Planning Disaster Recovery

We're trying to plan a disaster recovery setup offsite and I would like to hear what others are doing.  Currently we use DLT tape backup for daily backups (Dell tape device, Arcserve as the software), then move our tapes offsite (same town, different location).  Other than having tape backups we really have no disaster recovery.  What we'd like to have is a server or set of servers (possibly virtualized?) at a remote satellite office that we could use to do a nightly backup to, for our main servers and our data.  Ideally if we had a huge disaster in our city, we could move to that site and have our Mail, Files, Domain Controller and all of our data that goes with it, with only losing the data from when it last did it's "sync".  We've looked at Data Domain, and it look like a great product, but it's a bit on the costly side...we figured there might be a way that's just as good but cheaper.  Any thoughts?  Thanks for your input!
MOPSCAsked:
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authen-techCommented:
I use Mozypro with my customers.  They have a Datacenter in Utah that has guarantees 99.9% uptime.  I setup a local backup to external hard drives (usually USB2.0 or eSata) with nightly backups that overwrite the following week.  So this Monday's backup overwrites last Mon.  Then I do a monthly backup the same way with Jan overwriting the previous year.  I push the critical system state, quickbooks database, and any other files that change on a daily basis with Mozypro over the web securely.  If you have a hurricane (I'm in FL) or something, you just take the external backup with you when leaving town.  Worst case scenario, you rebuild a server, restore system state and the backups and you are up and running again.  You could have a VPN to another state with a Domain controller.  It should auto sync info through AD and your system state would be safe in case of a crash.  
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tpartnersCommented:
We set up off-site data backups for our customers. The backups contain everything it needs to restore the servers and the data. Nice thing is it serves the need for both a backup and disaster recovery strategy. In the event of a disaster, the servers are restored to a virtual infrastructure and hosted from our data center. Everything gets restored including Active Directory and then configured via an SSL portal. All the user log in through a secure portal using their domain credentials from anywhere they have an internet connection and all the servers and it's business as usual.
A disaster recovery guide is fully documented it delivers a plan that details what is backed up, how it gets restored, how users get access to the information they need and how they recover back to their primary/alternate site. Pricing is based on protected capacity and it's delivered as a monthly service. It makes the process really easy. Perodic tests are performed and the customer logs in to verify that everything works as expected.  There are more details about how it works at www.tpartners.com.
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Jim P.Commented:
A solution that we use comes from Falconstor. It images all our SAN unit on a continuous basis. Then we replicate the images nightly to our offsite over a VPN DS3; about 60 miles away.

Then we can mount the images to the offsite servers and do our backups offline. We have an 8 days of time views that we can mount for quick restores.

We do have an AD controller at the offsite that is up. But the SQL Server and the rest are down. Our recovery time for the backroom IT (SQL and files) is on the order of 4 hours. Of course the clients take longer. Our maximum data loss is figured about 47 hours.

But of course it depends on what you can afford.
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MOPSCAuthor Commented:
Thanks for everyone's input!  Anyone else have a different way they operate?
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Jim P.Commented:
The only thing I would worry about is being in the same town.

Do you have a trusted employee that lives a little distance away? The other side of the flood plain or other geographic feature. Could you have them shift tapes on a daily/ weekly basis?

Either way, Glad to be of assistance. May all your days brighter and brighter.
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Disaster Recovery

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