How can I back up a large number of computers?

Laura L February 28, 2014
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How to make a back-up of more than 100 computers: any suggestions?
Hi, everyone. Recently we have faced a problem – our company has got more than 80 computers in the local network. Sometimes there’s a necessity to make a back up of the whole network and each computer separately. Is there any solution that can combine both tasks?

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  1. Gordon G
    March 4, 2014 at 6:48 am

    partition wizard could be helpful

  2. Oron J
    February 28, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I'm not sure what you mean by backing up "the whole network" as distinct from the PCs - the servers? At any rate, the answer involves several components:
    1. You need a backup server. This is a server with either hard disc drives or tape drives.
    2. Backup "agents" on every PC and server. There are many products out there, both paid-for (e.g. from Symantec, Seagate etc) or free (e.g. Cobian backup). You will probably need to to roll out these agents using an automated method (e.g. SMS or AltIRIS) since installing them manually will be both time-consuming and unreliable (will you always remember to reinstall when rebuilding a PC or installing a new one?).
    3. A script, set of scripts or a scheduling facility from a central console (which is what you get from the bigger backup vendors, as opposed to free options) to schedule the backups to run regularly. You will probably want to run the backups at night, a few machines at a time so as not to overload your server & network. You'll want to run a full backup at one interval (say, weekly), and differential or incremental ones every night.
    5. Every morning the most recent backup set should be transferred to a safe location (you don't want your backups burning up at the same time as your servers, do you...). Backup sets should be moved around as well (see next items).
    4. You will need several backup sets, to give you the chance to go back if anything goes wrong with a backup set. These sets should be kept in different places (let's say set 1 in the building, set 2 next door and set 3 at a thir, safe location), and rotated. So the first three weeks are run as just described, then in the forth week you use set 1 again, in the fifth week you use set 2 again and so on. This means that at any point in time (after the initial three weeks) you will have three separate backup sets, each covering a week, and within each week you'll be able to recover files changed on any particular day.

    As you can see, the whole thing is quite big and complex. If you have no experience with automated roll-out, scripting, server maintenance etc, I suggest you get an external consultant to study your organisation and make recommendations both in terms of what the solution should be in general terms, and also in terms of specific products, procedures and implementation. There are many vendors and contractors that can help with the actual roll out, but it's best to have an independent assessment of your requirements rather than be sold a solution which is based on what the vendor has to offer...

  3. Rajaa C
    February 28, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Probably better still will be Acronis® Backup for PC as it is meant for the Business environment : http://www.acronis.com/en-us/business/backup/workstation/

  4. Rajaa C
    February 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    You can checkout Acronis True Image solution.

  5. kihara
    February 28, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    I know Acronis has some great business solutions though I am not sure how much it costs http://www.acronis.com/en-us/business/backup/