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Backup recommendation

Posted on 2009-07-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
We have 2 sites
One site has 7 servers
ISA/Websense, Exchange 30Gb, File 200Gb, Print, SQL 25Gb, Backup storage server and Terminal services

One has 4 servers
Exchange 20Gb, File 100Gb, Print, Backup Storage server

I want to get backup software which will let me backup these to disk - say 2 full backups (1 per month) and the associated incremental/diffs
I also want to backup once a month to tape and store the tapes offsite for a couple of years
And I also want 1 monthly backup and assocated omcremental to be stored at the remote site (10Mb link)
I want the monthly backups to run over a weekend and the incrementals run once a day after 6pm.
I also want the product to archive emails older than x months to the storage server and have it incorporated in backup.

I used to use Backup Exec when it was Veritas but got an outside comapny to provide new backup for us last year.
They chose Commvault 7 and without ranting, cant say it's been a good choice.

What products should I be looking at? And a reasonable explanation fow why too please.
Question by:deesloop

Expert Comment

ID: 24753094
We use EMC Networker to backup our data to an ADICi2k Robotic Tape Library housing both LTO2 and LTO4 tape drives.  We also back up to disk.


Have had success using this software for 10 years.  Also has the ability to create "Clones" of backups taken.  These clones are for offsite tape storage and used in part during our Disaster Recovery Tests.  A scan can be executed for the tape recreating indexes of the data stored on the specific media.  

The GUI is java based now, and provides an easy navigation to setting up an organized backup structure optimizing our backup strategy and maximizing our productive use of a small backup window.

If you have any specific inquiries, let me know.

Hope you find this useful - Cheers
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 24753104
With regards to storage media, I wouldn't bother with tapes for large volumes of data
Consider this option


Expert Comment

ID: 24759868
We leverage backup as a service using a product called Asigra.
It performs an initial backup and uses an incremental forever model for all subsequent backups. With each backup it saves a copy locally and also sends the data off-site. You can configure how many generations you want it to store local and remote.
The off-site backup capabilities allow you to do away with having to worry about rotating tapes off-site. You can have policies set that will allow you to keep the data protected off-site for however long you need it.
Incrementals can run once a day, the data is encrypted and compressed and over a 10mbps link it should be no problem based on the capacities you listed but how quickly it gets the data off-site is dependent on change rate and other factors.
Email archive is different from backup but suffice it to say that once the email archive exists it could be incorporated with the backup.
Also... now that you have a backup of all your servers and data off-site, you can also easily develop and execute a disaster recovery plan. All your servers and data can be restored off-site. We've used this strategy before for many and it never dissappoints.
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

SelfGovern earned 1000 total points
ID: 24763539
Re: "I wouldn't bother with tapes for large volumes of data" - Be careful if you want to archive data to physical disk that's not powered on.  Make sure you have a statement from your disk vendor that says how long the data will be readable from a disk sitting on a shelf.  Oh -- they won't give you one?  I wonder why?  [It's because a running disk has a firmware process that is always checking signal integrity, and if the signal in a sector starts to get weak, it rewrites that sector, re-reads it, and maps the sector to a reserved area of the disk if it still doesn't measure up.  When the disk is unpowered, this process doesn't run.]  Tape, on the other hand, has a 30-year life.  Heck, I was just reading about tapes from NASA, over 40 years old, that received no special handling, but have been read with 100% success recently (hundreds of tapes of the original moon surveys!).

The answer to your question depends on how much you want the solution to be HW, how much SW.  And on how wedded you are to CommVault.

A hardware solution would involve use of a Virtual Tape Library (VTL).  Most of these products can do deduplication, allowing you to store data for long periods with minimal additional space requirements (say, six months of backups in what would only hold two weeks' of backups without deduplication).  Deduplication also enables low-bandwidth replication, where only the changes (and some metadata) need to be sent to a replication target VTL to produce a copy remotely.  The best VTLs also support direct tape attach, so that you don't need to send the data back through the backup server to get a copy of a virtual tape on to physical tape.   If you're stuck with CommVault, you can use it with these products (check compatibility lists), or you could use a new backup application that you liked better. For your data volumes, HP's D2D2500i would be fine, as would some of the products from competitors.  http://www.hp.com/go/d2d      
I like the VTL solution with replication, because it gives you the benefit of almost immediately getting a copy offsite, so a fire/flood/earthquake/etc at site one won't put you out of business.  

One other good solution is to use backup software that allows for an incremental forever strategy with periodic generation of a synthetic full backup.  I know that HP's Data Protector as well as IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager can do this, and are used in a lot of businesses.

Full disclosure: I work for HP.  We make great products for what you want to do; compare, and pick the one that's right for you.

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