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Backup Disaster Recovery Best Practices

Posted on 2007-11-29
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Ignoring all current establish backup procedures already in place, I'd like to know what the users of EE would say about how to back up the following:
Server #1: Exchange (50GB of Exchange Data, 85BG total used disk space) [Growth: low]
Server #2: SQL (110GB SQL Data, 140GB total used disk space) [Growth: low-moderate]
Server #4: SQL (45GB SQL Data, 55GB total used disk space) [Growth: moderate-high]
Server #5: File Server (210GB Data, 275Gb total used disk space) [Growth: low-moderate]
Server #6: Web Server (25GB Data) [Growth: low]

All servers are on gigabit and are running a mix of Server 2000/2003.

What to I buy and how do I backup all this data? The only requirement is that daily backups are made of each (though they don't need to be full backups) and that a backup of the previous day is always offsite (And able to be recovered independently ... so full backups need to be available along with differential/incrementals). Try to be as budget-conscious as possible.
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Question by:DVation191
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by:MidnightOne
ID: 20375562
It's a balancing act between finances and recovery in your case. I usually recommend the following as a best practice, although it's pricey in the tapes it consumes:

Rotating tapes:

Full on Fridays
Differentials M-th

Keep four weeks of these.

Take the last full backup every month and send off-site permanently.

HTH

MidnightOne
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by:DVation191
ID: 20382558
So are you suggesting a tape drive for each server?
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by:MidnightOne
ID: 20383514
Not at all. A single tape drive (or tape library if necessary for the capacity of data you're backing up) will suffice.

Given your full backup is already in the 500GB+ range, I'd recommend a tape library. It'll make life that much easier if/when the fulls go to multiple LTO tapes.
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by:MidnightOne
ID: 20383519
As far as backup software, I've been pretty happy with Veritas / Symantec Backup Exec. It's a very intuitive product to use.
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by:DVation191
ID: 20383666
If we bought a LTO autoloader, it has to attach to at least one server, right? And that server would be the one also running the Backup Exec software? How does the data get from the other servers onto the tape? Over the network?
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by:MidnightOne
ID: 20383915
Exactly. With Backup Exec you can install remote agents to get the data from the other servers. They have a whole litany of them for SQL, Oracle, Exchange, open files and remote servers.

Where you have a gigabit backbone, the slow part is the tape drive. :-)
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by:DVation191
ID: 20384004
Great - I think I have a good understand of what you are proposing. Also sounds like the expensive part here might be the software along with all the agents.

Any particular reason you feel this solution works better than a disk-based solution?
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MidnightOne earned 1200 total points
ID: 20384219
There's only a few disaster scenarios, thus:

[1] Site exists, server crashed
[2] Site exists but is unreachable (think:snowstorms, evacuations)
[3] Site exists, massive equipment losses (think: switch fails, virus runs rampant)
[4] Site destroyed

Tapes that can be removed to an off-site location solves #4. :-) Any solution that can store data off-site will work. I've seen a lot of issues with swapping USB drives - mostly of the drive randomly disconnecting variety.

HTH

MidnightOne
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