The cost depends on what your buying, what your uploading and how much your uploading.

For our clients, we offer an unlimited cloud backup at no cost.   We charge to monitor the backups, usually for about 6 or 12 minutes, twice a month.


All other cloud based backup services that we have worked with become expensive when you get over 150 GB. They are no more or less reliable.

Before I go any farther, at the cost of $4.00 a mailbox a month, there is no question in our minds that if you are hosting your own Exchange Mail Server, you should switch to Microsoft 365 if only because you don't want to be restoring Exchange in the event of a server failure. It's not that it can't be done but at the present cost of Microsoft 365, it doesn't need to be done.

Backups can be made to external drives, NAS drives and other computers. It depends on your needs. Quite honestly, a simple nightly backup of a server's files to another device using xcopy or xxcopy has saved a couple of our clients. We now use a new windows based application that we like which is extremely fast (free) and works with incremental backups. In theory, an Exchange Server or SQL database could be backed up this way but the ability to do this in a workable way will depend on the available disk space on the receiving device. If you have half a TB of data and an Exchange Server with 65GB of Data, how many copies can you make?




crucial TO BACK UP



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Windows Server 2008, 2012 and 2016 (and Windows 7/10) have excellent backup software built into the Operating System that uses Volume Shadow Copies to backup the system state and the file system to a disk (either internal to the server or external connected by USB, but not a network storage device). For what this does, it does it flawlessly with only occasional supervision needed.   It's a great backup program but it needs to be monitored because the external hard drives fail from time to time.



There are so many and they are so different in what they offer. I think the most important aspect of them is the local software that controls the synching of the server to the cloud which can't be trusted to run automatically without frequent inspection. Cloud backups work but they need management.   In the event of a massive loss of data, you have to keep in mind that it can take a long time to restore hundreds of gigabytes of data from the cloud.   Also (depending on the vendor) cloud backups may be incremental (storing multiple copies of files as they are changed) but if attacked by ransomware, restoring from the cloud, one file at a time, is not a practical solution.   It works if you lose a couple of files or directories but not if files are overwritten on the server and then copied over to the cloud.

Traditionally we backup a server to a tape drive. There are newer solutions where a hard disk replaces a tape, but it's the same principle.  Where a tape drive shines is in backing up an Exchange Mail Server and/or an SQL server and, it can't be destroyed by ransomware.   With the right backup software it's hard to beat. The danger is that on the human side, offices fail to rotate tapes. Tapes are expensive and don't get replaced as often as they should and the newer high capacity tape drives can be very expensive. There is more to using a tape drive than just popping in a tape once a day. Someone needs to look at the server.   The answer is a tape Library or Carousel.  A device that holds multiple tapes, rotates them on a schedule and takes risk out of managing the process.   Tape drives and the tapes are expensive, but properly managed, they are foolproof.

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Enough can't be said for backups. We're not worried about backing up a couple of files. What we need to plan for is a catastrophic server failure. If you don't know what Ransomware is, learn. Ransomware can encrypt 50.000 files on a server in 60 minutes. If you have a backup system, you don't have enough. You need two or three and your backup systems have to be tested. It does no good to backups unless you know you can restore from them. If the server goes down, can you wait 3 days or 3 weeks to get your data off a cloud backup? What if you're relying on a disk based backup system and you need to restore and it's not working? How can you have redundant backups of email and databases?


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Suggestion 1 – move your Exchange Mail Server to Microsoft 365.

Suggestion 2 – Set up an old server or PC as a second server to backup Active Directory and mirror your file system

Suggestion 3 – In addition to the above, use two of the following: Tape, Backup to Disk, Windows Backup or Cloud Backup.

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