VMWARE and VRanger Lower Budget DR plan - Thoughts and Comments please

youngslim
youngslim used Ask the Experts™
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We are looking for workable DR plan for our Virtual Machines. Something that will cost around 5K or less and will get a copy of our VM's off site. In case of a fire etc, we don't have to be up right away, just need to know that we could duplicate what we have once new hardware was purchased and VMSphere, ESX servers set up. We do have data/file backups offsite nightly through an online backup.

First - our current setup
Enterprise version of VMWARE 4. with HA
2 ESX's holding a total of 7 VM's and one SAN device. The SAN device holds about 1.7 TB's of data.

We have 3 buildings on our campus.

Somehow I want/need to get a copy of our VM's off site. Of course I'd love to replicate to at least another building on campus if not a colocation spot, but that isn't possible budget wise right now (I don't think).

Our current thoughts (with the help of our consultant) are to use VRanger and 1 or 2 Lacie 5TB NAS devices to back up our VMDK's. We could do the backups on the weekends and always keep one device off site. I don't know if carrying these 20lb devices will be that easy or if moving them around frequently would make be good for their health. We could also look at a getting a fireproof safe, but we'd still be moving them in and out of the safe.

Am I headed in the right direction? Is there something else I should be looking at? We have about 5K left to spend.

thanks,



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nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
You are headed in the right direction veeam.com also produces backup and replication software.

Moving of hardware definitely opens you up to trouble you may not want.

Find a suitable secondary location on campus and store it there for now till more funds are available. You will also get better LAN speeds(gigabit) verses storing it off campus, especially if your guests are large.
za_mkhIT Manager

Commented:
With Nappy_D ... rather find space in another building that you have access to, put in a cheap linux box with lots of NFS storage or your Lacie box  and copy your data to the NAS using Veeam.
If you are good with Linux, then maybe there must be utilty that can replicate from your Lacie box hosted on your campus to another location offsite (ie not in the vicinity) - Check out cloud based backup (amazon EC2 cloud) - i want to check this out as an option too...
what option are u using for online backup?

Author

Commented:
Yes - as I think about carting hard drives off campus, I see a variety of issues coming up. Maybe if there were hard drives built for moving about? Of course, it occurs to me that I could go the tape drive route. I haven't thought about tape drives in a long time, but they are the old reliable and portable. Does VRanger write to tape?

We are using a company called filebanc for online backup. Pretty user friendly, we have an allottment of 450GB which handles our compressed data OK. But for VMDK files, we would need much more. Our VMWare SAN is showing 1.7TB of data. I will look at pricing for Amazon EC2 - any other vendors?

If I keep the VRanger and Lacie HD in a seperate building, it does help mitigate natural disasters somewhat, but I really would like to get the data offsite.
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There are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.
Commented:
It offsite is really your feel. Go to tape. Stage your data to cheap DAS storage and then backup to tape. This is what I currently do with VCB at some sites.

Since you have vranger, you can do the same thing.

Author

Commented:
Yeah, tape is seeming to make the most sense, at least right now. I
A quick look shows Sony makes a 500GB tape (1.3TB compressed) but no idea how much the drive would cost.
Hope you guys don't mind tabling this overnight. I got to run pick up the kids! If you guys have any more thoughts let me know - i'll wrap up and assign points tomorrow.

Thanks so far.

Pat
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
A drive like that would cost you about $1000 and that would not include the cost of media...

Take a look at something like this that would help span multiple tapes.  I always guestimate compression to a 1.5:1 ratio on my tapes.

http://www.cdw.ca/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=919476

Author

Commented:
From my quick perusal of the VRanger documentation, they don't support tape drives. The scenario they paint is back up to disk, then use a tape drive to back up those files and take them off site. That seems to make the most sense right now.

I did want to look into the online backup possibilities. Let me google the Amazon storage and see what their pricing is.

I If no one has any more comments, I'll come back and close up a little later this morning.
nappy_dThere are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.

Commented:
no need to spend addit'l monies. Consider backing up to disk then a second backup off to tape...

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the help!

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