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Recommendations on a backup strategy

Posted on 2005-03-07
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Hi all,

I have a Powervault 132T and 5 SDLT tapes.  I need to back up the following:

-2 Windows 2003 Domain Controllers
-1 Member server running SQL 2000
-1 Member server (just files and home folders)
-1 Exchange 2003 server

I am using Brightstor 11.1 and I have the SQL agent installed as well as the Exchange agent installed. I have Backup Agent for Open Files installed on the member server that holds home folders and files.  Given this scenario, what would the best backup strategy be?

Thanks.

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Question by:valicon
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samccarthy earned 1200 total points
ID: 13476763
Here is what I do,

I do a full backup of my system every Tuesday Night, with Differentials to the same tape every other night.  This way, I change the tape out once per week and if I ever need a restore, I use the full backup with the last Differential.  You have an excellent product there with lots of capabilities.

What I also do is make a single Master Backup and take that offsite for Storage.

I woul recomment you increase your number of tapes.  I currently use 12 in a rotation to give me 3 months of backups on hand at any 1 time.  I also Use Veritas, but Brightstor with the agents will do the same for you.

Having said all that, each network is a little different.  If your SQL data, for example is so critical, you might want that backed up a few times a day.....  You don't need to run a compare each time, but run one to make sure it works and then occasionally, restore a few non critical files just to make sure.

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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:samccarthy
ID: 13476780
BTW....  The reason I choose Tuesday for the Tape change is that there are very few holidays that would fall there and it's a pretty good bet that the office will be open and someone here on a Tuesday..   Also, the First Tuesday of the Month I clean my tape drives before putting in the new tape.
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LVL 12

Author Comment

by:valicon
ID: 13476940
Concerning your rotation, you say you have 3 months of backups on hand at any one time. How are you rotating the tapes?  Do you put a new tape in for the full backup every Tuesday and keep the prior weeks full backup?  For the single master backup, would that be monthly?
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:joe-quick
joe-quick earned 800 total points
ID: 13481089
I prefer doing a complete back-up every night myself so that incase of a crash I only have to restore 1 tape not 2.
Plus the network is practically dead from 12am - 4am so I have time. The rotation Sam gave you is a good one, and is utilized by most  IT Admins.

He doesnt have a monthly backup he has tape for each of the previous weeks, and each day is added on to the end of the tape that contains the full backup. 12 tapes = 12 weeks = 3 mos
The only thing you could change is doing your differential backup on a different tape.


Depending on what your needs are you can keep as many weeks as you want. I myself have 1 year worth of data on hand at any one time and keep 4 tapes for each year prior forever.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:samccarthy
ID: 13482940
Yes, I put in 1 tape per week.  When I rotate through the 12, I start over.  The Master is seperate.  I do that when I have the server the way I want after being built and then I update it about every 6 months.  In some cases I use 2 Masters and just do a full backup to them every 6 months.

I only use 1 tape for a restore as my Full backup and the weekly differentials are all on the same tape.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:sciwriter
ID: 13484102
Backup strategy = whatever you want to accomplish, viz.:
Goal = to get maximum data recovery spread over longest interval
longest interval = maximum time for valid data - least time to obsolete data
maximum recovery = maximum recent data - least obsolete data.

Run the equations -- they are universal and they work -- and are totally independent of server type, etc.
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LVL 12

Author Comment

by:valicon
ID: 13515867
Okay so here is the deal....I have a total of 15 tapes. What would be the very best back up strategy?  
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:samccarthy
ID: 13516219
Here is what I would do, as I said earlier,

I do a full backup of my system every Tuesday Night, with Differentials to the same tape every other night.  This way, I change the tape out once per week and if I ever need a restore, I use the full backup with the last Differential.  You have an excellent product there with lots of capabilities.

I currently use 12 in a rotation to give me 3 months of backups on hand at any 1 time.  I also Use Veritas, but Brightstor with the agents will do the same for you.

I would take the 13th and 14th tapes and make a Master Backup.  (A Full backup at this point in time that will not be in Rotation.)  In 6 months or if there is a major change to the system, I would again to a master backup to 1 of those Master tapes.  6 Months after that I would do a master backup to the other tape and rotate them every 6 months.  

So, in theory, you will have 3 months of backup at your finger tips, but could go back to the 6 month or 12 month point if need be.

Put #15 away for a spare in the event you need to archive old data or have a tape failure and need a quick spare.
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LVL 12

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by:valicon
ID: 13689191
Sorry for the delay I was out of town :)
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