Tag Archives: Image Backup

Image Backup Stats added to Resellers Panel

Three additional statistics for our re-sellers when they login to our portal.

Reseller Image Stats

New Image Backup Stats to easily view all your combined Client Image backup usage. View by current month, last month, last 3, 6, 9 and 12 months stats.

Top 10 Image Users

“Top 10 Image users” See you’re top 10 Image Backups users in a clear easy to read pie chart.

Reseller File + Image Stats

Total Storage Stats Image + File Backup Usage. Now resellers can see their total storage with us, not just file backup. Again you can view by current month, last month, last 3, 6, 9 and 12 months stats.

Top 10 Users Added for Resellers

You asked, so we have listened.

New top 10 stats for file backup accounts

A number of resellers requested a way to easily view there largest file cloud backup accounts, so we created a “top 10 users” page
Here it shows in a easy to view pie chart their top ten users. click on the user to take you straight to the client account to view or modify.

Next request in progress, Image Backup usage graphs.

Enhancements for our Resellers

We have a couple of new features for our resellers when they login to our portal.

User Storage

Resellers can now view users storage in an easy to read line graph to show clients usage history. This page shows total storage and also include their clients retention data.

Total Storage Data

We have also added a nice new graph to show all clients total data with a 12 month history window.

These new features will show within your portal by the end of Monday if not already visible.

More enhancements to follow shortly…..

Have an enhancement request? email support@safedatastorage.co.uk

SDSL Proud To Sponsor A Local Football Team

We know it’s only September but someone in the office has already started mentioning Christmas. This got us thinking about how nice it was to work with the local primary school, involving the pupils in designing decorations which the public were allowed to vote on (voting has obviously closed but the entrants can still be viewed here) – so with that in mind we wanted to give something else back to the local community.

Under 12 Lions

With the help of all of our customers, we are now very proud to have been able to sponsor one of our local football clubs, Orpington Rovers and their Under 12’s team. We supplied them them with these very lovely jackets:-

Under 12 Lions Back

How great do the Under 12’s Lions team look! A formidable team if there ever was one. We wish them all the best for the season ahead and Safe Data Storage are proud to continue the support by supplying their full kits for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

Come on you Lions!!!!

Written by Rosey Walls 20/09/2014

What is D2D2C?

If you’ve been looking for Cloud Backup Service also known as BaaS (Backup as a Service) you may have also come across D2D2C.

Cloud Backup

D2D2C stands for Disk-to-Disk-to-Cloud and gives you a local backup as well as a cloud backup. It uses a local storage device like a USB drive or a NAS Device to spool the backup too, this then uploads to the cloud . Some systems will remove the local stored backup after it’s transferred to the cloud, others will keep the last backup so you have a local recovery for faster restores.

Both of our cloud backup products can / will use D2D2C. With our File Backup Client, it’s an option you can select, but with our Bare Metal product you must have local backup. This enables fast local file / folder restores as well as Virtual Boot where you can boot a backup file into a live system within minutes!

Selecting The Right Online Backup Company

Selecting the right Online Backup Company

5 points you should consider

Choosing the right Online Backup Company can be hard work. It’s unfamiliar to most, and yet, very necessary in today’s digital world. I’ve put together 5 points you should consider before selecting the company for your data. Obviously, I should be selling you a Safe Data Storage Online Backup account, but that’s probably not why you are reading this blog. So the aim of this blog is to help you keep your data safe and with a company that provides everything it should.

1. Monthly Backup Budget?

lots of hidden extras

For most companies this is usually the deciding factor, but be aware, there are lots of hidden extras. For example, if you want to backup more than 1 machine or even a NAS, you may have to buy an additional license which may be a one off cost or monthly charge.

2. Online Backup Resources Required?

look at what features are offered

Some large companies will offer unlimited storage for a low price, but this often comes with other restrictions. Take a look at what features are offered. Just backing up files may not be enough. If you run an Exchange server or an SQL server, do they provide agents to back them up live, going back to point 1, are there additional cost for this. A really good feature you should start looking for is the ability to backup an entire server via an Image backup. This will save you hours if not days when restoring a server

3. Level of Technical Support Required?

4 hours is a long time when you have
users on your back wanting their data

When your system goes down, are you happy to wait for an email response from support? I read an article stating that smaller companies only offer email support. I disagree with this and if you look around at some of the big players in Online Backup, you will find that email support is free and often the only thing they offer and generally will respond within 24 hours. 24 hours is a long time when you have users on your back wanting their data restored!

4. Online Backup Company Size?

you will be safe, right?

So if you sign up with a gigantic online backup provider you will be safe, right? Think again. Comcast the largest US based ISP stopped offering online backup to it’s clients as of 1st December 2013. I can see this happening to other large companies as they realize that you can’t give away unlimited storage accounts, and when they back track, they will upset their customers just like Comcast.

5. Physical Server Backup Location?

without any speed limitations

The internet can be very deceiving place. A service provider can have a great website, promise the world, but where are their servers. I have been in the online backup industry for over 10 years and in this time, I have come across companies with servers running “out the back” of an office without any replication or backup of their own. Ask the provider about the following:

What type of equipment they use
Who has access to this equipment?
The location of the storage
Do they replicate the data?
If so, where is there replication site?
Do they let you backup / restore without any speed limitations (for the life of the account, not just the initial trial / upload period) Very common!

Replication of data is so important. Just because the service provider has a failure shouldn’t mean you have to upload all your data again! From a service providers point of view, this is a must – Trust me, I have just been in a situation where we had to swap one of our backup servers from live to replication. Without our replication site, customers would have had to upload over 50TB of data again. This would be very wrong! Hardware does fail even for us! I know of 2 Huge Backup providers that don’t offer replication as standard. It’s worth asking the question!

When is the right time to revert to a backup?

Server Offline – Attempted Fix

The repair finished that evening
28 hours after first losing their email,
sadly, it didn’t resolve the problem.

A few weeks ago, I received an email at 6am from a customer given us advance warning that they may need help with a restore. At 2pm the previous day, their exchange server went offline. It was first thought it was due to database corruption, so they started to repair the 350GB database, but first, for safety, they copied the database to a shared location which took a couple of hours to copy. Once copied, they ran the repair, but because the server didn’t have enough local free space to run a repair, they again, had to use a network share. The repair finished that evening some 28 hours after first losing their email, but sadly for them, it didn’t resolve the problem. The issue then seemed to be with the Windows Server rather than the exchange database. The decision was then made at 7pm, some 29 hours after the initial failure, that they should cut their losses and revert to a backup.

Bare Metal Restore

Using our Bare Metal (Image) solution
the server was backup up and
running within a few hours.

Now luckily they ran our Bare Metal (Image) backup solution, so this was to prove a simple restore and they were back up and running within a few hours (350GB takes a while to restore even using the fastest media)

Recover in under one hour and lose no more than 15 minutes of data…

I can’t help thinking was it right trying to fix the database, or would it have been better just to use a recent backup. I too have been in this situation myself, where the next thing I try will bring the server back on line, but eventually, I had to revert back to a backup, but back then the backup was a file backup and a little more complicated to restore than a Bare Metal (Image) Backup. I think had the customer realised how easy it was to restore from a Bare Metal backup, they would have started this at 3pm the same day the server first started having problems.

Recover in under one hour and lose no more than 15 minutes of data…

With today’s backup systems,
no server need be offline for
longer than 20 minutes.

So why am I writing this blog? With today’s backup systems, there is no need for a server to be offline for longer than 20 minutes. I really want to get this message out there. What is the cost to your business if your email is down for 12 hours, or you lose 4 hours of data input? With a Bare Metal (Image) backup, you run backups to a local onsite copy and offsite as frequently as every 15 minutes, so if the server does fail, you would only lose the maximum of 15 minutes of work. To get the server back up and running could take as little as 5 minutes either to a VM guest on standby, or by using Virtual Boot with the latest backup image. It really is that simple!

Please don’t allow your system to be offline for longer than is really necessary, and don’t think this is an expensive solution, as it’s not. Talk to us to see how we can help you before you find yourself wasting time fixing a server when you could just simply revert to a backup image.

Complete Backup Solution for Local Business

A local company contacted us to help implement a complete backup solution for their 10 servers.

They approached us after a server crash. Although they didn’t lose any data, the time to restore and get fully up and running was not acceptable. They invited us in to review their backup procedures and suggest ways to improve their standard file and system state backups.

The two problems with standard file backup systems is that they generally only run once or twice a day, so if your server dies late afternoon, you stand to lose lots of data. Secondly the time to get a server back up and running after a disk crash can be hours if not days. Try it yourself. Give yourself a challenge and rebuild your server from scratch. It’s actually good a good practice to get into!

  1. Install Operating system (30mins – 2hr)
  2. Patch / update the system (hours)
  3. Restore data (hours or days)
  4. Put back settings such as security, or permissions

Our obvious suggestion for the customer was to start using our Image Backup system. Image backups (everything on your server) first creates a local copy and then these files are replicated to our servers so you have a safe offsite copy.

The reason why we suggested our image backup system wasn’t just for when a server crashes, it was because the customer can also:-

Restore files and folders very quickly.
Create snapshots of their servers every 15 minutes
Virtual boot their servers in the event of a system crash within minutes
Use Head Start Restore to have mirrored servers just waiting in the wings to be started up if key live servers die.
Virtual boot their backup images to test updates before implementing them to a “live” system
The customer is very happy with this system and are confident that if a server fails, the downtime will be minimal.

This exercise was an eye opener for me. It was like going back in time to the days when I was an onsite IT guy looking after network servers. If I were to be honest, back then, I knew that even with a full backup every night, if a system was to crash, I had a big job ahead of me, and that the system would never be the same as it was.

The company now have Image backups running on 8 of their servers (two of the servers really didn’t need anything more than a file backup). They backup every 15 minutes and run a head start restore on their 3 key servers (Domain Controller, Exchange Server and SQL server) In the event of one of these servers crashing, they can finalize the head start restore, turn on the server (VM Guests) waiting in the wings and be back up and running within minutes. It really is that simple!

I sound like a sales man. I’m not! I’m a technician who believes in a solution that can and will help thousands of you out there in that heart sinking moment when you know you have a major restore ahead of you. Trust me when I say you will be amazed at how simple this solution is and how you can really rely on it.

If you would like us to suggest a solution for you, please contact us. We will be happy to help.

You backup every evening – Nice, but what if the system crashes at 4pm?

So you backup every night to some kind of external device, you take that offsite and use a different device the next evening. Well done! But let’s say it’s 4pm Tuesday afternoon. The network / servers have been running well all day and everyone is happy. Then your phone starts going mad with users unable to open emails. It’s quick to work out that the Exchange server has died. You go to the server room and realise that two of your hard drives have died. Not a problem, you have a backup from last night. So apart from the question how long will it take you to restore and get the server live, what about all those emails that have been lost during the day, or the appointments users arranged. When you restore from last nights backup, you would have lost all of this data. What if this server had been your main Database server and you had 50 users inputting information all day?

A daily backup is no longer enough when we depend on our computer systems so much. Downtime is one thing, but the time lost from not backing up frequently throughout the day can be and possibly will be more costly.

With both our backup products you can backup as many times as you like during the day. In the above scenario, a Bare Metal Backup would allow you to virtually boot your server on any hardware within minutes and keep it running until you have time to fix the original server. With our file Backup solution it will take longer, but at least the data lost is kept to a minimum.

If you only backup once a day, see if you can increase the frequency before it’s too late!

Upgrading Shadow Protect from v3.5 to 5.0.2 creates new backup chain

The Problem

starts from scratch and will
not continue the chain

We recently came across this problem when trying to update one of our customers from Shadow Protect (SP) from v 3.5 to v 5.0.4. The problem was that you had to uninstall v 3.5 with the v5 installer which then removes the backup job. When you install V5, you have to create a new backup job or try to restore the previous backup job via a registry edit which works fine from v4 onwards but not v3 (last comment in this link)  So when you create a backup in v5 it starts from scratch and will not continue the chain which forces a new SPF (full file) backup. When running on a local LAN this isn’t such a problem, but when you’re uploading a full bare metal image via the internet to our servers, this can be a huge problem.

This solution worked for me:-

Upgrade v3.5 to v4.15 – restart server

Upgrade v.4.15 to 5.0.2 – restart server

After restart, open SP and allow to run as normal. It will continue where the chain left off which means continued small file backups!

V4.15 has an earlier installer and doesn’t request you to uninstall v3.5

I have run this upgrade on 4 servers (2 x 2008 64bit 1 x 2008r2 and sbs2003) and all have worked fine. Test this first in a test environment before running it on a live system.  I would also suggest after upgrading a live system, make sure you can mount a new 5.04 backup image just to make sure it works.

I hope this helps others out there