Backups every 5-10 minutes, even with verification turned off, may bog down your server and make it too unresponsive for practical use. During a "live" backup, the database queues up attempts to interact with the file until the backup is complete. This works for letting the changes go through, but responses back from the server, as needed to refresh the screen and such, are on hold until the backup completes. We've recently changed our schedule here (FMS 10) to backup every 2 hours instead of every hour for that reason. (And we have only about a dozen users accessing the system at any given time.)
We have employed the following "fail over" strategy:
We have a second server. Every night Windows Task Manager runs a VBScript that copies the most recent nightly back up files across the LAN to the back up server. Should the active server fail, we can open the backup copies on the second server and point the FileMaker Clients at it. A special "emergency mode" appends a few extra characters to the Primary Key of the main table for any records created while in this mode to make merging data from the failed server with the backup copy being used on the backup server less complicated to do.
We also have a mirror file where new records are exported to it each time a new one is created and marked "printed". (it's basically a POS invoicing system, but the "invoices" are really purchase orders as we redeem used beverage containers and scrap materials for recycling so we pay our customers instead of them paying us.) This gives us a record by record backup of our invoices, though we've never needed to use it...
It may be cheaper and less hassle to have the database hosted by a Filemaker Hosting Service. Typically $20 to $50 per month.
Your suggested setup would work, but the time involved may be more than you expect.
I dont like the idea of having someone else host my files. Having said that I have a large DB running now where we do hourly backups and it is a hassle and I might have to do what Phil said and switch it to every 2 hours. Anyway I think that the approach Phil took to export the records as they are created to a mirror DB is a great idea, and would work for me.
Thank you both for your help.