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ISCSI SAN differencing volume replication (using two DEL MD3000i )

Posted on 2009-07-14
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
We have two MD3000i arrays with the snapshot premium feature enabled. We are using hyper-v to host 6 windows servers on 2 physical servers. One server and array will reside at a nearby site that has a 18 Mb radio link.

MX2 - 100Gb exchange
SQL2 - 40GB mssql
FS1 - 1.5Tb file server
TS2 - 30 G Terminal server
AP1 - 1GB ingres database

We would like to be able to replicate all data between the two arrays once a day as a backup solution. (after an initial replication over a local gigabit network). I expect the total daily differences to be about 1 GB.

I was going to create a local snapshots of each volume using a script on the host machine however we would need some software that does a differencing copy (only changes since the previous snapshot) and apply them to the other array.

We have acronis server but I think it will only create backup to acronis (tib) files (not direct to another volume) and so it would require an intermediate store of backup files which would then need to be restored or converted to vhd in a recovery situation.

Can I have any sugestions as to some software that will do the difference replication for us.  
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Question by:btomkins
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Expert Comment

by:tpartners
ID: 24863297
If you are looking to replicate only snapshot files... Have you looked at rsync? It's open source.
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by:btomkins
ID: 24864974
I think rsync runs at the file level which would copy the entire exchange db not just the differences.
As there are large database files the software would need to be volume savvy.
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tpartners earned 500 total points
ID: 24865782
Considering you are looking to replicate between two MD3000i's this might not fit what you're looking for but...  I use a product called Asigra in order to do on-line, off site backups. The product works great for stuff like exchange and sql because you get really great compression and block level deduplication. So in cases where you have large db files, it works very well. It also works great for file level stuff as well. The file level backups can be very granular if you want to backup a specific file or directory within one of your virtual machine guests or it could be used to take a vmdk level backup in cases where you want to backup/restore the entire image of the virtual machine.  It is incremental forever so after the first backup everything else backups really quickly. It also has the capability of doing bare metal restores which I use all the time.

In the event you're looking to stick to the replication scenario between two iSCSI SANs... something like data domain might work well for you.  
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by:btomkins
ID: 24866006
Thanks tpartners.
The datadomain stuff looks to do a whole lot more than Im after.

I have sent an enquiry off to Asigra. Its quite a big offering. what minimum  components would I need to get my replication working?

I think the host is probably the best place to do the replication as you only need to install it on 2 machines and they are the only ones with direct access to the SAN. I want to make whole copies of the VM volumes anyway.
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Author Comment

by:btomkins
ID: 25290311
I have ended up using acronis to backup make incrementals to a cheap nas and then sync them to the DR site. Its a bit slow and inefficient but works.

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