recomend tape drive/solution for monthly archive of 700+ gigs of data

Posted on 2005-04-14
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hello, we curently have a half dozen servers, which we are backing up nightly to a Sans device (iscsi). I need to come up with a way to have a monthly snapshot/archive of the data and have it off-site.
We are thinking about going w/ tape or getting another Sans deivce and install a couple of T1 to an off-site location.
The data is window's server, sql and oracle databases,

Any thoughts/recomendations would be much appreciated.

thanks in advance,
Question by:smcelroy
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    by:Duncan Meyers
    If you are not already using tape, then I would reccommend LTO-2 (200GB native, 400GB compressed) or LTO-3 drives (400GB native, 800GB compressed). I'd recommend a weekly full backup and daily differentials (or daily full backups if you can spare the time) and a monthly archival backup. You should be have, at a minimum, the weekly backups off-site. You can use the Grandfather/Father/Son rotation scheme included in packages like ArcServe or BackupExec. As you have 700GB, you'll need either a tape changer that can handle a couple of tapes (the smallest usually handle around 6 or 7 tapes), or you may be lucky and all your data will fit on one LTO-3 tape. I wouldn't bet on it, though.

    As far as backup software goes, I have a preference for BackupExec 10, but there are many packages available. You'll need Open File Agents, Oracle agents and SQL server agents. Alternatively, you can use the backup options of the databases themselves and backup the files that they ptoduce. The Agents just make lifeeasier for you. For example, the SQL agent can run a consistency check on the DB as part of the backup process.

    A note on data compression: manufacturer's compression figures can either be wildly optimistic or wildly pessimistic. It all depends on what you're backing up. I've known big SAP databases to compress at around 4:1, but then I've seen other data struggle to get to 1.2:1. You'll probably see your file server achieve around 1.5:1 and the databases will get better compression than that. Usually.

    Author Comment

    Hi Meyersd, thanks for the comments. What are your thoughts on the Dell Powervault line, I got a quote on the Powervault 122t, LTO2 (although, I will ask about the LTO3) or is there another manufacture you would recomend.

    Thanks again for the taking time and going into detail.

    LVL 30

    Accepted Solution

    The 122T is a nice bit of kit (made by ADIC:, although you may want to consider a larger autoloader to allow for growth. Its nice to be able to load up a weeks worth of tapes and let 'er rip. Having said that, 8 tapes may well be heaps for what you want.

    Storagetek make the L20 library with 10 or 20 slots:
    Also from ADIC with 21 slots:
    And from Certance: - available with an LTO-3 drive
    Any of these look similar? :-)

    I have a preference for Storagetek kit as I've always found them to be robust and reliable with good service, but you'll struggle to find anyone that can compete with Dell on price.  

    BTW - don't forget to budget for your backup software. If you're planning on using Veritas BackupExec 10, you'll need BE 10, Open File Agents, SQL agents, Oracle Agents, Exchange Agent (if you use Exchange) and I'd recommend considering IDR (Intelligent Disaster Recovery) as well. You'll probably never have to use it, but if you do (and you've it uop right and tested it) it can save you **hours** on recovering a critical server.

    Finally, If you're not very comfortable with the software I'd also recommend getting Veritas (or a good consultant) in to set it up. And don't forget: you haven't got a backup until you've sucessfully tested the restore process...


    Author Comment

    Meyersd, thanks again for all the help. Not sure what drive and software (most likely backupexec 10) I will get, but feel a lot more comfortable about making a decision.
    Thanks again for helping me head in the right direction.

    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    by:Duncan Meyers
    My pleasure.

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