We currently run Windows Server 2012 on our company's server. This handles the local domain, user accounts and file sharing etc. The server is RAIDED, and separately to this I also run a daily backup of the server and its bare metal state to a removable USB caddy. Generally our entire data requirement is between 150-175GB.

The problem I have comes from the fact that the building we work out of is considered a high fire risk, so an online backup solution is of huge importance.

I have previously run Dropbox as a service on the Server to backup our main files. In the main this worked OK but in recent weeks I've have had constant issues with conflicted copies of files which has caused no end of stress and extra work as people have worked on older version of files not realising and then having to combine two documents together to ensure they're working with the most up-to-date version.

I'm looking to set up an alternative online backup solution and have explored various other similar services such as Google Drive, Sugar Sync, One Drive etc, but none of them officially work on Windows Server without hacky kludges, if they even work at all and even if I get one to work, I'm worried about Conflicted copies as clearly these services are not strictly designed for use on a server in this way.

And so I'm considering buying a WD 4TB My Cloud NAS. I'm just not sure whether I should move all my shared files from the server to the NAS, and share them from there, or whether I should mirror the data to the NAS and back that up online separately.

From what I've read the NAS will serve the files just fine, but I'm worried this would be much slower for my users than the existing server.

But at the same time I'm also worried about conflicted copies and ensuring that our critical files are backed up online at least every two days.

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Stop using consumer grade stuff for for your business. Find a reseller you like at CDW, SHI, or similar. Let their consultants work the problem for you. – longneck Jun 13 '16 at 13:30
  • longneck - I posted in here because I'm trying to do this properly as opposed to on the cheap. – rhorne Jun 13 '16 at 13:43
  • I have previously run Dropbox as a service on the Server to backup our main files - Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, SugarSync, etc., etc. aren't enterprise backup solutions for your server or your enterprise data. Use the right tool for the job. Mozy Pro, CrashPlan Pro, etc., etc. are enterprise backup solutions. If you need a cloud based bare metal backup solution then look into Acronis, Intronis, Carbonite, etc., etc. – joeqwerty Jun 13 '16 at 13:46

I would say every option which you have listed is good. But let's start from beginning.

  1. If the issues itself is about committing changes in files then XCOPY command line tool in windows would be your friend.
  2. Microsoft One drive works natively without any hacks or additional job required. On top of that, if you have business edition then you are on win/win position, because other than the fact it does commits all changes to files, it also gives you possibility to have (at least several)versions of files which was also valid point for you.
  3. Physical NAS never will be slower than your server, especially when it would be connected to local network (not virtual appliance, and for example have RAID 1). Which also will for sure give you possibility to restore different versions of files.
  4. There are other tools available on network which would give you that possibilities such as bacula for backup. owncloud for "file level nas for free".

It's only matter of you choice, possible funds to spent, and possibly time which you want to be working to get everything done correctly. Obviously cloud things are easiest and you don't need to manage it (therefore got more time for other stuff).

  • Thanks for your response Michal. So setting a daily batch file using Xcopy to incrementally copy all key files on to the NAS daily, and then having that backup to the cloud using the NAS's own service, isn't an unreasonable suggestion? This is only ever meant to be by secondary backup in the event of a disaster, but having remote access and multiple revisions is a nice luxury. – rhorne Jun 13 '16 at 13:45
  • that's very decent solution. And that's precisely how it suppose to be done:). But please remember to synchronize your NAS device as a folder with onedrive, then not only you will have a very solid cloud backup but also versioning of files. Initial synchronization will be long, but afterwards only changes will be passed (won't be a network issue). – Michal Jun 14 '16 at 6:33

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