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Backup solution to save data for 6-12 months

Posted on 2009-04-03
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have an issue and I am hoping someone can help....I am currently running backup exec 12 and was wondering what is the best solution....spending money (at least alot) is not an option....i am backing up about 138 gig of information nightly with a full backup everynight...i have about 2 weeks worth of backup tapes that i rotate.....from on and off site....so i will always have at least 2 weeks of full backups....question....

i have a user who deletes information off the server december 1st....the office admin didnt notice that the data was deleted until febuary 1st...which is 2 months later...now that data is gone and cant get it back...its not on backups for it wasnt being backed up for it was deleted off server december 1st and my backups only go back 2 weeks..

so point is that a user can delete data and if someone doesnt catch it within the 2 week period( for thats my backup tapes) then the data is not backed up it is writen over with no data....

was wondering if there is a backup solution to this or a way to prohibit this data from being gone.....i thought of incremental, backups,,but this backs up changes to data since the last backup...i would assume this would mean if a file was deleted ..the incremental backup would reconize this and if the file was then deleted it would back up the changes of files being deleted. IS MY THINKING CORRECT??????

same goes for other backup solutions.....

is there an alternative???????????????????????????????to stop this from happening to ensure that we always have our data????????????????????????

any help appreciated...
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Question by:westhelpdesk
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Expert Comment

by:NetAdmin2436
ID: 24064153
The problem is you can stop people from accidentally deleting things. Things like this will happen.

I would just buy another set of tapes. Maybe a yearly, quarterly, or monthly set. Do a full backup for them. If you do a monthly backup, then you have a grandfather-father-son backup scheme which is pretty common. So you can buy 12 more tapes and have backup for 1 year, buy 4 tapes and have quarterly backups for a year, ect....Your choice really.

My backup schedule is like this:
2 yearly backup tapes
4 quarterly backup tapes
4 Monthly tapes
5 weekly tapes
10 daily tapes
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Assisted Solution

by:Kentrix70
Kentrix70 earned 100 total points
ID: 24064250
I think you misunderstand something.
A backup system only back up files, that are existing.
If a file is deleted since the last backup, the backup
system won't know. I will never find it.

A normal backup system, like Backup Exec, use the archive bit to detect if a file has changed
since last backup.

When a full backup up is performed, Backup Exec sets the archive bit on each file to show, that it
has been backed up.
When someone changes a file, the archive bit is reset, meaning that next time the backup job runs
an incremental backup it finds all the files, with the archive bit showing, it has not been backed up yet.
It then sets the archive bit on these files, meaning that the next time an incremental backup job is run,
it only finds all the files, that has changed since the last backup job.

If you don't change data a lot, you should consider that solution.
The drawback is, that you need to restore from the last full backup and then
each one of the incremental backups that has been run since, to make a restore to the latest backup
of your system.

I think you should consider making backup to disk and keep that data 6-12 months (maybe on a raid-5 disk set)
and still do your tape backups every day (maybe even a full backup), as you are used to.
You could use Incremental backup jobs for most of the jobs backing up to disk.
Maybe 1 full pr. week and the rest incremental.

One nice side-effect on doing backup to disk, is that is is pretty much quicker to restore missing data,
cause it finds the virtual tapes much quicker than a tape drive finds and mount ordinary tapes.
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Author Comment

by:westhelpdesk
ID: 24064263
so with your current backup solution....which i think i have an idea of what your doing, but could you pleae expain how you use your current backups and name the tapes?
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Author Comment

by:westhelpdesk
ID: 24064400
Kentrix70

spending money on a raid 5 solution is out of the question....if possible this needs to be done with our current tape backup if possible....do you believe there to be another alternative?

also lets say with an incremental backup that a file is backed up and backup exec puts its archive bit showing this file is backed up....if someone goes and deletes this file is the next incremental backup tape going to show this...in other words the file would not be backed up for it is not there...am i correct...

so file is backed up monday...deleted tuesday and would wednesday backup not show this file...correct or not????
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NetAdmin2436 earned 300 total points
ID: 24064421
Correct, if the file get's deleted then it's gone. The backup doesn't know about it. That's why backups are so important.

There's many ways to skin a cat, but here's my way.

Daily incrementals (probably the same as yours..)
Monday - Even
Tuesday - Even
Wednesday - Even
Thursday - Even

Monday - Odd
Tuesday - Odd
Wednesday - Odd
Thursday - Odd

Friday - Week 1 (Full Backup)
Friday - Week 2 (Full Backup)
Friday - Week 3 (Full Backup)
Friday - Week 4 (Full Backup)

Month 1 - January 21st (Full Backup)
Month 2 - February 21st (Full Backup)
Month 3 - March 21st (Full Backup)
Month 4 - December 21st (Full Backup)

Quarter 1 - January 15th 09' (Full Backup)
Quarter 2 - April 15th 08' (Full Backup)
Quarter 3 - July 15th 08' (Full Backup)
Quarter 4 - October 15th 08' (Full Backup)

Year 1 - Jan 1 08' (Full Backup)
Year 2 - Jan 1 09' (Full Backup)
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Expert Comment

by:Kentrix70
ID: 24064450
wednessday backup would not show this file. It will not even be concerned about it.

You don't need raid 5 for the backup to disk. You could just buy a very large cheap disk.

In fact you could buy 2-3 mobile harddisks, make backup to disk in backup Exec to them.
When one is full, change to the next. When number 3 is full, you can buy a new one,
or just overwrite harddisk number 1, if your retension policy allows it.

I think that would be a rather cheap solution.

What do you think of that idea (You are already licensed to use the backup to disk functionality,
that is standard in Backup Exec, as far as I know.
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by:MrMintanet
ID: 24064723
Also, if is always wise to keep a monthly, quarterly, and annual backup.  This would have saved you from this problem.

Rather than altering your backup, perhaps you should consider altering your user's permissions in addition to the actual "archives" of your backup.



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Assisted Solution

by:Michael_Duebner
Michael_Duebner earned 100 total points
ID: 24067207
Everyone has already pointed out that you can't detect when a file is deleted, so there is no sense in exploring this further.  Here is our schema for backing up information with an 8 slot robotic library that is split into two partitions of 4 tapes each.  One partition contains image backup tapes, the other daily tapes.

1) Each Sunday, we perform image backups of our storage to tape that are part of a media group named Image Dump with an expiration time of 12 weeks.
2) Monday through Saturday we perform differential backups (everything that has changed since the last image),  These tapes are part of a media group named Daily Diff and have an expiration time of 31 days. This media group also has a max append time of 2 days to ensure that the tapes are rotated in the drive and we have the ability to look at incrementals over a longer period of time in case someone creates a file on Tuesday and deletes it on Wednesday.  This file would not end up on a weekly tape, but should be available on a daily.
3) On Monday morning we remove the image tapes label the batch Week 1-5/Month 1-12.
4) On the first Monday of a month, we move the prior month's first Monday set to a monthly storage location.  In other words, The 1st Monday March set is moved on the 1st Monday in April. We also move the tapes involved in BackupExec to a media group that has a 13 month expiration time.

The whole schema leaves you with 13 months of image dumps, 12 weeks of image dumps and 31 days of incrementals.

We also employ an 1 TB external USB drive that we keep image dumps on that are refreshed every  week.  Should we ever have a major incident in the building, staff is instructed to unplug the drive and toss it in carrying case.  The case already contains restore media that can be used to recover our servers off site should something catastrophic happen.



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Author Comment

by:westhelpdesk
ID: 24141636
was wondering if i could do something like this...i want to leave a tape in all week....so monday would be a full backup and then tuesday through sunday would be differential........i have choosen not to overrite....so one tape would contain a backup of data for a full week.....now if this tape went bad...i would be ??????...but could this work.......using the same tape would differentials overwrite eachother or on the tape would i have one full backup and six differentials....thanks,  sorry it took so long to get back....
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Author Closing Comment

by:westhelpdesk
ID: 31566437
thanks everyone for your help....much appreciated..
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