My company is considering backing up every user's workstation to servers. What advice can you provide? How much space per workstation should be provided? As disk arrays can be extremely costly, what other options have you found to be in good practice?
Look at the MaxAttach or Snap Server NAS appliances. I think both have desktop backup capabilities.
You want to get something that is automated, preferably something that kicks in when the user logs into the network. Overnight backup of workstations misses all the machines that are turned off. Don't assume end users will push data to servers with any regularity because they don't.
The amount of capacity you will need depends on the work involved. I can't give guidance if you don't tell me more. To be most efficient, backup only data files. You may be able to assume that you do not need to backup application executable files if the applications can be reloaded from CDs, diskettes or from a server over a LAN following a site disaster.
The best tape backup system I knew of was a product from STAC, but I don't think they sell it any more. They had the ability to make a single copy of application EXE files that covered all workstations. Check in with CA, Legato or Veritas to see if they have anything like it.
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This was first published in December 2001