Next Level in backing up

Posted on 2007-11-15
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
We are JUST moving beyond normal backup hardware requirements. I've requested scopes and bids from our normal providers, however get the feeling that this moves into an area none of them really handle thus no bids. :[

We have always done a backup to hard drive as well as one to tape for off site storage. 5 days/week plus other backups on the weekends. We currently have an IBM LTO3 tape drive ( 400 gigs native ) and a Quantum S4 ( 800 gigs native ). We are using Backup Exec 11d and Bakbone Netvault ( at separate times ). Due to the fact that most of our data is JPEG's of job sites we get VERY little compression. I might get 880 gigs out of the S4 if lucky.

Our quarterly backup just topped 1.1 TB. I've heard hints of backup software that can back up more than one 'stream' at a time and other ideas to get this much data in a limited time frame. Could you point me in the right direction to resolve our time/size issues?

Question by:Bluewhale042399
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Expert Comment

ID: 20291903
Backing up data in multiple streams is especially useful if you back up data from multiple sources (multiple servers) where the speed of reading the files from the source storage is the bottleneck.
Most backup software can do multiple streams - but not Backup Exec. Examples are CommVault Galaxy/Simpana, CA ArcServe, Symantec NetBackup, EMC Networker, Tivoli Storage Manager, etc...

If you back up to disk as well as tape, you should use the staging features that most software products offer to move the data to tape from the disk backups, instead of getting the data from the source storage again. (Disk-to-disk-to-tape). You may be doing this already using the Backup Exec duplication feature.


Author Comment

ID: 20292369
> You may be doing this already using the Backup Exec duplication feature.

No, we're actually doing multiple backups to tape and one large backup to disk each 24 hours.

I was concerned about the file server ( only one ) being a bottleneck. Would going to 10G networking between the server and backup server help?

Our IBM tape drive is actually attached to the file server directly. The BackupExec unit is across a 1gig LAN. However both offer similar speed for actual backups, so I presumed the bottleneck was in the OS or Tape drives.  

My hope was that I would be able to put tape drives in 3 or 4 PC's and backup to all at one time. sigh.

:]  I've read a little about BackupExec's Disk to Disk to Tape: we have the license but have not tried to implement it. Would it be correct to think of it as a slow mirroring? Slower but also much less costly than mirroring the 2 TB partition our files currently reside within.


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Accepted Solution

honmapog earned 400 total points
ID: 20292835
If the speed of reading the data is the bottleneck, then a 10G network will not help. What is the backup rate at the moment? If you're not above 3GB/min then probably the network is not the problem.

If you only back up one big partition, made up of multiple high speed disks in a RAID volume, then using multiple data readers could help. CommVault Simpana does have that option. I'm not too sure about the other software packages. You could muliplex those multiple data streams to one tape drive. With CommVault you can also write the different data reader streams to multiple tape drives. I'm just not sure if the tape drives need to be attached to the same server or whether they can be attached to different servers.
Maybe you should look into CommVault Simpana. Expect it to be a steep learning curve when you're used to Backup Exec though :-).

With regards to D2D2T. In Backup Exec it's called a duplication job. That's not mirroring at all. You just back up to disk with Backup Exec, and then you run a duplication job that writes the data from the Backup to Disk device to tape.
When you speak about mirroring, maybe you're referring to the CPS option of Backup Exec.  That could indeed be described as slow mirroring.
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Assisted Solution

cooledit earned 100 total points
ID: 20298241
hi, there

the programs mentioned above are all very capable of doing the requirements as you have.

They do all support the scenario Master Backup Server, Media Server Client.

On a master server as well as a media server you can have multiple tape libraries attached to the servers. you can share the drives per policy and achive a nice much smaller backup window. But the client i would not use with multiple single tape devices.

You could also go for a SAN solution centralized Storage for all your data 1-100TB whatever you like and then just backup over the SAN using multiple streams to achive your backup speed. These will be fibre attached as well and are very scalable for your future growth as well. your user will have no problem accessing your data.

If you need I can elebarate soem more on the topic.


Author Comment

ID: 20298786
CPS? I thought Symantec referred to it as CDP.  

Thanks to both of you for your thoughts thus far. I've got to take/find some time to read up on what you've suggested and see what other questions pop up

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Expert Comment

ID: 20303798
CPS (Continuous Protection Server) is Backup Exec's add-on for doing CDP (Continuous Data Protection)

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