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Security  > Offsite Storage  > Case Studies  > Handy Backup 

Offsite Storage Case Study: Integrating with Handy Backup

Handy Backup is a NovoSoft Inc. product.

It is a great tool for integrating offsite storage in the small office environment. In fact, if you already have an internal backup server in your office and just need to 'send out' those existing backup files or directories to our offsite storage system, then this tool can work for larger offices too.

Handy Backup does NOT handle backups of:

  • transaction-based applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, any kind of transactional/relational database, and certain other kinds of applications.

Handy Backup is useful for:

  • encrypting your data (with a key only you know) before it sends it to our offsite storage system.
  • compressing your backups.
  • doing all of its work at night, and sending you e-mail notices of success and/or failure.

If you have transactional applications or databases at your location, you might still find Handy Backup, well, very handy!? Use your existing in-house backup procedures to create the backups of your regular files and transactional data, then use Handy Backup to replicate those backups to our offsite storage system.

Integrating Handy Backup in the small office environment

In this study, a small business has about a half dozen work stations. They run a Microsoft Windows 2003 Server for file sharing, but do not use it as a PDC or for Active Directory. In addition, their e-mail service is provided by their ISP so they are not using Microsoft Exchange Server.

In the office, there is one critical machine which they call the 'file server'. Everybody in the office saves their important documents on this server. All employees are told that only the 'file server' is backed up, and if they don't save their files there, they have no reason to expect to be able to recover those files in case of a disaster.

The first step (as always) was a disaster recovery plan and policies...

First their IT consultant met with the executive (owner) of the firm to do an assessment of their existing infrastructure. He also met briefly with some of the employees to find out directly from them the information they thought was critical to be able to recover in case of a disaster.

Once this was done, the consultant drew up a simple disaster recovery plan and policy document. This was only a couple of pages long, and the most important part was ensuring that the employees always stored their critical documents on the file server, even though some of them thought it was inconvenient sometimes.

After this document was done, and approved by the executive, they had a brief staff meeting at which the consultant also attended. During this staff meeting, the disaster recovery plan and policy (DRP) document was reviewed, and each employee was again reminded that as part of their employment, they must save their critical documents on the file server.

The next step was assessing the internal infrastructure and doing capacity planning...

The IT consultant then reviewed the file server, got information on the firm's Internet connection, and determined which data on the file server needed to be sent for offsite storage.

In this case, it was determined that it might be good to add some disk space to the file server, but the need was not immediate. In addition the customer had a full-symmetric Internet connection with their ISP so there was plenty of bandwidth to send out full backups nightly.

Once the above was done, the Handy Backup integration was a snap.

The IT consultant installed Handy Backup on the file server, configured it to backup the directories on the server where employees saved their documents as well as some other critical configuration files for the server itself.

The IT consultant generated a cryptography key directly in Handy Backup, and provided two copies to the business owner - one to be kept in the safe in the office, and another secure at his home. Imagine if there was a fire and all the computers were destroyed, and that cryptographic key (the only way to retrieve the offsite storage data) was also destroyed!

The IT consultant then configured Handy Backup to send out the backups every morning at 2:30AM, and set it so that both he and the business executive would be notified if a transfer failed.

A couple of weeks later, the IT consultant stopped by to check on things. The backup process was sending data out every night, and he logged in remotely to OpenAccess' offsite storage system to verify it was all there. He put the final touches on the disaster recovery documents, including information on how Handy Backup was configured, provided a copy for the executive and retained a copy for his records.

The system has been in place and working for over three years now. The only upgrade needed was additional disk capacity on the file server, which the firm needed anyway.

Integrating Handy Backup in a larger office environment
Whats New?

2010.11.01 Digital telephone & PBX services expanded
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2010.10.21 IPv6 Transition
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2010.07.15 NAS.COM wholesale VPS and WebHosting services
This fall, OpenAccess will be re-purposing the '' domain name to provide VPS and WebHosting services, primarily wholesale to web developers. If you have an e-mail address, or a personal website located at, those services will continue be supported although we will not be accepting new accounts.

2010.02.22 Joomla auto install wizard now available.
Due to popular request, we now have a Joomla auto-installer available on our newer cPanel® servers.  This allows customers to quickly and easily install Joomla on their website.  The auto-installer is available under the 'site software' section in the administrative interface of your webhosting account.

2009.10.25 OpenAccess begins internal testing for Windows 2008 Server hosting solutions.
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2007.09.26 Changes in paper billing system.
Effective January 1st 2008 we will be doing what most of our competitors have been doing for years and adding a $1.00 surcharge for paper invoices.

2007.05.30 New web servers in production.
In May we got two new web servers in production. These machines are based out of our facilities in Seattle and were needed as we have about hit capacity on our existing webhosting infrastructure.

2007.03.15 Additional nationwide and global network capacity added.
OpenAccess is glad to announce that we have put into production a new circuit providing us with direct Tier-1 nationwide and global Internet transport.

2007.01.17 Verizon DSL speed upgrades complete
Today we did the work to convert all NAS.COM customers over to our faster connection into Verizon. Everybody should be seeing performance increases.

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