What is the best current backup solution

Posted on 2009-04-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a company I support and they want tape backup for 200GB of data

Is there something better for onsite backup. If not can you recomend a good one that has 5 tapes
Question by:Lawrencejr
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Why do they want a tape backup?  Is this just a PC running windows or some other kind of computer hardware?

    If is is a PC and If it were me, I would suggest that they use  2 external hard drives - swtiching between them at some defined interval and take the one not being used off-site.

    Then I would suggest an on-line backup service (I use which keeps as much as they want off site and can backup automatically during the day.

    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    200GB? I recommend Hard-drives.
    Cheaper, faster, no changing necessary.
    You can even clone you servers to them.
    for OFFSITE backup, you might want to stick with tape (or use a ruggedized HD).

    Author Comment

    He would like to use tape. I already use mozy but he likes overkill and does not really care about price.
    Does no one use tapes anymore.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    If you are looking at a new implementation, stay away from tape and go to disk. Purchase a decent size NAS and invest in good imaging software like Acronis or Paragon for Full, Incremental and Image backup capabilties.

    Backups are much faster, storage costs less, and you can copy the backups off to a removable media (external hard drive) for easy off-site storage. With imaging, you can restore entire partitions or individual files in a fraction of the time too.

    Author Comment

    you mean an image of the whole server?
    How much does this cost?
    can you point me to a good NAS that can handle 200GB of storage per night

    Author Comment

    and can I backup exchange to it nightly like I can tape
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    Yes, you can use your current backup solution (backup exec or whatever), and specify in destination to be your NAS, attached USB whatever.
    Since everything is on one device (and you dont need to keep swaping tapes to do a restore), you can use incremental backups.

    Tapes and Hard drive are both magnetic media, only in the last couple of years have harddrives surpassed tapes in the cost/byte category.  I'm not sure about the life expectancy of data on the two, but you should also check out optical storage (like DVD's) if data surviving nuclear blast EMP's interests you.

    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    I'd suggest the following:
    LTO 4 tape drive - capacity of 800- 1600 GB of data - plenty of room for expansion and very fast.
    Symantec Backup Exec for Windows version 12.5 with option for Exchange for the backup software. It's the defacto standard in backup solutions.

    Keep in mind that hard disks die all the time.
    External hard disks should not be considered a reliable backup medium.

    It's important to get your data offsite. Tapes are the cheapest and most durable way of achieving this.
    Take one set of tapes out of ciruclation every month and store them off site with a tape storage company.
    That way if you in 5 years time you need to restore some email that the CEO sent to a client you can find pull that tape from storage and be confident that you can do a restore.
    Ideally all your tapes are offsite except for the ones you are using that day.

    There are environments that are tapeless, but involve SAN's and a lot of money.

    If there is one thing that you should not try and cut costs on, it is backup.

     If you want to create daily images of your servers' System and Application volumes and store them on external hard disks for a week, then that's a good idea.

    But keep your data on tape.


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