Rotating destinations

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WraithTDK
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:37 pm

Rotating destinations

Post by WraithTDK » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:57 pm

Greetings. I've been trying to figure out a good way of setting up a backup strategy for my systems. Specifically of concern are my desktop and my wife's laptop. Your product seems perfect for on-site backups, but I wanted to have an off-site backup solution in place as well; as on-sites do not protect from fire, flood, robbery etc. The catch is that my desktop hosts more than 1.5TB of data, and my wife is a proffesional photographer who is constantly editing and saving photos in RAW format (which, at 36MP can reach 100MB+ per photo). What this means is that the amount of changing data we have to backup would have us quickly hitting the 250GB/month data cap that Cox internet gives us (I really wish Fios would hurry up and come to our area!).

The idea I came up with was purchasing two external HD's for each of our computer, creating a backup set for each external HD, and then keeping one at home and one in my locked office, rotating them on a weekly basis. Would this be doable?

Support
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Re: Rotating destinations

Post by Support » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:17 am

Hi,

That can be done with Backup4all.
Please read this article about how to do that: http://www.backup4all.com/kb/how-to-bac ... e-259.html

Rick the regular
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:45 am

Re: Rotating destinations

Post by Rick the regular » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:05 pm

Hi WraithTDK,
I'm not sure that the reply to your query has actually addressed your requirements. I have tested the process described in "How to create incremental backups on two external drives" both with the "Use local catalogs" unchecked and checked, and in both cases I found that Backup4all performed an initial full backup to drive1, with subsequent incremental backups to either drive1 or drive2, depending on which drive was attached. I became confused as to where each backup resided (i.e. drive1 or drive2) and attempting a restore of a file could result in the backup not being located, and a prompt to insert the other drive (which would normally be offsite).

Your requirements are identical to mine, and I have developed a process which I think would be better suited to your situation.

Start by externally labelling each of your drives Daily1 and Daily2. By external labels, I mean physical sticky labels. Format the Daily1 drive.

Next, with the Daily1 drive attached, create an incremental backup job called Daily1 in Backup4all. It doesn't matter whether the "Use local catalogs" option is checked or not, but I have mine checked; 2 catalogs must be better than 1. Enable your Daily1 backup to be scheduled each day at a convenient time.

Start your Daily1 backup job. This will initiate a full backup to the Daily1 drive. I run this overnight, due to the volume of data to back up. One backup catalog (Daily1.bkc) will be created locally on your PC's hard drive (if the option is checked), and another backup catalog of the same name will be created remotely on the Daily1 drive.

Each day, at the scheduled time, the Daily1 backup job will perform an incremental backup of the files created or changed since the last backup. The backup files will be sent to the Daily1 drive.

At the end of the cycle (1 week in your case), eject the Daily1 drive and place it in your bag, ready to be taken offsite. Next attach the Daily2 drive and format it. Make sure that it has the same drive letter as Drive1. (I keep mine both as drive E:, which is the first available drive. One of them is always attached to my PC, so they are always E: drives.)

From Backup4all, right click the Daily1 backup job and click Create Like. This will create backup job Copy of Daily1.
Right click the Copy of Daily1 backup job and click Properties. In the General tab, change the Name field to Daily2 and then click the Save button. This will rename the backup job to Daily2. This is necessary before setting scheduling options. If the name is changed and the scheduling options are set within the one process (i.e. saved together) the Copy of Daily1 backup job will be scheduled instead of the Daily2 backup job.

Next right click the Daily2 backup job and click Properties. Everything should be the same as the Daily1 backup job except for the name and the scheduling. Click the Scheduler tab and set the appropriate scheduling options (the same as for Daily1) and then click Save.

Right click the Daily1 (obsolete now) backup job and click Delete Backup. Reply Yes to the prompt “Are you sure you want to delete this backup ?”. This effectively disconnects the portable hard drive from the Backup4all system, but leaves the portable drive as a complete restorable backup collection, complete with its backup catalog. The local catalog (Daily1.bkc) is deleted from your computer’s hard drive, and the Daily1 backup no longer exists within Backup4all, so the next time Daily1 is created (as a copy of Daily2) it will be a brand new backup job, so will result in an initial full backup.

At this stage, you can either start the Daily2 backup job, or wait until it is automatically scheduled. In either case, since the backup job has not been previously executed, a full backup will be taken.

Your incremental backups will be scheduled each day, and at the end of the cycle you bring the Daily1 drive home and repeat the process, replacing Daily1 for Daily2 in the above text, and vice versa.

What I like about this process is that I have 2 self-contained backup sets, each complete with a backup catalog that reflects exactly what is on that drive, and nothing else. Plus, they both contain a full backup of my files. By formatting the retrieved offsite drive before performing the full backup, I am effectively wiping the slate clean for my new backup set.

If you need to retrieve your offsite backup hard drive to restore one or more files, insert the drive and, from the Backup4all menu bar select File; Open Backup… This will display a directory list. Navigate to the offsite drive's folder that contains the backup catalog (e.g. Daily1.bkc if Daily1 was offsite). Double click that file, and a new backup job will be created (e.g. Daily1). The Restore function can be invoked for this backup job. Once you have finished your restore, delete this backup job (right click and then click Delete Backup and reply Yes to the prompt “Are you sure you want to delete this backup ?”).

Support
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Re: Rotating destinations

Post by Support » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:28 am

Hi, Rick the regular

I'm sorry to tell you but your indications are not good in this case.
What you explained is not a rotation scheme, but a new backup job to be configured each week.

For a rotation scheme backup, the "Use local catalogs" must be unchecked.
The disk label is specified after each written disk by a message: "Please label this as disk 1"
When restoring the files, you will be asked for the correct disk.

Rick the regular
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:45 am

Re: Rotating destinations

Post by Rick the regular » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:14 pm

Hi Support,
Thanks for pointing this out. I have reread the document that was originally referenced. Maybe the suggestion was a variation of the "Backup scenario: daily incremental, weekly differential and monthly full backup on two external drives" process, or more specifically, to address WraithTDK's requirements, "daily incremental and weekly full backup". If so, does the full backup delete all incremental backups from the external drive, since they are then obsolete?
Last edited by Rick the regular on Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Support
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Re: Rotating destinations

Post by Support » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:51 am

Hi,

The old backup versions will be deleted only if there is configured a limit for backup versions.

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