Nightly Data Backup - Using Veritas 9.1

Hello Experts!

Here's my question:  I run nightly backup jobs using Veritas 9.1.  I have two jobs that run.  1) Exchange Backup (mailboxes, information store, and public stores)  2) Nightly data backup, all files folders etc.  Both the jobs are very large.  If I am currently running a HP Storage WorksUltrium 230 (100/200) can I split this backup to use this drive and another WorksUltrium (200/400)?

So basically if I split the job, are these drives compatible to run with one another or do I need two identical drives?

Thanks experts.  You always make my job a bit easier!
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You should be able to split the jobs, but the trick for compatibility is this:  only use 100/200 tapes in the 200/400 drive.  Otherwise you can't put those tapes in the other drive and have them work.  The 200/400 drive should write to the standard (100/200) LTO tapes fine.  Also, network and processor throughput play a big role in backup efficiency.  You may want to bite the bullet and set up another backup server using the second tape drive.  That's the only way you'll come close to halving your backup time.

Additional to above, you should look at a seperate controller for the extra tape drive.

Is it simply a capacity issue. If so, you could just swap the 100/200 with the 200/400 or is this still not enough. If speed is an issue, then you need to think about all sorts of things (PCI bus speed, processor speed, memory, SCSI processor speed, etc etc etc)

As you say, having two drives will help as you should be able to half your backup window. Personally, I would utilise the full capacity of the 200/400 unless you will have a dire need to swap the tapes around?  There is no issue with having both connected to the same backup server, but consider installing a new SCSI controller to maintain the bandwidth.

Also, consider what it is you are backing up? Are you duplicating data or backing up data that doesn't change? You could look at installing the 100/200 drive as nearline storage. This would then allow you to have less frequently accessed data on the tape (always available) which removes this from the online disks, and thus the nightly backup. If the nearline data is updated, then it is written back to disk and is backed up as normal next day. A simple but effective way to use HSM with a tape drive.

Hope this helps
To comment further, most tape hardware vendors also agree with me in recommending the use of a separate server for each tape drive/array.  I've found that this is absolutely necessary for all the high-capacity backup scenarios I've encountered.

Fortunately, you don't need a monster server-class box for this, but you will want at least a gig of ram for backup software caching processes, a gigabit network adapter, the best scsi controller you can get that's compatible with your tape drive, and the fastest cpu you can get.  Also, even though this doesn't have to be a server-class box, you'll benefit if you run a true server OS on it like Windows Server 2K3 or a Linux flavor since these are optimized for network throughput and can be further tweaked.

Good Luck,
cool with me - gurutc
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