Storage - Equipment
Backup for Workgroups needs disk-based storage
media to hold your clients' (computers') backup data. Your storage group can contain different types of
storage devices. The storage devices do not need to match in size or type; the
only requirement is that they need to be seen as a hard drive or network share
point from Windows.
You can use any disk storage device as long as it
appears as a hard drive or network share point inside of Windows. Examples of
disk storage devices that you can use include: internal hard drives, external
hard drives, USB drives, FireWire devices, NAS devices, SAN devices, RAID
storage devices, and any other storage device that appears as a hard drive or
network share inside Windows.
choose to use NAS and/or Network Share based storage, please read the Special
Notes section below.
equipment to use as your primary storage media, you should consider the speed,
capacity and availability of the equipment:
- Capacity - The amount of storage you
need to hold your backup data depends upon (1) the number of computers you
plan to backup; (2) the amount of data in use on each of these computer; and
(3) the number of revisions each client decides to retain at the Backup
Server. You should also allocate a certain amount of room for
- Availability - Storage devices in your
primary storage group must be online at the time clients' perform backups. If you have more than one storage device in your primary storage group and
one of them is offline (unavailable) at the time a client tries to perform a
backup, the backup will not run. All of your primary storage devices
must be online for backups to run. NAS and network shares tend to have
rights access issues which will halt your backup process. You must put
mechanisms in place to periodically check for and update/change the rights
access at the Backup Server to correspond with any changes made at the NAS
or network share.
- Speed - The time to perform a backup
is influenced by the speed of the storage device. Generally, internal
hard drives are faster than external hard drives. And using RAID
storage devices raises a number of issues that are unique to the way the
RAID is implemented. For example, RAID-5 is slower than RAID-1 and
RAID-6 is slower than RAID-5. NAS units and network shares tend to
slow the backup process down. Some NAS units have slow processors that
cannot keep up with the rate at which the backup data arrives. In other
words, the backup process will be impacted if you use a NAS unit with a slow
processor. Please note that a fast hard drive in a NAS unit with a slow
processor will be negatively impacted by the slow processor and you really
do not enjoy the benefits of the fast drive.
Special Notes about Using NAS and Network Share Storage
- Changes to Passwords at NAS and Network
Shares Require Identical Change at Backup Server
The most common problem with NAS
units and network shares is a CHANGE in access rights. Typically, an
Administrator will periodically change passwords or modify accounts. When
these passwords and accounts are changed, you need to make the identical
change at both the Backup Server and the NAS/network share.
- NAS and Network Shares Slow Down the
When you use a NAS device or network share as part of your backup storage
equipment, you need to be aware that your backups will be SLOWER than if you
used internal hard drives.
- NAS and Network Shares Can Go Offline -
Halting the Backup Process
Because NAS and network shares are independent devices, they can be rebooted
at different times, or shut down/turned off, or unavailable for many
reasons. We frequently hear from customers who experience an interruption in
the backup process because someone shut down the NAS or network share
equipment - not realizing that it is being used to hold their backups. In
these cases, we recommend that these customers physically label the NAS unit
with a note "Do Not Turn Off/Shut Down - Used as Backup Storage" and listing
the name of who to contact if the unit needs service helps prevent
unnecessary backup interruptions.