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Tape Backup

Posted on 2004-10-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Looking for a Tape BackUP solution. I will need to backup Exchange as well as files. (file server).

Please make recommendations.
ie. brands, sizes, make, models, etc

Thanks in advance.
Question by:TechInNeedmm
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LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12403798
Please give more info:

How large is your information Store?
How large are your files (both average file size and total disk space to backup)?

The backup recommendations require at least that much more info.  There are several technologies to select from, but which one is write depends on this info.  In addition, What backup software will you be using?  That too is very important when backing up exchange.

Expert Comment

ID: 12404361
Windows server 2003

Comes with good software  
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12404414
I disagree.  The software that comes with 2003 is very basic and not that robust.  I highly recommend evaluating both CA Brightstore ArcServe and veritas BackupExec - I believe they both have timed trials available for download from their websites
Efficient way to get backups off site to Azure

This user guide provides instructions on how to deploy and configure both a StoneFly Scale Out NAS Enterprise Cloud Drive virtual machine and Veeam Cloud Connect in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.


Expert Comment

ID: 12404464
I have used All 3 and like windows the best !

Expert Comment

ID: 12404716
As far as a software solution, go with windows backup.  It may not be robust, but if you are only backing up a single exchange server it will more than satisfy your requirements.  Additionally, when you go to call Microsoft about needing help restoring your exchange database, things wil go much smoother using microsofts backup instead of adding a 3rd party product into the mix.

As far as hardware requirements, there are several questions you need to answer.  How large is the information store?  There is a 16GB limit unless you have the exchange enterprise edition.  Odds are you will only need to back it up once a day or maybe once a week.  If your database is relatively small, I would recommend doing full backups everyday.  Then you do not have to worry about transaction logs and less things could go wrong when you need to do a restore.  

So you will need a tape that can hold the size of your information store times how many backups you need to fit on a single tape.  Before you start talking what technology and what brand, you need to know how much data.

LVL 17
ID: 12405088
My recommendations,

Veritas Backup Exec for Windows 2000 Server
Backup Exec Exchange Agent
Open File Agent.

It is robust and easy to use.

For Hardware.....

Depending on the amount of data you are backing up I would go with the following.

Sony 11000/BM  DDS4 Tape Drive ($700.00).  20/40gb on DDS4 tapes.  The tapes run about $15.00 each.  This backs up my current exchange server without any problems, supporting a mid sized city network.  Besides the Tape Drive, you will need a SCSI controller.  If the server does not have one, an Adaptec 29160 will do the job very well ($285).

If that is not enough capacity, then I would opt for one of the AIT drives.  You can get them up to 260gb.  I just outfitted one of my file servers with one.  It will use the same SCSI or Adaptec controller and 100/260gb drive runs about $1050.  


Expert Comment

ID: 12408047
hi, TechInNeedmm

We need some more information:

How many servers are all together to be back up ?
What are the Tasks/Jobs of all servers "SQL, Exchange, Domain DC, Memeber, Active Directory"
What is the Data size current ?
Future growth ?

I've seen you want file server backup + exchange is Exchange installed on the same server ??...
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12408937
I like samccarthy's answer (Veritas has a great backup software) but it is hard to tell what is the best solution for you;
How many users are being served?
What is the estimated data capacity you want to backup?
Is speed is an issue (i.e. backup may overload the network performance in some cases)?
What is your budget (if your organization requires large amount of space you should conider NAS or SAN storage architecture and this changes the way data is being backed up as well as the total cost)?
What is the network architecture (i.e. Active Directory, NDS, combination of a few, simple ethernet and forth)?


Author Comment

ID: 12413770
Hi all, wow, what a great bunch.
Sorry for the late response.

My information Store is roughly around 6 Gigs, but of course may grow. The files are about 3 gigs compressed in a zip file and that grows as well obviously. The server consists of C:\ drive being 18 Gigs and D:\ Drive of 36 Gigs. The Exchange server resides on the C:\ drive and the files server resides on the D:\ Drive. I would like to backup the Entire Hard drive on this main server.

I was thinking of using the Windows 2000 NTbackup software for backup. Would this be advised as being a good decision? Keep in mind that I would like to back up the Exchnage server as well as ALL my files.

>>There is a 16GB limit unless you have the exchange enterprise edition
Wow, this is new to me. I am running Exchange 2000 on Windows 2000 Small Business Server.

Yes, performing a backup everyday is what I would like to do.

I have two servers in total at this location. The main server (Domain Controller with Active Directory) houses the file server as well as the Exchange server. Then I have another server that is the VPN server that connects an external site to this one via a Server to Server VPN tunnel (10 Gigs). So this server will need to be backed up as well (ie. the entire Hard drive - So that I can retain all settings from the VPN configuaratons).

Yes, Exchange and the File server are all on the same server.

Not many users, about roughly 24 users in total and two main servers.

Please forgive me but I am new at this.
Also, again, I apologize for my late response.

Thanks for all the reponses too :)

Author Comment

ID: 12414505
I know the norm is to perform a normal backup once a week. BUt what should I use on a daily basis? Differentil or Incremental backup?
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

Cyber-Dude earned 1000 total points
ID: 12415152
In that case:

You may use the Veritas Backup Exec, which may help you in committing an everyday backup. It has good support as well (and support is an important factor when choosing a backup software). Along with the backup software, add the Exchange Server backup agent (as mentioned above).

Dont use the DDS technology, it is proven to be unreliable (and I used it in few clients of mine). Though the capacity may vary from 20GB to 40GB compressed, the tapes has limited time and are easily effected from environmental issues. Id prefer a DLT system which is a bit more expensive but much reliable. It has the capacity of 40GB to 80GB compressed.

As for backup procedures:
For arround 40+GB, I would say prepair 6 DLT tapes aand commit daily FULL backup while spanning the tapes and keepping the prevoius days tape in remote location. This procedure is reliable and fast to restore.

A report on Backing Up with Tape Drives (Toms Hardware):

Good luck

LVL 17
ID: 12417642
I would agree that DDS can be unreliable, but only if you don't take care of it.  IE, change out your tapes yearly and clean the drives once a month.  If you do that, I have had rock solid reliability from them in numerous networks.  I use Python, Archive and mostly Sony drives.  Myself, I jumped over the DLT as the AIT's seem to have a bit more capacity and come in a more compact package.

I do a full backup every Tuesday night with Differentials all the other nights.  That way, I have 1 tape and if I need a restore I do the full and then the latest differential.  I use an 8 or 12 tape rotation, giving 8 or 12 weeks of restore capabilities.

Expert Comment

ID: 12419154
hi, there

I'm working for a computer manufactor and we only have problems with DDS4 technology.

What you would be prefered to buy is a SCSI 39160 card to insert and attach a DLT, LTO drive to it.
As CyberDude mention Veritas is a good option since you want to backup "Open Files" Exchange therefore you'll need the Exchange agent.

In the beginning you could make a fullbackup every night until the data get large and time is a factor, then you could go with this schedule.

Friday full backup
Monday incremental
Tuesday Incremental
Wednesday Full Backup
Thursday incremental

For this plan you'll need 5 Rotating tapes
12 monthly tape's later on 1 yearly tape

Total about 20 Tapes......

Don't forget to do a restore every 14 day's to check the integrity of the tape and that you can restore form them..

Recommend: PowerVault 132T LTO-2

Don't forget if you want to grow with the solution you have to pick some that's reliable. This one I here mention does also support Fibre Channel if attaching a Fibre channel card to the server you do not load/need the 39160 solution but all backup will be done in the background....

Expert Comment

ID: 12419895
My experience with NTbackup tells me that it can be very unreliable. I would recommend Veritas Backup Exec if you have the money to spend or Arcserve. Even Tapeware seems to suit your needs pretty well. As for hardware, DDS is really bad imo. LTO seems to be the "IN" thing right now. SLR is more reliable though.

Author Comment

ID: 12422904
1. Veritas Backup Exec for Windows 2000 Server
2. Backup Exec Exchange Agent
3. Open File Agent.

So I will assume that the software is number 1 and that number 2 and 3 are the clients that u need? Please explain what i need number 3 for.

I have narrowed it down to the following:

HP STORAGEWORKS DAT 72I 36/72GB DRIVE SCSI3 36/72GB.                        $1,225.84 (CAN)
HP DAT72 36/72GB CARTRIDGE FOR STORAGEWORKS DAT 72I/72E.               $29.17 (CAN)

EXABYTE VXA 2 80/160GB TAPE DRIVE 6/12 MBPS VXA TAPE SCSI                 $1,536.90 (CAN)
EXABYTE V23 VXA-2 80/160GB DAT CARTRIDGE DATA CARTRIDGE                 $105.58 (CAN)

HP STORAGEWORKS DLT VS 80 DLT 40GB 80GB.                                           $1,634.40 (CAN)
HP 40/80GB DLT CARTRIDGE 1-PACK DLT IV.                                                 $45.24 (CAN)

Well seeing that I have 18 Gigs * 3 = 54 Gigs on the Main Server (Exchange/File Server)
And 10 Gigs on the VPN server which totals to roughly around 64 Gigs approximately, what would you recommend? As well as, if there are other ones you can recommend or add to the list I will greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 12423174
The link I sent you have the exact answer for you along with product comparrition and total cost per GB.


LVL 17
ID: 12429093
Veritas Backup Exec Open File Option will backup the files that are open when the backup runs.  When files are open and locked, backup software has varing degrees of success trying to back them up.  With the Open File Option, Veritas can back up those open files, thus giving a much better chance at a full recovery if needed.  There is nothing worse than doing a restore and finding out something won't work becuase open files were not collected during the backup.

Personally, for the Amount of Data and allowing for growth, I would get the largest drive you can afford, like the AIT 100/260 that I mentioned above.  You can fit your full backup and a week's worth of differentials on a single tape without having to change every day or every few days.

Of the choices you listed above, I would do the Exabyte.  Your uncompressed capacity is greater than the amount you plan to backup.  With the 36/72 drive and 40/80 you will already be hitting capacity from day 1.  Generally you will never see the full compressed capacity, but somewhere in between.  With the DDS4's, 20/40 I regularly get about 28 or 29gb.


Expert Comment

ID: 12429754
I will suggest CommVault as a total solution...Data migration, backups, archiving, overall storage management.  CommVault is the only company that has a common foundation for the suite of products.

Compare the catalog files...30-50 gb with Veritas compared to 10-50 mb with CommVault?  Restore time is twice as fast in my environment...

Check them out...

LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security Officer earned 1000 total points
ID: 12638920
I will ask for the points on this one.  I was the first respondent to answer all the criteria in the question, ie a backup solution for exchange with brands, sizes, make, models, etc.  I also followed up with comments and recommendations after the author posted additional information and questions after his initial question.

Author Comment

ID: 12674999
Sorry, but i have been really busy and have not have time to log into here recently.
Thanks so much for all the help. I really apprecaite it.

Author Comment

ID: 12676741
Cyber Dude, thanks for the link. According to the link and based on my specifications, I see that the Tandberg SLR 100 would more suit my needs over the "over 50 GIG native" drives.

How good is the SLR technology compares to DLT drives?

Please anser here:

Expert Comment

ID: 22728965
Did you try Uranium Backup ?

It is a very small program and is not so expensive.
If you purchase the Gold version you can also copy locked files.

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