USB or NAS backup solution needed.

I'm working on a backup solution for small networks located all over the place.

My basic requirements are:
USB (preferred) or Network attached
We need a name brand solution (no fly by night)
Hotswapable IDE or SATA HD
Included DVD+burner in the enclosure
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Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorAsked:
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NeerCommented:
Can you clarify your requirements:
1. You're backing up small networks that are "all over the place". Are you looking to have the b/u solution installed at each site, or at a single backup site, and back up the rest of the networks to that site?
2. What's the size of the networks? 1-5 nodes? 5-50? Avg storage per server?
3. When you say "USB" -- are you going to have a dedicated BAckup server with usb-attached server, and backup the rest of the network over the wire, or walk around your site, and attache directly via USB to each box?
4. Are you looking for end-to-end solution -- hardware and software? Or do you have software in mind, and just looking for HW?
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
1)  Yes backup at each site, so it needs to be sume what in-expensive.
2)  Anywhere from 5 - 20 PC, data size for server veries but the largest I have seen is about 150GB
3)  Only interested in backing up the server, all files are stored on the server.
4)  End-to-end or seperate HW/software.

NeerCommented:
I am going to recommend you Tivoli Storage Manager software from IBM running on a Redhad Linux server.
This does not put any restrictions on the type of backup client operating system. With this
backup server you can backup Windows, Macs, Linux, Amiga, MVS, you name it (backup client can be a
server or a PC).

You can read more about TSM here:

http://www-306.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/storage-mgr/product-features.html

More about TSM in the TSM user community:

http://www.adsm.org

The beauty of Tivoli Storage Manager is that it uses state-of-the-art "Incremental
Forever" technology, which only backs up the modified files, and keeps a database
to track versions. Therefore, if a file is being modified daily, you will end
up with 30 backups of that file in TSM. If it is modified weekly, you'll have 4 backups.
Of course, the first backup is full.

But when you have to restore, you just specify a point-in-time you need to restore
to, and TSM will automatically reconstruct the full backup at that point-in-time
using its database information!

The cost of TSM server licese is about $350, client $69. You'll need one server
license for the b/u server, one client for the server you keep your data on.
You can order the software from cdw.

Keep in mind that with TSM's great functionality comes substantial complexity,
so be prepared to commit some time to learning the product, don't expect to
click through a buch of wizards and be done with it.

This definitely meets your "not a fly-by-night" requirement, this is IBM. I've installed
this product in environments ranging from a single backup client to a 200,000-employee
enterprise. Its also very inexpensive -- about $400 for sw, $1500 to $2000 for hw.
You did not mention that you need to offsite your backups, but if you do, set up
another TSM server at another site, and configure them to back up each other, the
functionality is all there.

The backups take place over the network. Use internal disk of your backup server
as your backup media. As the backup server load up a standard PC server with about
1500GB of disk and 1GB of RAM to start. Typically you'll only need about 150% of
your prod volume for your backup volume because of the incremental-forever technology.

Hope you like this answer. The best part about TSM is if you know it, you get to write your own ticket
in the IT consulting world.

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Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I'll look into this in the morning.  However I should add that our staff of traveling Sys Admins/ Engineers only has a few with Unix/ Linex experience, and some of our on site sys admins (in title only) have problems operating the power switch.  So the solution needs to be extreemley simple and maitanance free if possible.
NeerCommented:
While simplicity was not part of the original requirement, you can run TSM server software on a Windows server as well. I prefer Linux due to its stability and security -- no need to worry about viruses, Windows Updates, etc. Also, TSM, once set up, is very low-maintenance. It does require some brain power during setup though.
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
OK I will look into it in the morning, we have people whit brain power who can figure out the install and create idiot proof instructions for out other traveling admins to follow.

Thank you for the info.
NeerCommented:
Hey ebjers,

I was wondering if you've had a chance to evaluate my solution, and if you would accept it as the answer.
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I have some people working on testing a setup with your suggestion, I don't have any results yet but I'll let you around the end of next week.
Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the answer neer, we're currently testing and it's looking good so far.
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