Offsite full server backups using shadow protect

Up until recently we have been selling a traditional offsite backup program where you just send your files offsite each night.

In the event of a disaster you need to rebuild the server and then download all of the data off the backup server. This is good for a small amount of data but not feasible for a large corporation that might have 100’s of GB of data.

We then started to research some alternative ways of achieving offsite backups with greater flexibility. We then discovered that storagecraft which make server imaging software now offer an offsite solution so you can send an exact copy of the server in an incremental backup to an offsite facility.

The process of doing this style of backup is shown below:

1. Install shadow protect for the version of computer you are using (workstation, server, sbs or virtual server.)

2. Create a continuous incremental backup set so that you only do one full backup and then each backup after that is an increment of the changes and smaller in size then a full. This can


3. Install shadow control image manager and monitor the backup folder and set retention and consolidation settings based on how long you want to keep the daily and weekly images before deleting them


4. Go out to the client site and collect the full backup image on an external drive and return to the offsite server to save the initial backup upload.

5. Configure shadow control to do a replication job using either ftp (for internet connections with over 1500kbps upload) or shadowstream which is a torrent like protocol that does error checking and sends parts of the file where ftp sends the complete file.


6. Configure retention policies on the offsite server to cater to the clients’ needs. These settings are different to the retention on the local server as you would normally only recover from the off-site in the case of a fire or flood.

7. Start the replication. If the files are not too large then the copy to the server is usually completed on the same day that the external drive is collected. From there we can start sending the small incremental files that were created on that day to minimise the transfer.