Offsite Backup of a Nas

I am thinking of several ways we might be able to backup our NAS (it is a Thecus N880) - Just something we can take away once a week so we have a basic disaster recovery plan in place -
(It is nothing critical but for testing out some strategies) -
We get Three THECUS N880 units
•      All Same Hard Drives (8 2TB Disks)
•      All Same Configuration Files
One is at our DataCenter, which is Empty, two are at our office for backups
We back up our main thecus (production) to both backup thecus units, to get the show started – and we keep swapping the harddisks from one of the backup thecus units to the datacenters thecus –
So at any point we have a thecus at the datacenter which is up to date up to two weeks ago – and we have a backup localy that is up to a week old – and we can easily verify – we drop the drives off since they are hot swappable and when the raid array has been reloaded we can verify that the backups all made it safely to the datacenter by the next day

Does that sound like a plausible solution?
mdeekAsked:
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eshteynCommented:
It could work, but that's a very risky process. Hard drives are mechanical devices that can be damaged in transport and RAID arrays don't always perform as we want them to when hot swapping drives. Its not a fool proof process.

Probably be safer to have a rolling backup using a network connection to the Data Center.

Tape of coarse is the classic option and is still a great way to go fro safe secure off-site back-ups
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mdeekAuthor Commented:
We are talking about 3 or 4 terabytes of data...

And we have a THECUS Unit already (where that data is stored) how feasible would it be to get that data accross the intenret? (it would take months I imagine?)

Secondly, how can we get things from thecus to a tape -

Sas
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eshteynCommented:
Internet transfer will depend on the upload speeds you have at your office. From the average upload speed at offices your looking at about 10 days under perfect conditions for 4TB of Data. So realisticly about 20 Days.

The THECUS I'm almost 100 percent sure uses AHCI/Raid for its Raid array which will not allow you to swap the hard drives into another unit. Its hardware address specific. The hot swap feature is for easy drive replacement if one dies in the array.

Your best bet for a easy and cost affective way to back up off site is buying a 8tb Portable NAS ( i use western digital) and having a machine with dual NICs transfer the data at 1Gbps. then remove the portable NAS from the office to a safe location. Tapes would require the same method but are significantly more costly than the portable NAS

With 1Gbps transfer you will see speeds of about 40 seconds for 3Gigs of data so you can completely back up your entire array in approximately 15 hours possibly less
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eshteynCommented:
o0o completely forgot. you can buy a 2U plastic all-weather case with a handle and use the other THECUS you have as a portable NAS
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mdeekAuthor Commented:
Except the thecus itself is SO GOSH DARN HEAVY :)

Thats why we wanted to move the harddsks around only... as a possiblity -

Sas
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mdeekAuthor Commented:
Also what does DUAL nics on the machine do - how does that help get 1gb speed?

Sas
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eshteynCommented:
The dual NICs will allow you to plug both NAS units into one computer and let it transfer all the data as opposed to using a switch will will slow down performance since your single NIC will have to run full duplex not half duplex.

Your best bet as of right now is to get in touch with the manufacturer and ask if it is possible to transfer the disks as you want to without data loss.
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mdeekAuthor Commented:
Ok so let me give u some back ground =)

We have the THECUS on our Switch Currently -

All backups go there currenty

What your suggesting (and I am liking this) is that we keep a PC with TWO NIC Cards - and plug one of them nito the THECUS, and plug the other into ther PORTABALE NAS -

And copy them from one to the other, should we be using crss over cables? (Youll have to exuse me, im not much of an IT person) - could you make it a lil simpler for me :)

Thanks
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arthurjbCommented:
Your employer would be much better served if you set up a real backup system.

Carrying around disks and moving them from place to place will lead to disk and backplane failure, and data loss.


Using something like Veritas netbackup you can do your backups and using replication, you can transfer the data changes to the remote site.

Since you are not much of an IT person, it would be good to contact a professional backup vendor, before you spend a lot of money for a system that is destined to fail.

Think hard about how much the loss of your data would cost your company.  For many companies, catastrophic data loss would mean bankruptcy and closure.

Your employer, your customers and your data deserve more than a jury rigged system.

Good Luck!
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eshteynCommented:
no cross overs aren't needed you can just use patch cables.

if youd like e-mail me

yshteyn@bmdatasys.com

we can create a whole plan for this
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mdeekAuthor Commented:
With the restraints provided that made the most sense and in all honesty - it could have gone multiple ways

Sas
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