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Backup Exec to removable disks

Posted on 2009-07-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi,

I'm using Backup Exec 11d for SBS running on SBS 2003. We recently moved to a new server and decided to go with disk backup (instead of the old tape drive). We purchased 2 Seagate FreeAgent portable USB drives which are connected to one of the workstations on our network (cannot connect directly to server because it's running inside a VM. It's also more convenient to have the drives switched at the office desk). The backup strategy is simple - full backups, each day the drive is switched and taken to an off-site location.
For this purpose, I have created a new backup-to-disk device, and defined the network share (\\pc\backup) of the Freeagent drive.
Now just to make sure I get this right - do I need to define a backup-to-disk device for *each* of the Freeagent removable drives or do I just define a single device and use the same UNC path? I.e. both drives be shared to the same UNC (\\pc\backup) and only 1 device defined OR use 2 different shares and define 2 backup-to-disk devices.

Thanks in advance,

Danny
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Question by:dilberty
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12 Comments
 
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EndureKona earned 125 total points
ID: 24820720
First what type of VM solution are you running?    I don't think I ever had a problem with USB mapping to the guest OS.    If this works then you can drop connecting to the workstations.   But with it being more convenient you can opt to not explore.

I would only have one B2D Folder (1 device defined) for both if one is going to be offsite and other connected.  If the drive is the same and takes the same drive letter on the workstation BEX will not know the difference.
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Author Comment

by:dilberty
ID: 24823017
I'm running ESXi. As far as I know USB devices cannot be mapped to VMs. Of course I can always get one of those USB to Ethernet solutions (like AnywhereUSB) but I don't have to budget for that at the moment, so using a network share is my only choice.
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Assisted Solution

by:uhsdssm
uhsdssm earned 125 total points
ID: 24824771
I have never tried what you are doing but seems to me you would need to make them different B2D media.  BE probably would not know the differnce if you did not do it that way but you may run into catelog problems when you tried a restore.  I think I would set them up as seperate B2D volumes and leave on connected all them time for backups.  Then use the other drive as a target for a vault job to be taken offsite.  Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:dilberty
ID: 24824879
Not sure I completely understand the scenario here.
So I use one drive always-connected for the backup and then create a vault job that will copy the backup to the other disk? So when I'm at the office I plug-in the off-site drive, have the vault job copy the nightly backup from the other drive and then take it home when I leave?
Perhaps I'm getting this all wrong to begin with. What is a good backup strategy when using removable disks instead of tape?
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Author Comment

by:dilberty
ID: 24825000
One more sure I'm not sure of is if I should create the drive as "Removable Backup-to-disk folders" or just "Backup-to-disk" folders. In the former I should map the network share to a drive on the BE media server.
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Expert Comment

by:uhsdssm
ID: 24825908
Like I said, I have never tried using a usb drive as a backup target before.  I have used NAS storage devices which themselves can be backed up with a usb drive for offsite DR.  The stradgey should be to have a back solution that stays onsite for routine restores and either create a copy of those nightly backup set and take them off site or replicate them offsite via a leased telco circuit or VPN for disaster recovery.
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Author Comment

by:dilberty
ID: 24825972
Ok. So let's assume I keep one disk always attached. How can I make sure that data is automatically copied to the off-site disk? I don't want to manually have to do this every day.
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Expert Comment

by:uhsdssm
ID: 24826219
I believe vault jobs can be scheduled to run just like regular jobs in BE.  I use netbackup mostly and BE 12.5 a little.  If you get to work at say 8 you could plug the drive in and have the job scheduled to run at 9 or whenever.  Then take the drive home that evening.
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Author Comment

by:dilberty
ID: 24826289
Makes sense. So if I understand correctly the best practice would be to keep some kind of local always-on storage (such as NAS or USB disk in my case...) for nightly backups and to make copies from the local backup to the portable / off-site backup during the day.
Is this the most popular practice?
Migrating from tape got me thinking portable disks should be treated similarly (since with tape we never had online storage for backups) but I guess I was wrong.
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Expert Comment

by:uhsdssm
ID: 24826417
That all depends, you know your site better than anyone so trust in that.  I always like to keep backs on site for doing restores for people who may need them quickly (corruption, accidentaly deletion etc.).  Some people don't need that.  Have you tested using two drives with one B2D folder?  I think you will be fine whatever you decide is right as long as you test the workflow thoroughly; backup and restore.
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Author Comment

by:dilberty
ID: 24827340
What's most important to me is being able to bring everything back up (and preferably as quickly as possible) in case something goes really wrong (this is why we also purchased Backup Exec System Restore). For accidentally deleted files VSS will usually suffice. I've never had to restore individual files or emails just yet (for emails I use Exchange's "Recover deleted items" which will also work for most cases) so I don't benefit from having an always-online backup device. But I need to make sure I can rely on my current backups and if I'm doing something that is unsupported then I'd prefer to do things differently.
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