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I need data Backup ideas

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a small company about 4 servers at a main location and 3 servers at a backup location (co-lo) I have a 5 Mb internet connection from site to site connected via VPN. I currently backup about 200 GBs in data from the servers and 100Gbs or more from the workstations. I backup the data to a 4TB NAS device and then try to replicate to the co-lo
The biggest problem that I have is that it takes way to long to move that data.
I was looking at a Data Dedupe system but they all seem way to expensive for this type of network ($20,000 ~ $80,00 is way too much for us.)
Has anyone had this problem? Any ideas?
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Question by:leebaskin
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by:RobinHuman
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Try looking at somethin like Double-Take - software specifically designed for DR replication
http://www.doubletake.com/
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by:leebaskin
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I did look at DoubleTake software, its good however they are also very expensive, plus you have to buy two licenses to sync two servers that doesnt include the extra plug-ins for exchange or sql& DoubleTake software has to be loaded on the server it is running on, I have two NAS servers with proprietary software.
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by:paulsolov
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Doubletake or Xosoft would do well.

We have this type of setup at a several customers and we have done the following:

Virtualize the servers onto VMWare ESX platform.
Install second VMWAre ESX Server
Install doubletake or xosoft for realtime failover/failback
Install VRanger for warm DR
Replicate initially at the same site, then take the second server to the DR site and let it start replicating changes

Doubletake and Xosoft have advantage of realtime failvover but require a second copy of OS and applications (SQL, Exchange, etc..)

VRanger Vreplicator (Doubletake also has a product in this space but I haven't tested it yet and can't comment on it)  allows for replication of the virtual machines and does this at bit level so that only changes are replicated which allowed us to replicate changes on 900GB of data over a 2mbs link to the co-lo without any problems.

Verplicator will also allow you to failback but during the failover you will need to change dns manually so that users can access the servers at the other end of the vpn on a different subnet.

Just some ideas, hopefully it helps.


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by:Dextertronic
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What is your budget?
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by:leebaskin
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good stuff paulsolov

I am looking to spend less then 20K
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by:RobinHuman
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Just a suggestion - can you not use DFS to replicate? This only moves changed data, and you can schedule it to run out of hours.
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by:rjordine
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Commvault's Continuous data replicator - it does asynchronous object level replication and is pretty fast. Also has auto re-sync and other built in functions. You can purchase stand alone, or as a total backup solution allowing you to replicate AND snap/back up all in one job. the really nice thing is it's MUCH less expensive than any of the other solutions available - except DFS which i personally have not found to reliable or have any type of corrective capability.
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by:Dextertronic
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If you're on a tighter budget look at Doubletake's Livewire product.

It is less than half the price of the full doubletake.

I believe the only functionality missing from the cheaper product is the High Availalability Failover (automatically fails over when the original server is not available.)
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paulsolov earned 400 total points
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20K is not bad.  I'm setting up a low budget DR such as this next week.  

Physical servers at main site.  Imaging to local NAS using Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery. Using replication software replicating images to a virtual machine on a ESXi HP DL380 with 6 146GB SAS drives.  In case of local outage you can restore the local images using BESR to a local physical server or a virtual machine (the software is hardware agnostic).  Since the images are replicating to the DR to a secondary virtual machine with about 300GB of room on a data drive at the co-olo it is then easy to use vmware converter to restore the image to the same ESXi server datstore, a 100GB server takes a little over an hour.  The VM at the DR is also domain controller so that if anything happens the customer can point to the restored server if needed.  The images at the local site are also backed up to tape from NAS so that we have 3 locations where the images are located. (at co-lo, local, and tape)

Customer didn't have a lot of money to spend I think the solution was under 12K for 4 servers including 8K for the server itself at the co-lo.  If you already have a server at the co-lo to replicate the images to it would even be cheaper since you wouldn't need that many drives on the ESX server

Just a few options, I normally prefer ESX to ESX replication but sometimes licensing and hardware costs don't permit this
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by:leebaskin
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Interesting, this is a bit confusing, so, you are backing up the virtual server at each location, and once again to tape at the co-lo. But, because the server is virtual the site to site replication cuts the data transfer down&. am I understanding that right?

 what is the software you are using to do your replication?
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by:paulsolov
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In this case you're imaging each virtual machine guest OS then replicating the images to the co-lo.  The images can be restored at the colo using vmware converter to a vmware server.  If you don't have more than one machine at the colo you can use a virtual machine as a destination for the images.  The tape backups are done at the main site.

If you have two ESX servers (running ESX at main site and remote site) you can replicate the virtual machines betwen the ESX servers directly thus reducing the restore/conversion time.

Hope this helps.  
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by:leebaskin
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So the VMware is doing the replication?

I am not up to speed with the virtual server stuff yet, but wouldnt it make more sense to backup at each location's NAS, that way you have something to fall back on when someone need a file that was deleted a few months ago, plus the backup and recovery times will be faster..

If its not a difficult task can you attach or paste a topology? With all critical info removed of course, to protect the innocent. If it is, dont worry about it.

I like the idea of the virtual server I guess I just need to get more technical information
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by:paulsolov
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There are several different ways of doing this.

1.  If your source servers are VMs running on ESX a the source site

Replicate virtual machines to a second ESX Server at colo using a product like Vizioncore VReplicator to colo and VRanger backups to a NAS on a local NAS at source location which can be backed up to tape.  The file restore feature will enable you to go into the local NAS and mount the VRanger images to restore individual files if needed

This solution provides a very fast way to recover individual servers since the destination virtual machine can be turned on when the source goes down and you have near real time recovery.  This solution is a little more expensive since it requires 2 ESX Servers and software

2.  If source are physical servers or virtual machines

Image each server or virtual machine to the local NAS using Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery.  Once imaged use a replication product to replicate the images (basically flat files) to the colo.  At the sourced site you can mount the imgages locally using Symantec Backup Exec image browser to mount the images within seconds and restore individual files.

At the source site you can use the images to restore servers to the same or different physical hardware.  You can also use the image to restore to vmware server or ESX server as well

Once the images are at the colo you can restore/convert them onto a vmware server or ESX server at the colo.  

This will take a little bit of time but is easy to do and is almost hands off once you start the process.  

Hopefully this gives a better idea
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by:Dextertronic
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New to Symnatec Backup Exec System recovery 8.5 is the ability to automatically convert your disk images to virtual machines.

You can even send them straight to an ESX server which can in turn replicate them to your colo ESX box.

Very cool.
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by:paulsolov
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dextertronic:  I've been using BESR 8.5 for a few months (was on beta testing team) and there is any issue with using the automatic function for BESR.  I haven't tested the final build but there was no place to put the esx user and account and su - to root.  Even after allowing root to access ssh directly I had issues.  I'll be testing the final build this week, just FYI
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by:leebaskin
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Sorry about the delayed response. I agree with paulsolov, with my cash limitations and the flexibility of the ESX server I think that is the best way to go.

Thanks to everyone for the good ideas I think that I know where I will go from here.
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