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[ The PC Guide | System Care Guide | Backups and Disaster Recovery | Backup Methods, Devices and Media ]

Network Backup

For PCs on a network, backup over the network is a viable alternative to using removable drives. This type of scheme is sometimes used in small- to medium-sized as a way of protecting PCs without the expensive of tape drives or removable storage. The idea is fairly simple: copy data from one PC to another over the network. Duplicating each PC's information provides a way to protect each individual PC.

In a way, this type of backup is most similar to in-place hard disk duplication in terms of how it works. It is simple in the same way, and can be automated. It addresses some of the concerns about that method: there isn't the same single point of failure in terms of virus attack or hardware failure. However, depending on the location of the two PCs, theft, disaster and sabotage can still be a big problem: if the two PCs are sitting on different desks in the same office, you haven't gained much to protect against these threats. Also remember that file-infector viruses can travel over a network.

An even better use of the network, becoming popular in many corporate environments, is to use a centralized removable storage backup device in conjunction with the network to back up all the PCs automatically. Consider a local-area network with 10 PCs, each containing 1 GB of programs and data, connected to a server with 5 GB of storage and an 8 mm tape drive with a capacity of 10 GB. Using compression, this drive can hold the entire contents of the network on a single tape, and using network backup software and the right operating system, the network can be used to back up all the PCs every night, automatically. This is an excellent backup system that allows the desktop PCs to reap the benefits of the tape backup unit without everyone having to remember to do backups.

Next: File Archiving

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