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Backup SAN

Posted on 2003-03-10
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I have >500gb to backup with in an 8 hour window.
I was thinking of some type of SAN for the servers and the tape library.

Is this a good idea?
Any thoughts?

Mark
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Question by:markg1
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26 Comments
 
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:arbert
ID: 8106006
This is pretty much the scenario we're running and it works out pretty good.

We're taking approximately 500-600gig from a DELL/EMC SAN to and LTO tape library.  All servers are attached with fibre to the SAN and we usually make a 6-8 hour window depending on how many files have changed.

Brett
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Expert Comment

by:compuphonic
ID: 8107172
Moving to a SAN won't suddenly speed up you backups and in many cases can make them slower.

You will need to implement a solution that backs-up over the fibre channel and not over the lan - many lower end solutions are dragging the data over the lan. This will impact your backup time and flood your lan.

500Gb isn't a lot of data (in SAN terms) and there is no reason why upgrading your current backup solution to LTO or AIT wouldn't speed things up for you.

Only adding more tape drives running in parallel is going to speed up the process, in in many cases the source of the data may be the bottle neck - eg individual exchange mailbox backups.

Another possible solution is to replicate the data to another server or NAS type device and perform the backups on this, effectively widening your backup window.
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Expert Comment

by:bvinson
ID: 8108037
If you move to a Dell SAN Appliance with a full fibre channel back-end, your back-up speeds can dramatically improve.  But you want to go with a full fibre channel back plane.  I was able to get a multiple Gb through-put going all fibre channel.

You want to get the back-up off the Ethernet or else it will be very slow going once you really load up the SAN.

bvinson
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Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8110567
Sorry, I did not mention fibre channel.
I had no intention of using the LAN.

Any ballpark idea what something like this could cost?
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Expert Comment

by:compuphonic
ID: 8110727
markg1 the reason I mention is that some vendors are a bit sneaky and require additional license fees before their apps will operate over the fibre.

I would cost out how much to add LTO drives to your current set up, not sure how much they would be in the US, but in the UK these are approx $5000 each for IBM Ultriums.

Have a look at these drive throughput comparisons:
http://www.dell.com/downloads/us/pvaul/tbu_drives_comp.pdf

Some SAN vendors offer starter packages for about $10,000 but you've still to add the tape devices and backup software.

It the lower end of the market most tape drives are still SCSI attached so you will need a fibre chan-scsi bridge. This also means your backups are back to being restricted to the speed of scsi.

You are going to need HBAs for each server (ideally 2 for redundancy), a fibre swich, storage, etc.

If you only have one server you can get away with a fibre chan hub, but ideally you want a switch to perform zoning on your storage.

Have a look at www.adic.com for some tape drive solutions.

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Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8111508
Do you recommend of any consultants that do this type of work?
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Expert Comment

by:compuphonic
ID: 8111554
I'm in the UK so can only suggest UK SAN consultants.
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Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8111626
Anyone else?
East coast preferable.
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Expert Comment

by:compuphonic
ID: 8111935
How many servers are you looking to add to your SAN ?
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Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8112040
Under 8.
The rest we will backup over the LAN as they have small amount to backup.
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Expert Comment

by:compuphonic
ID: 8112092
Are they all NT/Win2K type servers or are you running a mixed environment of hardware/software ?

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Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8112227
All servers for this project are NT/Win2k.
We are thinking about adding our Unix servers to this solution, but not right away.
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Expert Comment

by:hkchilam
ID: 8121832
Problem you are trying to solve:
- improve Backup and restore speed by leveraging san infrastructure.

When you add a SAN in your environment you can plug in either storage or tape drives on the SAN.

BACKUP using SAN:
1) local backup. If each server can share the drives on the SAN, then essentially you can backup data as local.  This is the fastest and by far most common way of backing up data over a SAN.  We call this dynamic drive sharing. VERITAS has a product option called SSO (Shared Storage Option) for both their Netbackup and BACKUPEXEC product.

For LEgato you need to look for smart media option.

For commvault, and other backup software they have similar product options.

2) serverless backup
This means data get backed up directly from storage to tape drive by passing through a data mover. A data mover can be a switch, a host that has tape drives attached to it.  This method has minimal impact on CPU but it's more complicated and costly (software cost).  Unless you have mission critical database that cannot loose *any* cpu power even during backup time, this would be an option you can choose.

Both Legato and VERITAS has serverless backup option.  It first do a frozen image on the disk storage, map the inodes, transfer the inodes map to a backup server, and activate data mover to move the blocks.

I would always suggest going back to the question on 'what problem you are trying to solve'.

Implementing a SAN storage architecture for storage purpose does not always meant that you have to backup over the SAN.  Sometime, backing up over a dedicated 100Mbps or 1gig ethernet can be a more cost effective (and easier to manage.)

Chilam
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Expert Comment

by:hkchilam
ID: 8121896
For 500 GB in 8 hours, you can easily do it over a gigE network with 4 drives.

DLT 7000/8000, 18GIG per hour, this will take 28hors
with 4 drives, it should take 7 hours.

If you use one of the newer drives such as LTO or AIT-3, you can get much better through put.

In any case, you should have a minimal of two drives for redundancy.

This is assuming that you can keep the drive streaming.  The challenge for any type of backup is how can you keep the drives busy enough. The LTO drives are fast but if your client is not fast enough to push data to the drives, you are not going to take full advantage of the tape drives.

Have you selected your backup software vendor yet?
I would suggest doing some measurement with what you have today and see where the bottleneck is. :)



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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:ttrogden
ID: 8124799
MarkG1 - Check out this link.  This is probably what your looking for.

http://www.spectralogic.com/common/collateral/profiles/Customer_Profile_austin.pdf

Good luck !!
0
 

Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8127434
I will give a little overview of my current situation.
The network I manage has grown over time.
Almost, every new server that was purchased had a single DLT tape drive attached to it.

This has gotten way out of hand.
It has become unmanagable.
Tapes need to be switched manually.
Human intervention is needed.  People make mistakes and data does not get backed up.

My goal is to take the human intervention away from the back up.  While, not putting any more load on the network.

We currently backup 500Gb but by 2004 it will be more like 750gb within the same 8 hour window.
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Expert Comment

by:ttrogden
ID: 8127560
    Call some vendors and have them come out and solve your business need.  It's what they make the big bucks for.  It seems rather simple but you'd be supprised what free advice and education you can get by just asking vendors to come out and chat with you.  What your probably looking at is some kind of automated tape library.  You'll need some kind of backup software, but nothing really fancy.  If your an all M$ shop, then look at CommVault Galaxy or something.  My recomendtaion would then be to talk to a storage array company.  I would recomend XIOTech.  You can look them up on the web at www.xiotech.com  - I would also look at others out there.  But ask the XIOtech's of the world to help bring in tape library companies and backup software companies and let them all fight for the business.  It's a win - win situation.  then when you get close to making a decision, post what your thinking about getting and solicitate feed back.  This may make it easier than asking what everyone uses and then try putting it together in your office.  

     Most all of these companies will install and configure their gear so you don't have to.  Unless you want to, then you have that choice as well.  It's all about the money :)  How much do you want to spend.

Good Luck !!
0
 

Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8127732
You've got a point.

We've got $80,000 budgeted.
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:ttrogden
ID: 8127928
Perfect.  Let the vendors kill each other trying to get under it :)  Talk to XIOtech/SpectraLogic/Commvault.  The link i sent to you with the customer spotlight works great.  I've seen it work.  It's pretty impressive.  But like I said let the vendors fight for it.  It's win for you !!!

Good Luck !!

     
0
 

Expert Comment

by:hkchilam
ID: 8138269
I have gone through backup and storage vendor selection before. One advice I would give is not to get overkilled and keep the design simple. If something the vendor suggest does  not make sense to you, do not buy in to it. Sometime these vendors have no idea what they are talking about.

A reputable reseller with referenceable custoemrs and implementation would not be a bad idea.  At least you can talk to the customer about whether their environment is running smoothly or not.

For tape library and software, $80k is about right.
IMHO, XIotech  is not a major player in the storage industry but they do sell enterprise storage at a much lower cost then hitachi or emc. (However, the new EMC clariion especially the ATA arrays look interesting.)

Spectralogic specialize in AIT technology. it's pretty good technology. AIT-2 is safe and AIT-3 has been around for more then a year.

For the backup software piece, the major players are
VERITAS - netbackup (works in unix or windows, solid product, expensive.)

VERITAS - backup exec (windows only, unix is very weak in this product), this is a great product but their sales people would probably push you to buy the more expensive Netbackup datacenter. The two products are *completely* different.  Backupexec supports SAN (drive sharing)

Commvault - new player but have win the windows world. strong ties with MS. If you are windows savvy and do not care much about unix, commvault is a good bet.  They have drive sharing but i have not seen or try it before.

Whatever products you pick, make sure you can get referenceable customer, if possible try it out. If the implementation is SAN related, they may only allow you to do a pilot implementation.

Chilam
ps* Again, keep it simple.
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Author Comment

by:markg1
ID: 8139164
Here is my first quote:
Brocade SilkWorm 3200 2Gb Fibre channel Fabric Switch 8-port
 
ADIC Scalar 100 tape library
  2  Super DLT 320 tape drive
  30 Tapes filled

ADIC SN5000 Fibre Channel router

Emulex LightPulse LP9002L Fibre Channel Adapter

Veritas Backup Exec 9.0

How does this sound?
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:arbert
ID: 8718094
What's up with this question???
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Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 10133939
No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:

PAQ/No Refund

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

LucF
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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Expert Comment

by:arbert
ID: 10134076
There were answers above, I think one of them should be accepted or split.
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Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 10135427
I'll leave that to the mod following up, there's a lot of good info, but you just can't split 50 points between all good comments. I didn't want to leave out anyone..

Hope you understand,

LucF
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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