Enterprise backup schedule

Posted on 2008-11-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have 24TB of data that I need to backup. We have a 1 year document retention policy. We are using Commvault with Datadomain for disk backup and Quantum 1800 and 506 for our tape (LTO3) backups.

We try to do full weekly backups. Its too hard to backup 24TB on LTO3 tapes? Whats the best practice for backups and schedule? Our goal is to save money and increase restore time.
Question by:d1098
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Once you jump into the mid range TB's tapes become a hassle. You can go LTO4 which will increase your speed a good bit and double your storage per tape ratio, not to mention giving hardware based encryption potential. LTO4 drives are very pricey though. However, tape pricing has been falling like gasoline as of late thankfully! But it sounds like your issue is mainly having enough hours in the backup window to complete the job. You could consider stopping tape backups, and use WAN or Internet based backup solutions. An ideal world would involve your main storage farm replicating offsite and abandoning tapes, and using snapshot technology for your incremental file change restores.

    Author Comment

    We have 24 TB of weekly backups that we try to get off-site (iron mountain). Is that the norm? What are the disadvantages of monthly full backup instead of weekly?

    I like the idea of off-site backups over WAN. The problem is we will need 1 gb access link to transfer 24 TB over a weekend.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    There are very good block level backup solutions out there to help with the backup window for incrementals. Iron Mountains flavor of this is Delta Block. Block level solutions help with space consumption and speed.
    Moving from weekly to monthly fulls is more of a compliance/risk management dept. question if they are comfortable with this. There are no real disadvantages or advantages from moving to monthly fulls.
    Also having good WAN acceleration appliances like Riverbed can help provide proper allocation of your WAN resources to speed backups along.

    Author Comment

    I am trying to understand backups, if I do monthly full and daily incremental I will need all the incremental to a specific date to restore? The main advantage of weekly full is you will need less incremental backups to do a restore?
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    There are many different ways you can approach backups, they can always be done better and faster.
    Common scenario...
    Incremental backups daily and full backups weekly. With this, the incremental is done to provide recoveries of lost or corrupted files during the week. Weekly fulls are done in the event of a disaster in which the entire server must be restored...afterwhich incrementals can be restored to fill the gaps.
    My suggested scenario....
    Offsite replicated date with snapshots taken every hour (or more frequent depending on your needs). Snapshots are fundamentally like incrementals on tape but function at the block level and require less space and bandwidth of the disk based storage. Weekly or Monthly full backups are not required because all the data is already on the offsite location.
    However, even with this solution some folks still tend to create a full backup to tape weekly or monthly as a secondary precaution.

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