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Offsite backup strategy

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Can someone comment on whether this idea will work or not?


I'm trying to come up with a strategy to backup file server files to an offsite location.


If I setup a normal (backup or copy) script to backup server files to an external hard drive from another computer on the LAN, the first backup will take some time.

Subsequent backups on the LAN will be much quicker since I'm backing up only what's new and changed on the server.

If I then take the external hard drive to an offsite location can I continue the backup from there?

(Note that I am also prepared to connect to the LAN via OS X Server's built in VPN function - so that Retrospect will think that the server is on the same LAN as the remote backup computer.)


If so:


1) is it better to use a backup or copy script? (e.g backup to Retrospect format or finder format)

2) are there any Retrospect files that need to be copied to the offsite computer to make this happen?

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If you are using a File as a backup type, then you should be fine doing that. A straight file copy will also work (though the scan process may be quite long over the network).


As for Backup vs. Copy: do you need historical data (i.e. if someone deletes a file and you might need it a month later after a few backups have run)? If so, then go with a Backup. Frankly, if your data will fit on a single drive, I'd do both: just get a second drive and do one type to each. The Copy is handy for quick restores (oops, I just deleted the quarterly report), while the Backup gives you some history (oops, I realized I deleted the quarterly report last week). Keep the Copy drive local (this also allows you to set it as a read-only sharepoint so someone could restore the data themselves, or so you could easily talk someone through the process), and the Backup one remote.

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File backup should work (as opposed to Removable Disk)- when you do the second backup (the remote) you should be asked to locate the file. Subsequent backups should work fine. But this is a historical backup, not a Finder readable backup (some people prefer the Finder readable to be offsite since if you have a full-on disaster such as a fire, the finder copy will get you back up and running much faster). So whether or not you want to do that type of backup is up to you.


As for speed: everything will be limited by your internet connection to the remote site. No other factor will make nearly as much of a difference as that (and not knowing your total data size or your data churn, I can't speak to the time needed). But both types of backups will take the time to scan, and both will copy only the data that should need to be copied (albeit as mentioned elsewhere Copy seems to find more files than normally expected). In theory they should be about the same, but I don't have easy access to logs right now to check.

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