1. General
    1. My computer backup system uses tape, why should I use Access Data Backup?
    2. I have mirrored/RAID hard drives. Won’t that protect me from viruses or data loss?
    3. How is Access Data Backup different from other offsite backup services I’ve heard about?
    4. Why do I need an online data backup service?
    5. What’s Involved?
    6. Can I use Access Data Backup to protect data on two different computers if I only have one Account?
  2. Installation and Setup
    1. How do we control and monitor Access Data Backup?
    2. Is software installed on any other machines?
    3. If Access Data Backup is agentless, how does it access our data?
    4. Do we need to create a user for Access Data Backup on all our servers?
    5. What access permissions does this user require?
    6. Who installs the Access Data Backup service?
    7. Who is authorized to use the administration software console?
    8. Can users administer backups for their own machines?
    9. What frequency of online backup can be set?
    10. What level of granularity is possible in setting up the backup, i.e. file level/individual database?
    11. Can one machine be prioritized over another?
    12. Can the online backup software be set to stop backing up after a certain time has elapsed?
  3. Backing up
    1. How can I make sure my online backup was successful?
    2. How often should I run my online backup?
    3. How often will my computer be backed up?
    4. How many versions of my backed up files are held offsite?
    5. How long does the online backup take?
    6. How many online backups do you retain?
    7. What tasks do I have to do every day to run my online backup service?
    8. What if I have a transmission or local network connection failure during the online backup?
    9. What happens if a server stops or crashes during backup or if the online backup is interrupted for some other reason?
    10. What is common file elimination?
    11. Do I need to back up my entire computer?
    12. How much data can I back up?
    13. Are the backups incremental backups?
    14. What software do you use?
    15. Can the online backup service backup permissions on files?
    16. If the backup software is agentless, how is MS SQL and Exchange backed up?
    17. Can Access Data Backup run pre and post commands on servers?
    18. How does Access Data Backup handle open files?
    19. What is the client software’s “Local Storage” feature?
  4. Restores
    1. At what point is the data available for restore?
    2. How do I restore my data?
    3. Can we prioritize which data is restored in the event of a disaster?
    4. Is there a quicker way than online transfer to restore large volumes of data?
    5. Can I do a “full” recovery including the System State and Active Directory?
    6. Can Access Data Backup perform bare-metal restores?
    7. Can I restore to an alternate location to avoid overwriting a file?
    8. Can you restore a whole backup set to a point in time, e.g. last Monday?
    9. What is meant by online versus offline restores? How is this affected by the client software’s local storage feature?
    10. Is there a charge to restore my data?
  5. Connectivity & Bandwidth
    1. What type of connection do I need?
    2. Does all of our data get transferred every day?
    3. At what point is the data deemed to be backed up and offsite?
    4. What is delta blocking? How does it work?
  6. Encryption
    1. What type of encryption is available?
    2. What do I do if I lose my encryption password?
    3. Is my data encrypted as it travels over the Internet?
  7. Security
    1. Is my data safe/secure?
    2. How does Access Data Backup store and protect my data?
    3. How is my online IT data backup secured?
  8. Operating Systems
    1. What operating systems are supported for online backup and restore?
    2. What operating systems does the client software run on?
    3. What database and groupware systems does the client software support?
  1. General

    My backup system uses tape, why should I use Access Data Backup?

    A computer backup system that uses tape can be reliable, but requires a high level of ongoing maintenance to guarantee reliability. Access Data Backup’s online IT data backup uses a triple redundant system, meaning we maintain three separate backups of your data in two locations. With Access Data Backup 100% of your backups are stored on redundant, fault-tolerant servers.

    Even if you choose not to use our offsite backup services and continue using tape make sure your tapes are safe and working with the following procedures:

    • clean your tape drives once a month;
    • replace tape media regularly;
    • rotate your backup tapes off-site every night via a bonded vaulting provider, while keeping them close enough that they are easily accessible;
    • test and restore once a month;
    • keep at least a 20 backup rotation;
    • have easy access to your backup software if you have to re-install it;
    • Make sure your data is fully encrypted before being written to tape;

    The main risk of using tape systems is that they can malfunction, but appear to be working. All indications are that backups were successful . . . until you try to restore.

    If you want to continue to use tapes as your primary backup, consider using offsite backup services as a secondary backup solution just in case your primary backup system fails. Remember, redundancy is the key to data protection!

    I have mirrored/RAID hard drives. Won’t that protect me from viruses or data loss?

    No. Mirrored hardware only protects you from a hardware failure. Since 90% of data loss is due to data corruption or user error, mirrored equipment offers no protection. This is because corrupt data is instantly written to the mirror equipment. The only way to protect your data is by having a backlog of backups to restore from.

    How is Access Data Backup different from other offsite backup services I’ve heard about?

    Access Data Backup’s computer backup system uses agentless technology, so you do not have to install software more than once to protect your entire LAN. Our online backup software is also completely client controlled. We do not and cannot access your data. All backup schedules, files choices, and options are in YOUR control. The data is compressed and encrypted BEFORE it is sent offsite and you are the only one with a key.

    Why do I need an online data backup service?

    One of the most basic rules when using a computer is routinely backing up your files. Most users do not backup their files as often as they should and, even if they do, they do not store their data safely offsite. Offsite backup services eliminate the hassle of backing up because there are no additional hardware components required, and you have the added security of having your files backed up offsite to our secure facility. You can sleep better at night knowing all your data is properly protected.

    What’s Involved?

    Just contact us with a simple call or email and we will get you setup right away. We will supply you with your kit that includes everything you need.

    Can I use Access Data Backup to protect data on two different computers if I only have one Account?

    Access Data Backup is designed so that each instance of the client backup software can backup as many computers as you like. The limiting factor is hardware performance and the backup window.

  2. Installation and Setup

    How do we control and monitor Access Data Backup?

    At installation the Access Data Backup Software Administrator Console is installed on as many or as few workstations as required and will require a valid logon, ensuring no unauthorized access. The Administrator Console acts as your interface with Access Data Backup and enables the configuration of all backups and restores.

    Is software installed on any other machines?

    The Access Data Backup solution is totally agentless, requiring no additional software to be installed on any machines to enable backup and recovery, be it Novell® NetWare, Microsoft® Windows®, Microsoft SQL or Exchange.

    If Access Data Backup is agentless, how does it access our data?

    From the Administration Console when a new backup set is created you must provide a username and password to connect to a server or workstation. Access Data Backup fully integrates with Microsoft’s Active Directory, Trusts and Novell® NDS trees.

    Do we need to create a user for Access Data Backup on all our servers?

    No, but a dedicated user is recommended and it should be set for no password expiry for obvious reasons. In a domain, or NDS environment, a user on each machine isn’t necessary as one central user can be created with access to all the resources that require backing up.

    What access permissions does this user require?

    This user is responsible for backing up and restoring all the data on your network, it is essential that access permissions are of administrative equivalence. Access Data Backup can only backup data that this user can access. A less privileged user may be restricted, causing data to be missed.

    Who installs the Access Data Backup service?

    Access will install the client software at your site and provide the necessary training. If the installation is particularly complex or remote sites are involved, additional days on site support are available at a daily rate.

    Who is authorized to use the administration software console?

    Only individuals with a user ID on the Access Data Backup Client software will be able to administer its functions.

    Can users administer backups for their own machines?

    Multiple user accounts can be created for use on the Access Data Backup Client and access permissions can be set per backup set. These permissions can be any combination of Backup, Restore, Delete or Modify, so a particular user could be given access to backup and restore only their own machine.

    What frequency of online backup can be set?

    The online server backups can be configured as often as every hour or as infrequently as once a year. More advanced schedule options include the last working day of the month or even one off backups on a particular date.

    What level of granularity is possible in setting up the backup, i.e. file level/individual database?

    An online backup set can include a full system, share/volume, directory or even a single file. The backup set could even include just a registry, should you desire.

    Can one machine be prioritized over another?

    There are literally hundreds of different priority levels that can be assigned, ensuring maximum flexibility when organizing your online backup schedules.

    Can the online backup software be set to stop backing up after a certain time has elapsed?

    Yes, the online backup software is designed to fit specific backup windows. Our online data backup service can be told what time to stop at, for example at 8:00am when employees are starting to arrive, or maybe by 5:00am if there is an important batch process to run.

  3. Backing up

    How can I make sure my online backup was successful?

    Access Online Backup has several ways for you to be sure your online data backup service ran. Most of our clients prefer to have the systems Email them an alert when the remote backup was completed, however, you can also be notified by pager notifications, Windows event log entries, SNMP or network broadcast.

    How often should I run my online backup?

    Most users backup their data daily. If you have mission critical applications you may choose to back them up twice a day. Each “backup set” will have its own schedule. Access Data Backup has the ability to perform online backups on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly schedule.

    How often will my computer be backed up?

    As often as you wish, because you set up and administer your online server backups for a schedule that works best for your company.

    How many versions of my backed up files are held offsite?

    When the Access Data Backup Client Software is initially configured, you set the default number of generations that are retained. Unlike a tape backup, where the routine is to rotate tapes in a cycle, our online data backup service will only backup a new version of a file when it has changed, guaranteeing that the customer is not wasting space backing up exactly the same version more than once. For example, if a file only changes once a month and seven generations are retained, we will have 7 generations / versions of that file. The number of generations stored can be configured on an individual backup set basis. Online backup sets can be configured to include just a single file if desired, giving you the ability to maximize the efficiency of the storage.

    How long does the online backup take?

    Backups are extremely fast. Our technology backs up only the changed portions of files during each backup session. Exactly how long that takes depends on the size of your backup, speed of your Internet connection, and amount of “changed” data.

    Because the initial backup requires transmission of all data, it takes the longest and may require multiple sessions to complete. The service will “chip away” at the initial backup until it’s complete with no user intervention required. After the initial backup is complete, nightly online server backups are significantly smaller and result in a faster backup.

    How many online backups do you retain?

    As many as you require! You can customize a retention scheme that works best for your company.

    What tasks do I have to do every day to run my online backup service?

    None! Once you schedule the time and frequency of your backups during installation, the backups run automatically. With our online backup service there are no more tapes to replace or rotate eliminating the opportunity for human error in your data protection strategy.

    What if I have a transmission or local network connection failure during the online backup?

    If a transmission is interrupted in the middle of a backup, the client software will stop your backup at that point, and if configured to do so, will notify the administrator that the backup failed. It will try again on the next scheduled backup.

    What happens if a server stops or crashes during backup or if the online backup is interrupted for some other reason?

    If the online backup is stopped, for whatever reason, it will simply continue onto the next backup in its schedule. It will not revisit the failed backup set until the next time it is set to run, e.g. the following night, at which point it will pick up where it left off. If however the problem has been rectified, and backup window allows, the backup can be restarted manually, immediately. Access Data Backup has a dedicated team who monitor the progress of backups. If a problem occurs, it will be escalated through the appropriate channels.

    What is common file elimination?

    Access Data Backup employs Common File Elimination Technology, which eliminates the need to back up common operating systems and software application files that are already stored in our remote vaults. This is accomplished by assigning a digital signature unique to the contents of that file, comparing that signature with all the files in our Data Store and only transmitting your unique files. This means that common files will not be counted against your backup storage, which reduces your backup account size and saves you money. These files will, however, be available if needed during a restore.

    Do I need to back up my entire computer?

    No. Your online backup service can backup only the data files if you wish. Select only the files, directories, or drives that you wish to backup. Of course, Access Data Backup can only restore the data you schedule to backup. Make sure you are backing up all your critical files, and have your programs and operating systems offsite. For your online backup, full systems or data only, Access Data Backup is a reliable and cost effective way to protect your data.

    How much data can I back up?

    As much as you want, you will be charged on the amount of actual compressed data you store.

    Are the backups incremental backups?

    Not in the traditional sense. Every backup is in effect a full backup. Our computer backup system does this by cataloging all included files each backup session then transmitting only the changed or new files. From a restore standpoint, each backup is a full, complete image of the data that was selected at the time of each backup. If you need to restore, simply select the backup you wish to restore from and restore the files you need.

    What software do you use?

    We use a variety of software packages in the backup, monitoring and reporting functions of our service. These components are a compilation of internally developed software and assembled packages – both proprietary and non-proprietary – from industry-leading developers.

    Can the online backup service backup permissions on files?

    Yes, for Windows NT on NTFS volumes Access Data Backup can backup both Permissions and Streams. The Permissions and Extended NetWare Attributes can be backed up for NetWare. This is a configurable option in both NetWare and NT environments. For UNIX servers, ACL properties can be retained.

    If the backup software is agentless, how is MS SQL and Exchange backed up?

    Microsoft® developed SQL and Exchange with the backup requirement in mind. Both products can respond to API calls requesting the services to dump their data, while online, to an external destination. In Access Data Backup’s case the product simply asks the specified MS SQL or Exchange server to stream the data to the client software where it is delta blocked and transmitted offsite. This process is a totally supported Microsoft function and guarantees compatibility with your existing MS systems. This adhesion to Microsoft standards does however prevent us from restoring individual Exchange mailboxe, as this is not a function Microsoft supports.

    Can Access Data Backup run pre and post commands on servers?

    Yes, even though Access Data Backup is an agentless solution, it is still capable of running commands on remote servers, be it Linux, NetWare or Microsoft Windows. For example, shutting down a database or application running on a server to back it up correctly and restart afterwards, or perhaps interact with some overnight batch processing.

    How does Access Data Backup handle open files?

    Open files are an issue in most backup environments. If a file is open exclusively on a workstation, it is the server’s responsibility to stop anyone else, including a backup package, accessing that file.

    To help counteract these issues Access Data Backup has a range of options which attempt to handle open files. These options, combined with use of the Pre and Post commands, should enable the backup of almost any file. More complex environments may require the use of open files managers such as St. Bernard – Open File Manager.

    What is your client software “Local Storage” feature?

    In addition to transmitting data to our vaults, the client software has the ability to retain locally all the data required to complete a restore of the most recent generation of data at LAN speeds. In the event of a restore request, the client software’s first attempts to retrieve data from local storage, and if it is not available requests the data to be transmitted from our data vault.

  4. Restores

    At what point is the data available for restore?

    The data is available for restore immediately after the online backup has completed.

    How do I restore my data?

    A restore may involve anything from a single file to an entire system. The Access Data Backup graphical user interface lets you select individual files or folders for restoration. There is also a search utility that allows you to scan an entire catalog using a file specification mask that may include wildcards. If you have a catastrophic loss and no operating system, you must first install your base o/s, and network drivers. Once this is done, you can use the Access Data Backup Client Software and proceed to initiate a full system restore back to the state prior to the system loss.

    Can we prioritize which data is restored in the event of a disaster?

    Yes, you can select easily which files/directories/servers you wish to restore. There is no need to restore non-essential data until a later time if desired.

    Is there a quicker way than online transfer to restore large volumes of data?

    Yes. In the event that a restore requires data that does not exist in the client software’s local storage, Access Data Backup can write your data to DVD’s or USB drives, or for very large volumes, to a mobile vault for next day delivery.

    Can I do a “full” recovery including the System State and Active Directory?

    Yes! If you choose to backup the System State, our software will restore all applicable System State and Active Directory information.

    Can Access Data Backup perform bare-metal restores?

    Assuming that the machine in question has had a full backup of all files and registry and the data is being restored to a machine of similar hardware, then a full disaster recovery of that machine is very simple. After installing the operating system, there is no need to apply service packs, configure domain security or install additional software to the new machine, as all this information will be included in the restore.

    Can I restore to an alternate location to avoid overwriting a file?

    Yes.

    Can you restore a whole backup set to a point in time, e.g. last Monday?

    Yes, Access Data Backup will display all the files that were backed up on any given day, providing the backed up files have not been deleted by an administrator or overwritten by more recent versions, then it is possible to restore from any given date.

    What is meant by online versus offline restores? How is this affected by the client software’s local storage feature?

    Data restored from either the local storage of the client software or data restored over the Internet from the vault is considered an online restore. Data restored using some form of removable physical media, which has been transported to the site, is considered an offline restore. Any restore may be initiated online, but if the data does not exist in local storage and the quantity of data is such that the restore time would be too great, clients have the option of having data placed on removable physical media and sent to them.

    Is there a charge to restore my data?

    There is never a charge to restore your data online. If you require us to generate physical media and courier or mail it to you, there may be additional charges. Please contact us for details.

  5. Connectivity & Bandwidth

    What type of connection do I need?

    Our offsite backup services require a reliable, dedicated Internet connection. This connection could be cable modem, DSL, T1 or T3. The faster your connection, the faster your online backups will run.

    Does all of our data get transferred every day?

    Only new and unique data will get backed up. Duplicate or unchanged files will not be transmitted.

    At what point is the data deemed to be backed up and offsite?

    The data is backed up in real time, so when the administration console indicates that the backup is complete – it is also an indication that the data has been securely stored offsite.

    What is delta blocking? How does it work?

    Delta blocking is an advanced logic that divides all files into 4K blocks. When the file is detected to have changed, the Checksum of each 4K block is compared against the last known Checksum for the same block of the same file (stored in the database on the client software). Any blocks that are different are pulled out to be re-transmitted. These delta blocks will also be compressed and encrypted before transmission.

  6. Encryption

    What type of encryption is available?

    There are several available encryption algorithms and key strengths up to 256-bit AES. The confidentiality and security of your data is a top priority. That’s why our automated offsite encryption backup service employs the top encryption algorithms.

    What do I do if I lose my encryption password?

    Lost passwords cannot be recovered. We have NO WAY of getting them back. Access Data Backup recommends keeping multiple copies of your encryption password(s) in safe, secured remote locations such as a fire safe or a bank safety deposit box.

    Is my data encrypted as it travels over the Internet?

    Yes. All data is encrypted before it leaves your site, only you have the key.

  7. Security

    Is my data safe/secure?

    Yes. Your data files are safe and secure at every step of the backup process due to Access Data Backup’s state-of-the-art encryption and security methods. Only you can access your data.

    How does Access Data Backup store and protect my data?

    Access Data Backup understands the value of high quality equipment. All of our equipment is fully redundant, power-protected and fault-tolerant. Our tier one data center facilities are secured with high-level security systems, 7 days a week 365 days a year.

    How is my online IT data backup secured?

    The two primary security measures Access Data Backup employs are (1) limiting access to your data to authorized users by password authorization; and (2) encrypting your data prior to transmission and storing it in an encrypted state.

  8. Operating Systems

    What operating systems are supported for online backup and restore?

    • Windows NT v4 with SP6
    • Windows 2000 Professional
    • Windows 2000 Server
    • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    • Windows 2000 Data Server
    • Windows XP Home (some limitations)
    • Windows XP Professional
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Windows Small Business Server 2003
    • Netware 6.0 & 6.5
    • Red Hat Linux 9.0 / RHEL& AS / Fedora Core
    • SUSE Linux SuSe 9 & 9.1
    • AS400 OS/400 V5R1M0/V5R2M0/V5R3M0
    • UNIX – File system backup and restore of UNIX derivatives with SSH daemon and Perl 5

    What operating systems does the client software run on?

    • Windows 2000 Professional
    • Windows 2000 Server
    • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
    • Windows 2000 Data Server
    • Windows XP Home
    • Windows XP Professional
    • Windows Server 2003
    • Red Hat RHEL & AS 3 & 4/
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 & 10

    What database and groupware systems does the client software support?

    • Microsoft SQL 7, 2000, 2005
    • Oracle 9i, 10g
    • DB2 8.1
    • Microsoft Exchange 5.5, 2000 & 2003
    • Lotus Domino 6.5
    • Novell Groupwise 6.5
    • MySQL – any version as long as OS supports mysqldump
    • postgreSQL – any version as long as OS supports pg_dump