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Using Windows Filehistory for a data backup

I attached an excerpt from the help files, but I would like to discuss it for a second.
5e4c9236a66ab
file:///C:/VTScada/VTSHelp/Content/D_Tools/Dev_Backups.htm

If there is a single application on site, and we need a backup solution that is automatic AND shutting down and restarting the application isn't possible, is using windows file history an acceptable method for continuous backup?

Has there been issues in the past, and or suspected issues with restoring backups?

Assume we are using the VTScada history system.

Thanks,
JM

I attached an excerpt from the help files, but I would like to discuss it for a second. ![5e4c9236a66ab](serve/attachment&path=5e4c9236a66ab) file:///C:/VTScada/VTSHelp/Content/D_Tools/Dev_Backups.htm If there is a single application on site, and we need a backup solution that is automatic AND shutting down and restarting the application isn't possible, is using windows file history an acceptable method for continuous backup? Has there been issues in the past, and or suspected issues with restoring backups? Assume we are using the VTScada history system. Thanks, JM

JMK Engineering Inc -jmkengineering.com

edited Feb 19 at 1:41 am

No, because the Windows file history is susceptible to the same problems that the entire file system is exposed to (corrupt configuration, bad Microsoft updates, hard drive failure, accidental deletion, malicious users).

Use an enterprise-proven live snapshot technology like Acronis or Veeam and back up both the entire computer configuration and history files to an external hard drive or network attached storage.

Alternatively, you can just use a virtualization technology, keep your SCADA computer as a virtual machine and take VM snapshots.

Keep at least 2 or 3 full backups files (independent images). Ideally, a backup should be kept offline for ransomware protection.

No, because the Windows file history is susceptible to the same problems that the entire file system is exposed to (corrupt configuration, bad Microsoft updates, hard drive failure, accidental deletion, malicious users). Use an enterprise-proven live snapshot technology like Acronis or Veeam and back up both the entire computer configuration and history files to an external hard drive or network attached storage. Alternatively, you can just use a virtualization technology, keep your SCADA computer as a virtual machine and take VM snapshots. Keep at least 2 or 3 full backups files (independent images). Ideally, a backup should be kept offline for ransomware protection.
edited Feb 19 at 3:26 am

Windows File History does use Shadow Copy technology and does work to backup your VTScada directory including older history. This is what I use on my work computer and it has worked very well for me.

Note that the drive where the files are copied to up does, by default, appear in the list of drives so it may be susceptible to viruses or corruption. In my case, I manually plug in the backup drive each day I am in the office to allow the backup to occur then unplug the drive once the backup is complete.

This said, if you really care about your data, a VTScada backup server and good IT practices is by far the best way to increase uptime and reduce the risk of data loss. In an ideal world, a user will have a backup server and also create a regular backup of the VTScada directory on a removable drive as well.

Windows File History does use Shadow Copy technology and does work to backup your VTScada directory including older history. This is what I use on my work computer and it has worked very well for me. Note that the drive where the files are copied to up does, by default, appear in the list of drives so it may be susceptible to viruses or corruption. In my case, I manually plug in the backup drive each day I am in the office to allow the backup to occur then unplug the drive once the backup is complete. This said, if you really care about your data, a VTScada backup server and good IT practices is by far the best way to increase uptime and reduce the risk of data loss. In an ideal world, a user will have a backup server and also create a regular backup of the VTScada directory on a removable drive as well.

Trihedral Engineering Ltd.

Hey @NevergoldMel
You're not the first to ask for this. Can you let us know your use case for the scheduled changesets? Those files don't contain a copy of the historian and the details of the changeset are included in the application version control.

I'm, happy to create the feature request but I need some details and the use case to back it up as, internally, the reason this feature is necessary isn't obvious.

Hey @NevergoldMel You're not the first to ask for this. Can you let us know your use case for the scheduled changesets? Those files don't contain a copy of the historian and the details of the changeset are included in the application version control. I'm, happy to create the feature request but I need some details and the use case to back it up as, internally, the reason this feature is necessary isn't obvious.

Trihedral Engineering Ltd.

Obviously, the end users are asking for this and I have to say if the history could have a similar function and both could use an ftp server as the backup location my life would be easier. Make it another license item and charge say a third to a fourth of adding a redundant server and it should sell.
As far as the historian data, I keep trying to push redundant servers but even when I succeed they do silly things like put them both in the same room. Heck, I want them at different sites with VPN links.

As I'm sure your sales department will love to hear I always ask the client to go with redundant servers and at least 5 thin clients.

Also, pretty please, some automation of SSL certificate installation. If necessary, I can send some photos of me begging. Until then expect my call when I try to install one in March.

Obviously, the end users are asking for this and I have to say if the history could have a similar function and both could use an ftp server as the backup location my life would be easier. Make it another license item and charge say a third to a fourth of adding a redundant server and it should sell. As far as the historian data, I keep trying to push redundant servers but even when I succeed they do silly things like put them both in the same room. Heck, I want them at different sites with VPN links. As I'm sure your sales department will love to hear I always ask the client to go with redundant servers and at least 5 thin clients. Also, pretty please, some automation of SSL certificate installation. If necessary, I can send some photos of me begging. Until then expect my call when I try to install one in March.

Century Control Systems, Inc. www.centurycontrolsystems-inc.com

Regarding the history backup, you can do this for free with Veeam or Acronis for $99 perpetual license.

Regarding the history backup, you can do this for free with Veeam or Acronis for $99 perpetual license.
edited Feb 19 at 4:43 pm

For some strange reason Water and Sewer Districts are terrified of the Cloud, but I can stick a NAS in a lift station and backup to that and they love it.

For some strange reason Water and Sewer Districts are terrified of the Cloud, but I can stick a NAS in a lift station and backup to that and they love it.

Century Control Systems, Inc. www.centurycontrolsystems-inc.com

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