Backup Recommendations for Workstations and File Servers

Started by dtsystems, Mar 22, 2023, 12:10 AM

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dtsystemsTopic starter

Can you provide me with guidance on setting up an effective backup system for an organization that has 30-60 workstations and one file server?

What needs to be backed up:
1. The file server itself, running Windows, including all the data and the entire system, so that it can be quickly deployed on different hardware in case of any failures.
2. The user workstations, which are running Windows 7 and 10. At the very least, their profiles (Documents, Desktop) should be backed up, but ideally, snapshots or system images with all the contents of the disk should be taken.

Current configuration:
1. The file server is backed up using the Allway Sync program to a separate disk. However, I am aware that this is not enough, and there should be at least three copies, including at least one offline. Also, shadow copies of the disk are enabled to restore data from previous versions.
2. There is no backup solution in place for the workstations. Currently, users are responsible for storing critical data on external drives, and I try to monitor the status of the workstations to prevent data loss.

There is no domain set up in the organization at the moment. I am considering implementing one, but I lack experience, so I plan to practice using virtual machines at home.

I understand that this question may be similar to asking "Which car should I buy?". However, I still need advice to avoid repeating mistakes and finding the best approach, as I believe many of you have gone through this challenging process before.

Rita Jaiswal

To ensure server data safety in case of hardware failure, using Winbackup, you can create a bootable CD and backup everything on an external disk. Store these disks securely for future recovery purposes.

Additionally, regular backups should be performed to facilitate easy restoration from the aforementioned disks.

If there is a domain, it is recommended to redirect user profile folders (such as desktop and documents) to the server, which can then be backed up.

For special computers, utilizing an attached external disk for backup is advisable. Free software like Veeam can be used, but it must run under an admin account, while user access should be restricted to prevent potential issues.

Similarly, backup storage should comply with limited access principles.

Considering domain configuration, seeking assistance from an experienced IT specialist can greatly help resolve security concerns.

Furthermore, it is crucial to create backups on an external storage medium outside the office or in the cloud. This precautionary measure protects against various risks, including floods, fires, and other unforeseen events. For example, Klsbackup offers the capability to backup to OneDrive.

Donna D. Phillips

To ensure data security, it is recommended to restrict users from storing data on their individual computers.

However, certain exclusive items, such as sensitive managerial or workshop foreman documents, may require special consideration.

In the event of a disk failure, a clean installation of Windows can be performed followed by resuming work activities.

It is important to note that exceptions should be made for critical items like bank records, certificates, reports, and electronic digital signatures (EDS).

For instance, when receiving a new certificate, a Windows image can be created using native Windows tools. This image can be stored on a separate disk within the same computer or on a server for safekeeping.


I had a similar task involving a small company with approximately 30 employees. The setup included one Windows server, along with a mix of thin and thick clients.

To address the backup needs, I introduced a dedicated Linux server and implemented BackupPC as the backup solution. This allowed for efficient backup of the server.

One notable advantage was the ability to easily retrieve previous versions of files from specific dates, which proved to be extremely helpful. The configuration process was straightforward and adaptable. For specific fat clients, such as the finance department, separate backup streams were established to ensure their data was protected.

No challenge went unresolved, and the system even supported remote backups over the internet, offering additional flexibility and peace of mind.


A proxy backup server is an essential component in the architecture of a backup system, specifically designed for virtual machines running on various operating systems such as Windows.

The advantage of this proxy server is its agentless approach, eliminating the need to install software agents on each individual virtual machine.

It enables fast and efficient one-pass backup of all virtual machines for both VMware and Hyper-V systems. Integration with VMware and Hyper-V technologies simplifies management tasks, ensuring seamless backup operations.

Automatic detection of virtual machines on the target hypervisor streamlines the backup process. Additionally, consistent backup of applications like Exchange and SQL is supported.

The system only backs up modified blocks, reducing storage needs and boosting efficiency. It also allows for granular recovery of email and individual files/folders within each virtual machine.

Centralized management of nodes, groups, and plans can be performed through a unified management console.

For Microsoft Hyper-V systems, arcserve UDP utilizes a new modified block tracking mechanism that tracks changes on virtual disks. This results in improved efficiency by only reading the changed or used blocks, thereby reducing the requirement for data storage space.

By leveraging VSS snapshot technology, arcserve UDP ensures consistent backup of file systems and applications.

Arcserve UDP incorporates a hybrid agent for server data backup, facilitating backup of physical and virtual server data. Restore options are available locally or can be centrally managed from the UDP console.

The Recovery Point Server (RPS) is a key architectural component, utilizing innovative and unique technologies within the arcserve UDP system. Its main functions include full global deduplication, enhancing data transmission efficiency and reducing storage requirements.

Arcserve UDP's global deduplication sets it apart from other solutions by deduplicating data across infrastructure clients, resulting in optimized bandwidth usage and storage volume.

The security of server data backup is prioritized with encryption at the data warehouse level and session protection with passwords.

Overall, arcserve UDP offers superior performance, bandwidth optimization, and storage efficiency compared to other backup systems on the market. Detailed comparisons between Arcserve and other leading backup systems in the Russian market can be found in our selection of documents, aiding you in making an informed decision when choosing a backup system.