Seeking alternative Internal SATA Disk to Disk Backup Solution

We are looking for an alternative solution to an existing internal disk to disk backup solution we are using in our Dell PowerEdge Servers.  

Presently we use a startech pull-out drive sled. See link here: http://www.startech.com/item/DRW110ATABK-Black-Value-ATA-133-Drive-Drawer-with-Shock-Absorbers.aspx

This gives us some great flexibility in size of backup drives and the it’s a low cost solution that has tons of speed because it can connect to an ESATA port internally in the server.

We are having some issues with our customers swapping these drives out daily and Symantec Backup Exec 2010 recognizing them.  We actually had to write a script to fix the situation but do not want to rely on this script as a workaround solution.

Traditionally we have used LTO Drives and Tape auto-loaders to provide backup solutions to our clients, but more and more clients want a cheaper solution using a disk to disk backup.
We have also used the RD1000 drives that Dell and Tandberg Data provide, but the cartridges are proprietary and this again is an expensive solution.

So, we are looking for an alternative solution that works and that has been tested.
Any additional information you need, please let me know.

Jason
mikensalesAsked:
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
You might want to take a look at this solution. It will not be as fast as your drives connected to an internal port, but it's still pretty fast using a USB-connected device:
http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?S=1268&ID=1643
It's easy to connect and remove the drives, since it works exactly like any USB-connected devices. Also, you can easily format and manage the drives as necessary. We haven't used them as a backup device in and of themselves, although we do use them to take offsite copies of backups created using a hard-drive-based backup server.
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mikensalesAuthor Commented:
@hypercat:

That is not going to work. We are looking for a non-USB solution. The drives need to be protected in a case also because the client is taking the drive home with them.

J
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matiaslCommented:
Perhaps some kind of rdx based solution ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RDX_Technology
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mikensalesAuthor Commented:
@matiasl:

RDX won't work either. Too expensive. Tandberg and Dell both make a RDX unit. You either get one internally or get a USB version. Not an option here.

J
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
KingWin's Sata bays are highly reviewed and they offer extra bays for $15/ea: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1196207&CatId=285
I don't know if you are willing to toss BackupExec; but, I did, switching to BackupAssist ( http://www.backupassist.com/index.html ) which does all the scripting for you.  Set it and forget it!
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mikensalesAuthor Commented:
@DavisMcCarn

Thanks for the suggestion, but this seems to be pretty close to what we are already purchasing from StarTech.  We also will not move away from Symantec Backup Exec as the core backup software.

J
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Go with an automatic online backup solution (mozey, carbonite, etc ...)  then choose one that gives you the ability to selectively restore on a different computer, and then have the clients give you the login information to access it.

Of course, you run risk of them figuring out that they don't need you, but you can make the argument that you will keep local copies, and in the event they need to recover, then you will have them online in hours, rather than days (because if they have a large amount of data, that is how long it will take to restore the files over the internet).

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DavidPresidentCommented:
And for the customer, they have added security that if you go out of business then their data is still recoverable.  Price is fair, and it is a win-win, as long as you agree to actually keep local copies, and have a really fast internet connection.
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mikensalesAuthor Commented:
@dlethe:

We have our own storage array at datacenter and do off-site backup service ourself. This is always a secondary backup not a primary.

J
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Then eSATA is the way to go.  You are not going to find a more cost-effective solution in terms of density, price, and speed.  So if you have to write a script, then why not just improve the end-user experience by rewriting this as a native service that automatically does whatever it needs to do in the background as soon as a new device is detected by the O/S?  

That way it works and is automatic.  If the script is buggy, then invest in some development resources that can make it rock solid.
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pgm554Commented:
Have you thought about adding a USB 3.0 controller with USB 3.0 external cases for SATA.
Controller add on card is about $30 bucks and an external case is about $60.

USB 3 is now at 5 meg,making it easily as fast as eSATA.

http://www.vantecusa.com/

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mikensalesAuthor Commented:
A true alternative wasn't given.  We were looking for a ture alternative disk to disk backup solution that competes against an LTO drive.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
There is no other technology that competes on features as an LTO drive, unless you want DLT or a DAT tape/autochanger.  But they have the same disadvantages that made you eliminate tape.  The other alternative is that you nixed is USB-attached pen drive.  Only thing else is an older iomega zip/jazz disk.
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mikensalesAuthor Commented:
Thank you @dlethe
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