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Remote backup solutions

We have six Windows XP systems that all share files with each other and five computers back up their data every night onto one computer (Windows XP) with two large hard drives. We use Handy Backup Pro as our data backup software to store important data on the sixth computer.

We're also considering offline backup at one of our home locations. What is the best way to do this? I've considered RAID, but I live in Texas and the systems are in Phoenix, AZ. I take care of the systems remotely.

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There are a number of options available to you to accomplish this. One option could be to use a data deduplication storage solution for your backup data and implement data replication to another deduplication storage array at a remote location. This solution would minimize the amount of manual intervention, which is suitable for remote management.

There are also continuous data protection (CDP) solutions available, which allow multiple systems to back up data on a continuous basis to a central server. However, this solution must include a remote replication element to ensure an offsite copy of your backup data exists. CDP doubled with deduplication and replication is a good choice.

Finally, there are many software-based data replication solutions to choose from and some are capable of handling reduced network bandwidth. You'll want to focus on something that requires no physical intervention because you're managing these systems remotely.

This was first published in April 2008

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