Backup for mid sized network NAS SAN - Need advice on what system to purchase

I have a network with 20 servers. each runs a seperate database. I'm trying to come up with a solution for a backup system that will be able to accomodate about 100gig of continuous backup. plus have a system to do archives to CD's or similar medium. The databases are run by SQL, and the servers are a mix of NT4 and 2000. All will eventually be 2000.

I would like to stay away from Tape, and move to something that I can do restores quicker as well as do snapshot backups during the day.

Thanks for any help

slotz
slotzAsked:
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chicagoanCommented:
Disk based backup is very attractive and fast, checkout Powerquest's offering:
http://www.powerquest.com/documentation/guides/vpe11enug.pdf
Pretty decent for the money and is a viable disaster recovery tool.

You can easily script SQLserver to do a checkpoint dump periodically thoughout the day.

The thing about disk based backup is getting stuff off-site.
You have a trashcan fire, the sprinklers go off and the fire dept comes in swinging axes and spraying everything in sight...

You can use removable disks but this gets a little hairy and costly if you want more than a few versions.
The first thing you have to do in disaster recovery planning is establish your retension schedule and rotation scheme in conjunction with your business units and get everybody on-board. Without that, sure as hell the CIO will call you a month after implementation and ask you for some version of ITBONUSES.XLS that you can't produce.

I'd consider at least one SDLT or the like in addition to your disk based backups to get some data sets off site with a minimum of fuss. CD's or even DVD's are slow compared to tape and a nightmare to catalogue though they are useful for archiving things. Just make sure you make two sets on two different brands of media, call them back every few months to check for deterioration and refresh them every couple of years.
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durindilCommented:
A bit more towards the enterprise level are Tivoli Storage Manager, Veritas Netbackup and Legato Networker.  I have installed all three, and even though I am not a big IBM fan, TSM has built-in archiving functionality in addition to the normal backups.  All three will allow you to back up to disk or tape, and make multiple copies.  They also have LAN-less or SAN capabilities.

You could install a separate gigabit ethernet adapter in each server, create a backup LAN, and stream your backups that way.  

As for drives, I can recommend the LTO Ultrium 2 drives.  They are rated at 35 MB/sec native and 70 MB compressed, so you can actually get a theoretical 4.2 gigabytes per minute or 240 gigabytes per hour per drive.  I actually see performance between 50 and 180 gigabytes per second per drive with large numbers of small files on large file systems.  Databases such as Oracle adn DB2 get much closer to 220 gigabytes per hour.
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andyalderCommented:
One popular solution is to buy a cheap NAS box, do SQL backups to this every hour and then overnight backups of the NAS box to tape.
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chicagoanCommented:
If you're rolling your snapshots off to tape, the issue with the disk portion is bandwidth. Many low end NAS solutions don't have gigE and fewer allow fast ether channel or nic aggregation even an fast ethernet. Since mast don't allow direct-attach tape, the network can bottleneck your backups. If you device not to use tape, the viability of you backup disks starts to approach what you want on your servers.
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