Windows 10: Backup solutions for Small Business?

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  1.    1 Week Ago #11

    Allegheny said: View Post
    What would you guess is the network topology for your average ma-and-pa business with less than 10 employees?

    Do you think these business even have a network?

    Are all of the computers likely daisy-chained together?

    Do you think they have a central "server"?

    The NAS that @NavyLCDR recommended looks pretty cool, but I don't understand how you would integrate that with even a single computer let alone several...
    The computers will be connected together on a network created either by a router or by a server. In a small business, more likely just a router. The computers are not daisy chained together. Token ring networks where the network ran in a circle from one computer to the next became obsolete in the early 2000's. The vast majority of networks today are hub and spokes with the central hub being either a server or a router.

    The NAS just attaches to the network like any one of the computers do and gets an IP address. It shows up as a disk drive and gets written to and read from either through it's IP address, or the IP address can be mapped to an actual drive letter on the computers. Then either important files are kept on the NAS, and/or backup images of the computers are stored on the NAS. Most NAS boxes also have processors so they can act as application or media servers as well.

    If the NAS is configured as RAID 1, it will have at least 2 physical hard drives in it and the NAS enclosure will mirror all the drives to each other so each physical drive is an exact copy of all the other drives in the enclosure. This provides redundancy. If one drive fails, simply replace it and the RAID 1 controller will automatically copy the contents of one of the good remaining drives to the new drive re-establishing the mirror. There are other RAID modes that offer redundancy as well, but RAID 1 is the simplest.

    If one of the computer's fails, then once it is repaired, it is booted from a repair drive such as a USB flash drive or DVD. The repair software will connect the computer to the network and restore the backup image stored on the NAS back to the newly repaired computer and it picks up from the point in time when the backup was created.
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  2.    1 Week Ago #12

    Allegheny, I only posted earlier what was parrotted to my dad's chemical company years ago -- dad found an individual who was doing what he wanted eventually an in-house person to do going forward. Dad found the person -- the consultant became a part-time fixture, doing what needed to be done. And, I posted what I posted earlier because I have no knowledge or experience with networking -- I have no answers except what my dad did earlier some years ago. :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    1 Week Ago #13

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    The computers will be connected together on a network created either by a router or by a server. In a small business, more likely just a router. The computers are not daisy chained together. Token ring networks where the network ran in a circle from one computer to the next became obsolete in the early 2000's. The vast majority of networks today are hub and spokes with the central hub being either a server or a router.
    Poor choice of words on my end.

    So if you have one switch, then do you need to turn on something in Windows so each computer can see the other?
    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    The NAS just attaches to the network like any one of the computers do and gets an IP address. It shows up as a disk drive and gets written to and read from either through it's IP address, or the IP address can be mapped to an actual drive letter on the computers. Then either important files are kept on the NAS, and/or backup images of the computers are stored on the NAS. Most NAS boxes also have processors so they can act as application or media servers as well.
    What would the advantage be of having a central file server versus having 5 computers all plugged into a switch?


    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    If the NAS is configured as RAID 1, it will have at least 2 physical hard drives in it and the NAS enclosure will mirror all the drives to each other so each physical drive is an exact copy of all the other drives in the enclosure. This provides redundancy. If one drive fails, simply replace it and the RAID 1 controller will automatically copy the contents of one of the good remaining drives to the new drive re-establishing the mirror. There are other RAID modes that offer redundancy as well, but RAID 1 is the simplest.
    If one of the computer's fails, then once it is repaired, it is booted from a repair drive such as a USB flash drive or DVD. The repair software will connect the computer to the network and restore the backup image stored on the NAS back to the newly repaired computer and it picks up from the point in time when the backup was created.
    Is there software that can easily clone a Windows PC? (Truth be told, I'm a Mac guy...)

    And if you had a network of 5 computers plugged into a switch, what would be the best backup strategy? Like how could you do either a real-time backup or an automated nightly backup?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    1 Week Ago #14

    Allegheny said: View Post
    Poor choice of words on my end.

    So if you have one switch, then do you need to turn on something in Windows so each computer can see the other?

    Yes, you have to turn on network discovery and file and printer sharing:

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    Allegheny said: View Post
    What would the advantage be of having a central file server versus having 5 computers all plugged into a switch?
    Having the central file server means that all the files are in one place and you don't have to go looking on 5 different computers to find the specific file that you want. Also, if the computers are portable laptops, they may not be connected to the home base network all the time and the time the computers were disconnected, whatever files were on the computer would no longer be available on the network.

    Allegheny said: View Post
    Is there software that can easily clone a Windows PC? (Truth be told, I'm a Mac guy...)
    Yes. Software such as Macrium Reflect can be scheduled to automatically save an image (clone) the Windows PC to the file server. It can save the entire hard drive to one single file on the server. The image, if needed, can be restored in it's entirety back to a computer, or the image can be mounted and individual files can be retrieved from the image.

    Allegheny said: View Post
    And if you had a network of 5 computers plugged into a switch, what would be the best backup strategy? Like how could you do either a real-time backup or an automated nightly backup?
    The depends on how quickly it is desired to have the files safeguarded. Sales and order information, for example, would probably need to be copied real-time to the file server. Lose even a few hours of sales or order information and you lose important tax records and customers. If you were doing something like photo editing, then probably less frequent backups would be required because all you would lose is the edits to the files made since the last backup. There are programs to keep real time backups of files and folders. Windows has the built-in file history:

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    There are also third party programs like FreeFileSync that watch for file changes and automatically make copies of files as they change on the local hard drive.
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  5.    1 Week Ago #15

    "....There are also third party programs like FreeFileSync that watch for file changes and automatically make copies of files as they change on the local hard drive..." +1NavyLCDR -- one would only have to set up a script for FreeFile's RealTimeSync, not a bad idea at all! :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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