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Old 06-23-2004, 06:58 PM   #1
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network advice

I'm going to be setting up a small network for my mom's business to share files, printing, and a DSL connection. They'll have two PCs running XP. Would it be worth it to set up a Linux file / print server? (If not, there would just be the two XP machines - setting up a Windows server will cost too much.) I've heard that a print server is pretty easy to do, but that Samba configuration can be kind of tricky. Also, is there a way to set up a Linux box to perform automatic backups?
Old 06-23-2004, 09:03 PM   #2
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The best thing you could do would be to setup a firewall in front of those XP machines (if you don't already have one). As for the print server, it doesn't seem like that would have much value. If you only have two XP machines, you can use Windows file & print sharing and just attach the printer to one of them, then the other one would be able to use it too (assuming the first machine sets the printer to shared). The same goes for file shares, just share a folder on one of the Windows boxes and allow the other one to have write access to it.

As for automated backups, it depends what you're trying to back up. Just the contents of a file share? Arbitrary data in certain folders? Something else? You can schedule backup jobs on the XP machines and save them to a particular folder. If you did happen to have a Linux machine running Samba, you could dump the backups in a shared folder on the Linux box. Of course, with just two XP machines you could have them each share a folder and cross backup to each other.

Unless there's a reason why some of the above wouldn't be practical (and that reason doesn't apply to Linux running on another box, too) it doesn't seem like there's really a reason to setup an additional box.
Old 06-23-2004, 10:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input. You're right - increasing the number of machines by 50% is probably not a good idea. *sigh* It would've been fun...

As for the backup, the most important thing is the financial data (Quickbooks files), but I should probably set it to do the "Documents" folder as well. Is maintaining copies on the files on both PCs considered reliable? Or should I go to a CD-RW or external hard-drive or something?
Old 07-07-2004, 05:38 AM   #4
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Vital data backup

For backup of vital data such as QB files, SOP is to perform the backup to some sort of portable media such as tape or CD-ROM, then store the most recent backup off site.

In the event of a disaster such as fire or theft of computer equipment, there will be plenty to worry about. Having backup data off site will eliminate that concern.


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