I'm scoping out a new enterprise backup solution for us and don't want to make any big mistakes. My goal is to build a viable backup solution that will work for us for the next 4 years, minimum.
We're running ArcServe for Windows R12.5, with various agents etc. It works well and we're a Windows house, so that is unlikely to change.
Currently we're using a Sony AIT-4 8-slot library. The nature of the data we back up is such that it doesn't compress well at all, so compression is not even a consideration. I get the native 200GB capacity of the AIT-4 media and no more. A full backup right now is ~1.1TB, which takes 6 AIT-4 media. Staging that data to disk takes ~12 hours. Then committing it to tape takes ~16-17 hours. That works out to *roughly* 65-70GB/minute to tape, which is probably all the AIT-4 drive is capable of doing under perfect conditions.
I can see a 2x or even 3x increase in our backup load looming in the next 12 months. That's just not going work with the current AIT-4 system unless I split up into multiple backup jobs, buy more media, etc. Not appealing, too much hassle and too long backup window(s).
I'm looking at a Dell TL2000 LTO-4 library. It has 24 media slots; native capacity per tape is 800GB. Claimed throughput is many times faster than the AIT-4 drive.
I want to make darn sure the backup server can stage all this data and feed it to the LTO-4 drive as fast as the drive can take it. No "shoeshining".
I'm looking at a Dell R710 server to host ArcServe. Probably will run Windows Server 2008 Std. R2 x64. The question is, what kind of drives to use in this server for staging the data. I plan on 2 smallish drives running RAID-1 for the OS and apps. Then 4 drives of some type configured in RAID-0 as the staging device.
If I go with, say 4 x 1TB 7200 RPM SAS drives configured as RAID-0, I'll have about 4TB for staging.
My question is: Can those drives, configured that way, feed data to the LTO-4 tape drive as fast as it can take it? Any thoughts or insight on this is greatly appreciated. Likewise if you see a major gaping hole in my plan.