Backup Software

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Joe-W4WT
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Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:27 pm
Location: Cumming, GA

Backup Software

Postby Joe-W4WT » Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:46 pm

I would like to know what forum members are using for system backup software. I'm trying to decide what to use as there are a number of them out there. I want to automate disk image backups on a daily basis to a NAS on my local network. If you are doing this, let me know what you're using and what attributes of the software you like.

Thanks,

Joe W4WT
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Backup Software

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Oct 05, 2021 1:11 am

I use the free version of Macrium Reflect on three different Windows machines. All three are set to automatically back up to my NAS at 1, 2 and 3 am respectively. Each machine does one full disk image type back up per week followed by 6 differential backups. Each machine has a different day for the full, just in case it runs over it's allotted 1 hour time block and starts to slow up one of the other differentials, although I've never had that problem. I keep three full weeks for each machine. I'm hoping that's far enough back if I ever get some malware and don't realize it right away. Macrium sorts this out automatically for me, deleting the oldest save sets. I do have to manually log onto the NAS once a month and empty the NAS trash folder, though. If a machine misses a backup because it was off it automatically starts one when you next turn it on. For the one laptop, if it's out of the house it will keep trying automatically, once a day, until you get it back on the LAN. It's pretty much a no-brainer, set it and forget it, kind of thing once it is all configured.

Backups are only part of the issue. The restore part is just as important. You build a Macrium Reflect emergency boot disk for each machine. If, or more likely when, your drive finally dies you put that in (I use a thumb drive, not a CD) and boot off of that. So be sure to have that built, and be sure you know how to, and have practiced, booting into it. And also practice attaching to the NAS with it and locating the save set you want. Finally, practice opening a save set and restoring just a single file. It's a good drill, and also very handy if you ever accidentally delete a file. If you have some extra media, it's a very good idea to validate that the entire image restore process works correctly, too.

So far I've used the entire process no less than six times in anger over the last ten years. Twice when trying to push a Windows feature update failed on my main machine (and it still won't go!) Both times it just totally hosed the OS, I couldn't even roll back. I didn't care, 20 minutes later I was right back where I started thanks to Macrium. The other four times an SSD failed without warning. It's not like the old days when your rotating media would start to get cranky and thereby warning you that it was going to die. SSDs are perfect one minute, dead the next. I now keep a hot spare in the main machine. I don't use it for anything, it's just sitting on the motherboard, ready to go, because I just know it's not "if" but "when" for the current drive. I have a GigE link to the NAS. I can restore 200GB image in about 20 minutes. I've never lost more than an hour of work using this method. Anything critical gets stored on the NAS anyway. It's mostly for getting my OS and software back up and running.

BTW, if anyone can recommend similar software for Linux, I have a Linux laptop that I desperately want to achieve the same level of backup automation. I do not want to be in the position I was before I started using Macrium, which was remembering to do manual images to separate USB media on each machine. That's the sort of thing that makes you want to skip backups! ;) Buy a NAS, get Macrium, and be done with it. All you need to do is make sure the machine is on once a day, and it will be if you are using it.

73,

Scott
SM7SJR
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Re: Backup Software

Postby SM7SJR » Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:11 pm

Veeam endpoint backup (I think it is called Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition now) is free and should cover linux as well (I have only used the WIndows bits though).

You do the emergency boot disk and all that stuff, and you can tell the software to start backups automatically when certain events occur and so forth. Really easy to use/setup and when doing restores.

73 de SM7SJR
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Backup Software

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Oct 05, 2021 5:54 pm

Veeam looks very promising! Thanks!
Joe-W4WT
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:27 pm
Location: Cumming, GA

Re: Backup Software

Postby Joe-W4WT » Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:26 pm

Thanks to Scott and Bjorn for the recommendations!

Looking at both packages, I decided to go ahead and give Macrium a go as I had looked at it and even downloaded the installer a month or so ago but never followed through with installing it as I got busy with something else. I've installed it on my laptop and it is doing a backup as I type this over Wi-Fi to my NAS. It's backing up about 100 GB and predicts 30 minutes to do it and showing a transfer rate of about 300 Mb/s. I'm not planning on automating the laptop backups since it is not on continually.

The software looks fine and seems easy to use. I installed it and had it running a backup inside of 5 minutes. I'm going to install it on my primary machine this afternoon and set it up to do daily backups similar to what you are doing Scott as that machines data is quite important to me.

I''m also going to install it on another machine that I use to run my 3D printer only and I'll use that machine as my test machine to see how the full restore process works out since it is the easiest of all to remove it's primary hard drive and plug in a test one. It is also connected via Wi-Fi but doesn't have a lot of data to back up so it should be quick to test. In addition, if something goes awry, I don't care if I have to reload the OS and programs as there is not much there.

I'll report back later on how all that goes after I have some backup data (full image and differentials) to work with to test out a full restore.

Thanks again,

Joe W4WT
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w-u-2-o
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Re: Backup Software

Postby w-u-2-o » Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:32 pm

Great work, Joe!

On that laptop: if you set it to back up in an automated way, if it misses a scheduled back up because it is off, it will have at it right away the next time you turn it on and it has access to the NAS. So it might still be worth setting it up on some sort of schedule.
Joe-W4WT
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:27 pm
Location: Cumming, GA

Re: Backup Software

Postby Joe-W4WT » Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:59 pm

w-u-2-o wrote:Great work, Joe!

On that laptop: if you set it to back up in an automated way, if it misses a scheduled back up because it is off, it will have at it right away the next time you turn it on and it has access to the NAS. So it might still be worth setting it up on some sort of schedule.



I didn't know that. That sounds great. I'll set that up.

Thanks,

Joe W4WT
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w-u-2-o
Posts: 3315
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 pm

Re: Backup Software

Postby w-u-2-o » Mon Oct 11, 2021 3:28 pm

It would appear that regardless of what the website says, Veeam Community Edition (free version) is not supported on Linux :(

Any other Linux suggestions that provide the same automation as Macrium would be most appreciated.

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