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What is the best backup media for 20TB?

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Hello experts,

I am trying Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R2 nowadays. I am planning to implement it in our company.

The total amount of data which should be backed up will be about 20TB. That includes files, SQL databases, Exchange server mailboxes and Active Directory.

The question is: what is the best media to be used for backup? Shall I use HDDs (2TB each) or tape drives or any other option?
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Question by:Muhajreen
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7 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:JNL2000
ID: 33515686
The rule of thumb is disk (hd) to tape.

Backup to disk first and then backup the disk to tape.

There is a new option not discussed.  Backup to cloud.  We use Intronis to backup all data to the cloud therefore if anything ever happens to the building the DATA is backed up.  I say data because it only is good for data not OS.  Data being; files, sql, exchange, etc.
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Author Comment

by:Muhajreen
ID: 33515791
Would you please advice about which tape to use? I have never used tapes before. What about the maximum available capacity nowadays? What about the approx. cost for each?
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Expert Comment

by:PerisherIT
ID: 33515931
From a tape perspective the largest available capacity is from LTO-5 tapes.

Performance

Native sustained transfer rate      140 MB/s
2:1 compressed transfer rate      280 MB/s
Burst transfer rate SAS      600 MB/s max
Native formatted capacity      1500 GB
2:1 compressed capacity      3000 GB

For 20TB of data if you are backing up all time you would need some sort of Tape Library with multiple drives running simultaneously. Look at the link below on the specs for a Dell PowerVault.

http://www1.ap.dell.com/au/en/enterprise/storage/pvaul_ml6030/pd.aspx?refid=pvaul_ml6030&s=lca&cs=aulca1

Wayne
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PerisherIT earned 1000 total points
ID: 33516003
Further to my previous comment. Any backup software  you choose should support block-level de-duplication. This will significantly reduce the amount of disk space required for backups. Some companies offer de-duplication to Tape too. Block level de-duplication can save up to 90% on disk space.

http://www.commvault.com/solutions-deduplication.html

As JNL2000 sad I would all so recommend backing up to disk first and then moving the data to tape.
CommVault has a very good backup solutions which supports de-duplication to disk and to tape.
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:JNL2000
JNL2000 earned 1000 total points
ID: 33516065
Also you want to know how often you are gonna switch them out.  A tape library may be a good idea.  What is the retention period?  (time between backup tape eraseing)  

It really depends on your goal.

One client had daily m-tu-wed-th and rotated weekly on Friday: Friday week 1, Friday week 2...Friday week 5 and then back to Friday week 1.  End of month every month and one backup per year.

That is 4 tapes 1-4 per week + 5 tapes for Fridays + 12 month tapes + 3 year tapes.  This will give you the following backups:
daily, weekly, monthly and yearly for three years.  Anything more and that solution may be too small unless you get a tape loader with the option of multiple heads.

That is a total of 24 tapes (LTO5) at about 100 bucks per tape.  Add to that the cleaning cartridge 20 bucks and the drive (3000 for a single drive internal to 15k)
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:roylong
ID: 33516143
Have you thought about online backup to an offsite location utilising de-duplication technology such as Data Domain?

There are a number of companies now which back up offsite at reasonable cost.  They come in and do a first load to local disk/tape and then synchronize when they get your data to their offsite location so that it's only incremental from there.  Obviously this still allows you to utilise retention policies (i.e. 1 week; 1 month; 1 year etc.) and most are also fully compliant for auditing purposes.

That said, if you are going to tape and offsite, LTO-5 is the best solution and depending on your backup schedule (full / incremental etc..) you may get enough performance from going direct to tape with some of the new tape libraries.

We have LTO-4 currently with six drives in a 120 slot tape library for about the same amount of data you are talking about.  We have put in fiber switches and we DO go to disk for some of our data and then to tape for offsites.  You need to look at things like whether you require offsite data, onsite availability for speed, retention policies and your backup window.  This will give you a good idea of what investment you will need to make to meet your requirements.

We are currently debating whether to go direct to LTO-5 when we upgrade or put in some proper hardware de-duplication solution.  Don't get sucked in by the backup vendors who think they can de-duplicate your data in software with the same level of performance you would get from a hardware appliance.  AND always think about the logistics of re-duplicating the data should you need to - for recovery purposes down the line.  Test the solutions before you buy if you can, or get the vendors to show you their technologies working or ask for references.
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Author Comment

by:Muhajreen
ID: 33518862
@roylong thank you for your last post. Have a nice day!
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