Best practices for rotating USB repository drives as offsite backup?


Author
Message
PhilB
PhilB
New Member
New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)New Member (7 reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 4, Visits: 210
My setup uses 2 drives that I plan to swap each day after the backups have all been completed.  I can think of a few ways to accomplish this, but hopefully someone has a tested method they can share to avoid error messages, issues with restores or needless complexity.



jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12K, Visits: 72K
I don't use Site Manager, but I had to deal with this when implementing a daily disk rotation for my standalone Reflect installation.  For a few reasons I opted not to switch Reflect to volume identifier-based destination targeting, which I'm not even sure is an option in Site Manager.  Instead, I wanted a solution that guaranteed consistent drive letter assignment of all disks involved in my rotation.  I found my answer in USB Drive Letter Manager.  Despite the name, it works on non-USB drives and can actually do a lot more than manage drive letters if you want it to, but it's free for personal use and something like $15 for a perpetual commercial license.  It can be configured to assign drive letters based on all sorts of options, but I configured it to check the root of each volume for an INI file of a specified name, and if it found it, to assign that volume the letter contained in that INI file.  Then I copied that INI file to all of the disks in my rotation, so each disk always specified the same desired drive letter.  USBDLM doesn't offer a GUI-based management interface, so you have to read the documentation and customize the application configuration file to your liking, but if the setup I just described is something you'd be interested in, I'd be happy to share my application config file and a sample of the INI file I put onto each of the disks in my rotation.  It has worked absolutely flawlessly for me for 1.5 years now on a server that gets daily disk rotations, except in cases where I had two rotation disks connected at the same time, in which case obviously they can't both be assigned the same letter.  In situations like that where the desired letter is already in use, USBDLM just uses the next available drive letter like Windows would have anyway.

Edited 24 June 2018 9:22 PM by jphughan
PeterSt
PeterSt
Junior Member
Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)
Group: Awaiting Activation
Posts: 41, Visits: 124
Hi jphughan,

Would it be correct that any USB disk would provide its own base (or "repository") for the next backup, thinking of Differential and Incremental ?
Thus, supposed I make a first Full Backup on USB Disk-A, next swap that with USB Disk-B and let the Grandfather - Father - Son schedule work upon that;
Would it be so that Disk-B will be provided with a Full Backup first, again ? And that the next day (Disk-A connected again) the Incremental will work relatively to the Full Backup on Disk-A and *not* relative to Disk-B ?

The same question asked differently : Is the Incremental / Differential mechanism maintained in the database, or is it taken from the Image files themselves ?

My theoretical take : It should be the latter, because how else to perform a Restore (it would require Disk-A and Disk-B at the same time).

Either way, what is your experience with the "awkwardness" of having e.g. 5 sets rotating, Macrium now not being able to help you much at showing what to take from where in case you wanted to go back to the backup "from Wednesday" ? With one disk this definitely works fine. But ...
?
(I did not try the  rotational sets yet and merely thought to copy-through to offsite, but not sure yet ...)

Thank you for your insight,
Peter
jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12K, Visits: 72K
Any destinations you use would be "self-contained", which is one of my favorite features of Reflect over some other solutions.  So yes, all Diff/Inc backups on a disk would be relative to other backups that exist on that same disk (technically in the same folder), so you can never end up in a situation where you need some file from Disk A to restore a backup that exists on Disk B.  When Reflect runs a backup to a given destination, it looks only at the backups that exist at that destination at the time of the backup, so all disks in your rotation would be completely independent.  Running the alternative you describe would require Reflect to maintain a local catalog to keep track of which backups existed on what other disks.  I remember that Symantec Backup Exec did this when I used it with tape backups many moons ago, so for example I could create a Diff on a Tuesday tape that was relative to the Monday tape's Full, but I also remember reading about all sorts of headaches related to that local catalog that enabled that, and of course in that situation you would need multiple backup media devices to perform a restore.  I was happy to leave that behind. Smile

Edited 24 July 2019 1:15 PM by jphughan
Alex
Alex
Macrium Representative
Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)Macrium Representative (515 reputation)
Group: Moderators
Posts: 275, Visits: 941
In Site Manager, there is the option to synchronize a repository with a local drive on a scheduled basis - this might be useful in your case. 

To set this up, you would create a repository on a network share as usual, then once the repository has been created, you can set up synchronization from the repositories page. The can be a local path, so you can sync to a USB drive daily at a designated time. 

More instructions can be found here - https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/MSM/Synchronizing+a+Repository+with+a+Remote+Server

The article focuses on remote server synchronization, but it applies to local paths too.

Kind Regards,

Alex

Macrium Development

Next Webinar

See our reviews on

Trustpilot Logo
Trustpilot Stars


PeterSt
PeterSt
Junior Member
Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)Junior Member (57 reputation)
Group: Awaiting Activation
Posts: 41, Visits: 124
Dear @jphughan, thank you very much for a great elaboration.

@Alex, that would probably be the more elegant (and nowadays (Internet speed)) more modern way to do it (and then thus remotely again). Can you tell me please :

I had thought of backing up the backup server (NAS) via Macrium again - that is, if it would be able to backup the NAS itself and I did not look into that yet. But would it have worked ? as in : start out with a full, then incremental etc. and gain a nice speed because of the smart block-changed-thing.
I now understand that the Synchronization has been made for this explicitly so why would I bother ... yeah ... why would I; it probably won't be faster (but it was my reason to think of this - speed over the still slower Internet connection).

Great stuff ...

Thank you both !
Peter
jphughan
jphughan
Macrium Evangelist
Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)Macrium Evangelist (18K reputation)
Group: Forum Members
Posts: 12K, Visits: 72K
You can use the paid versions of Reflect to back up a NAS share.  You'd create a File & Folder backup and specify the UNC path of the share as the data source, and then set the destination to whatever you want.

GO

Merge Selected

Merge into selected topic...



Merge into merge target...



Merge into a specific topic ID...




Reading This Topic

Login

Explore
Messages
Mentions
Search