Help Back Up Solution

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by OADesign, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

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    Hi All,

    With a heavy heart I'm seeking advice on this problem. I come in the shop this Monday to find and disturbing email from my estimator. Something to the effect of, "I can't access the server..." The long and short of it is this: Our file server died. Mind you, we do have a back up, but I got a bit lazy and the last time I ran it was about 3 months ago. No not too much data missing. But enough for the guy the signs my checks to be miffed at me.

    Any way, the hardware, not a true file server per se. But a Older NAS from a company Buffalo. 1TB. Basically an external drive that has an Ethernet port so it can be easily connected to the net work. I just back it up to another external drive periodically.

    Looking to move to another of the same type of set up. Just maybe something that backs up (with out my interaction). Note: I don't have time, nor do I know enough about, solutions like building a Linux box or something similar. Any suggestions? We have a Fry's Electronics within walking distance, so more than likely that it where we will go. But any advice will be considered.

    And I searched s101 first but could not find what I was looking for. So if anyone wants to suggest search terms I may be missing, that would be useful also.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. GaSouthpaw

    GaSouthpaw Active Member

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    Signburst Computers is a Merchant Member, and could probably offer a solution. I've never used them myself, but I've seen nothing but positive reviews.
     
  3. Chasez

    Chasez Member

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    You could go to a cloud service like Dropbox or google drive (I'm sure there are tons others as well). They are paid subscriptions but would ultimately work. Just share your folders that you want to back up to the service and it will have them in the "cloud".

    I'm in the same boat as you, we have an older PC setup as a central server and backup files to an external drive. Again lacking time to do backups (think i'm about 1 yr passed due to backup :S) so praying it doesn't die.

    A thought, if it is just a NAS, you could most likely pull the drives out and plug them into a pc and see if the files are still there... hopfully it was the NAS that died and not the HDDs themselves.

    Chaz
     
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    We have a dedicated PC in the front office set up as a file server, it's accessible by every computer in the shop. the PC has 3 HDD inside it, all set up to be copies of each other (not sure the exact term RAID something or other)

    This computer is also backed up with carbonite in real time, so as soon as a file is saved to the server, it starts getting uploaded to the cloud, which has saved us on multiple occasions.

    One of the nice feature of Carbonite, is that it saves previous versions of files up to 30 days, so say you are doing a design for someone, and on revision 432, they say they actually like revision number 8 really speaks best to them and they feel it has the best fung-shui of all the options, but you deleted it cause you didn't think anyone in their right mind would want that steaming pile on the front of their business, well carbonite has it saved for you.
     
  5. JohnBFryJr

    JohnBFryJr Member

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    I keep an external drive on site and take 1 home. Backup about every week or so with Microsoft sync toy. Unless your drive had a head crash or complete failure your data should be salvageable.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
  6. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Qnaps have this ability, but it will require interaction on the front end to setup when and where it sends the backups. Either to a 3rd party cloud storage or to another NAS. I personally would not use a 3rd party cloud service for something like this. That's just my take on it.

    They do use a Linux distro, but with a nice GUI that you can access through a web browser. Or if you are good with CLI, you can hook up a monitor and keyboard directly to it. Some of the newer ones allow you to run VMs directly through them.

    Or you can build something and use FreeNAS (not Linux, but based on FreeBSD).

    One advantage to using something like FreeNAS versus a Qnap, is that they have software based RAID versus hardware based.
     
  7. boxerbay

    boxerbay Active Member

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    Darkside of the Moon
    • Like Like x 2
  8. boxerbay

    boxerbay Active Member

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    Darkside of the Moon
    lol revision #432. haha.
     
  9. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    I use a 2tb ext drive and do not leave on a friday without backing up the weeks work on both computers, design station and up front. Nothing fancy and at this point it is just 5 minutes before I leave. My 2tb drive is brand new and replaced my 1tb notebook that just gave up the ghost.
     
  10. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    Best practice is to have an onsite and offsite backup. Synology NAS solutions are great, particularly the ones with redundancy drives. Along with something like carbonite cloud backup. Basically what Canuck said.
     
  11. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    Omar, it's been a long time! The NAS idea is a great one. There are a ton of devices out there and many of them have backup features that don't require your input. I am surprised that your Buffalo didn't have a scheduled backup utility. I have scheduled backups on several Buffalo NAS devices. Many will allow you to backup directly to another NAS or to a simple external drive. Synology, QNAP, Bufallo, and Western Digital are some of my favorites.

    I am not a fan of online backups for this purpose. I would rather backup locally and take a copy offsite.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Synology with Cloud Sync for the Win... you cand even mirror across clouds for extra redundancy.
     
  13. Baz

    Baz Very Active Member

    I use FBackup. It's free and i have it running on a daily schedule. Backs up all my files to an external drive everyday at 5pm.
    I also have a portable dual hard drive that i save a backup copy every Friday. It is set to mirror copy on the second drive.
     
  14. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    We did the external backup thing for years, and it is a very good option, as long as you are vigilant about swapping them out. If you are like us and you get lazy or forget it's pointless. I've got enough stuff to try and remember on a daily basis.
     
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  16. We have had this issue before. We actually lost about 3 months worth of files as well which doesn't sound like alot.....but we all know IT IS! we started doing a raid box backup and also had a couple of external drives that we would occasionally back up to and take offsite.
    We then found a company called "backblaze". It allows you to back up 1 computer, unlimited files, FOR $5 A MONTH! To me that is a ridiculously easy decision to make. its only $50 a year if you pay for the whole year. We have about 7 Terabytes of files backed up with them, all accessible from anywhere...even my phone. It back up all files incrementally and you can access each individual file, not one giant zip file. I set it to back up everyday and have never had an issue.
    It is in my opinion the easiest, cheapest offsite backup you can find. and if you're worried about not having a physical backup, for a couple hundred bucks they'll send you an external drive with your files on it. So in theory you could do that every 6 months to be extra safe....but i think that's overkill.
     
  17. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

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    Hi All,

    Hopefully you are not in the shop working or reading this on a Saturday AM. I would hope you are somewhere on a golf course, or basketball court, or in a pool or in front of a grill. Or just doing what ever you do to relax.

    Finally got some time so I thought I should come back post my results. First off, thanks to all of you that replied with suggestions. It gave me a lot to consider for the next time I have to come up with a good back up solution.

    This was really THE worst issue I've had at the shop in a long time. I mean all my fingers are still intact. So there is that. But I think losing a finger may have been better then all the files I had to rebuild and the towering stack of backlogged jobs we had to process. But we got through it,

    It seemed like fate was playing a bad joke. Out of all the one off jobs that come through the shop, it just so happened that during that month, many of customers wanted repeats of those orders, that were lost in the original crash. So what I did was rebuild the art files from proofs that had been emailed to clients. Yep. Searched through thousands of emails to find PDF proof files. Bring those docs into Flexi or Illustrator, Reset colors or scale where needed or reset fonts that were outlined if changes were needed. Nothing I haven't done before. But never that many at one time. Fortunately, I use WO numbers and descriptive file names so it was not that hard. Just time consuming. But it all worked out.

    As far as the back up solution. The end result was this: We had a "extra" machine (believe it or not). Windows 10. Decent processor. 8 gigs of RAM. I added a 1TB WD drive to it. Then copied all the files (pre-crash and all the rebuilt files) back to that drive. Then we went with Carbonite to back up that drive off site. The only tricky part was sharing that drive to the local network properly. Needed to share not only that drive itself but a separate action was needed to share all the folders and files that had been placed there. took two pots of coffee, some google searches and an evening of OT to figure that out, but the problem was solved. I wanted to add a second drive and have someone physically take it off site weekly as a fail safe but the discussion about who was getting elected to take said drive and how to remind elected official of his/her duties proved to take more energy than I was willing to commit so... yeah.

    Anyway. The new machine works great. Access to the drive is light years faster for other users on the network. And with Carbonite running, no backup process to remember. It just runs. As far as Win10, I did have to do a few tweaks. I set it so it only runs updates on in the wee hours of the AM, because I discovered that Carbonite stops cold if the OS has a dialog box up or is paused because it is asking for user input. I also set it so the drive only sleeps after a few hours of inactivity, This prevents read-write issues or lag on when trying to access files or saving large files. Basically the program does not have to wait for the drive to spin up.

    So thanks again to all the responded. Hopefully sharing my experience. will prevent someone from having the same.
     
  18. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I use Google Drive. It has a copy on each of my local computers and the cloud. $2 a month and I can access everything from my phone.
     
  19. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    All our jobs etc on a QNAP NAS with raid to prevent data loss from a failed drive.
    Back up weekly to removable drives stored offsite.
    Nightly Acronis hard drive backups of my workstation to cover any drive failures.

    It's not a matter of if a drive will fail but when.
     
  20. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    This is what we do, except I have it setup to backup to offsite FreeNAS backups.

    I would probably suggest going to something that has a software based RAID versus a hardware based RAID (unless the newer ones have swapped to software based, mine are a couple of yrs old). If that RAID card fails, data may be unrecoverable. Not always, but in some instances they are. Especially if you do the "try and pray" method of recovery.
     
  21. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Very Active Member

    Dropbox is a great answer. You can get 120 days of version history on the cheaper 2g plan but you can get more if you pay for it.

    Version history is awesome when you open a customer file and forget to save as...

    Dropbox plan comparison - Dropbox Business
     
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