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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Server Backups: Local vs. FTP

    So I have always used FTP backups. However I began thinking about why and how I do backups...
    1. Drive failures... most important reason!
    2. Restoration if server is hacked.
    3. Restoration of customer when they screw up or get hacked.

    With that said, here are some notes on each one
    1. Does not need to be a remote FTP, just another physical disk
    2. Backup must be unreachable
    3. Backups just need to be outside of the home directory

    So here is my question. If a hacker gets in, what is to stop them from reading my backup scripts and finding the FTP information and erasing it versus an extra local physical disk? FTP backups are not cheap. Even if I used FTP backup space for once a week or bi-monthly backups, I am already pushing the limit for what is an acceptable loss if all of my data gets wiped.

    So what am I missing? Thoughts? I am getting ready to move to a new server setup and I want to be efficient and move away from unneeded crap.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    The Shadows
    I work for a IT consultation form and alot lwe have been discussing backups quite lately.

    One of the important points that always comes up is "what if the building burns down?"

    Our current backup strategy is 5 USB hard drives large enough to hold at least 2 weeks of backups(1 drive/day so 2 backups minimum, we normally get 4-5 at least) with 1 traveling off-site. That said, we have been going over a remote off site backup option. One of the conclusions we have come to us that most of our clients are on either 1 MBPS cable up or 256 DSL up. Very few of them have 4/4 aDSL.

    That said, most servers are on 10 mbps connections, and could handle remote backup, however, transferring 1000GB of data would still strangle the connection.

    Here is what I would do if I actually cared about backups for my own server(I don't - mainly because it is a personal website/development server that is used by myself only). I would use the following backup strategy:

    2 backup drives in the server. Mounted only when backups are being performed.
    1 Offsite backup

    Backups would alternate drives each day. As well, a incremental backup would be written to each drive. That incremental backup would be compressed for transmission over the wire to the FTP backup. Backup would transferred on a nightly basis. I most likely would have the remote backup server as one of my own, which had fairly tight restrictions on when and how the backup can be transferred.

    These are just my thoughts.
    Dan Sheppard ~ Freelance whatever

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I think the hardest part is defining when better is good enough. When I was recently considering colocation, I was thinking about a 1U server with a 1U NAS to go along with it. While eth0 is to the world, eth1 would go directly to the NAS with a crossover cable. However that is when I was realized about what keeps a hacker from wiping that storage place. Of course the other part of that was finding a good review on a 1U NAS for less then $1500 that is reliable... unless I built it myself.

    Here is the server I had been looking at...

    However when I stumbled upon CPC Technologies, I figured that I could probably just keep with dedicated servers.
    Last edited by XLT_Frank; 09-19-2009 at 10:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Santa Monica, CA
    You should keep an offsite backup -- one on your own local drive would suffice -- in addition to what you are doing now.

  5. #5
    I personally think a remote FTP backup or NAS storage is the best way to keep your data safe, I know it may cost more but its worth if you don't want to run in trouble when your server is hacked including your backup if you have a local backups drives enabled.
    Server Management, Server Security, Server Monitoring.
    India's Leading Managed Service Provider !! Skype: techs24x7

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Do you think it would be ok to do daily backups on a local separate physical disk and then push a backup to an FTP location say every 5-7 days? I am just trying to find the line to draw.


  7. #7
    Yes that is also a good way to keep your backups safe. Pushing the backup to a FTP location via a backup script will be a good thing.
    Server Management, Server Security, Server Monitoring.
    India's Leading Managed Service Provider !! Skype: techs24x7

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Orlando, FL
    On Windows servers, I use a program called Handy Backup. It's ~$40 and I have it configured to do local, network, and FTP backups. It has all the features you need (full backups, incrementials, scheduling, days of retention, etc). Works great if you are backing up normal files. I haven't tried it for Exchange/SQL, but the vendor claims they are both supported.

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