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Backup Advice - Over 500GB

Hello,
A client of mine has four servers (two exchange servers, one domain controller and a database server). The total backups have reached over 500GB and are using Veritas Backup Exec with a Dell PowerVault 122T autoloader. Current backups are taking nearly 12 hours and are not fully completing the backup in time for business the next day.

What would be the most efficient / comprehensive backup plan using this criteria?

Thanks in advance!
Deja.

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Dejavous
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Dejavous
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1 Solution
 
Psy053Commented:
What is causing the backups to not complete on time?

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rindiCommented:
Are you doing daily full backups? Only do a full backup at the weekends, and make differential daily backups.
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DejavousAuthor Commented:
Yes, I have suggested using differential and/or incremental backups...but was wondering are there any other methods I could use with this setup to reduce the time required to backup that amount of data effeciently? In short, the amount of data that needs to be backed up is causing it not to finish on time.
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sasi_kmrCommented:
Always take backup incrementally.

Take full backup once in a week or once in two weeks.

thanks,
$a$i
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rindiCommented:
No, not incrementally, differentially as you are using tapes. If you need to restore you only need two tapes for the restore, while incrementally you could have to use up to five tapes if you have a 5-day working week. Also, sometimes an incremental tape might go corrupt, that would make all the incremental tapes after that useless, while with a differential backup it won't have any effect on the other tapes.

Differential backups are a good option and in my point of view it doesn't make any sense not using it.

You may be able to increase backup speeds by making sure you are using a separated LAN for the backup (use gigabit), making sure the Backup server is powerful enough, check where the bottleneck is (Don't backup individual exchange mailboxes, but rather just select the full stores in your backup jobs, disable your AV scanners while backing up etc).
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DejavousAuthor Commented:
Excellent, thanks rindl! That pretty much answers my question.

Just one more question...what steps would I take to identify where the bottleneck is? Are there any tools within windows server 2003 I could use?
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Psy053Commented:
Would I be right in assuming that the backups are written directly to tape?

If that's the case, is there any capacity to write the backups to disk first, and then clone the backup to tape upon completion?
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DejavousAuthor Commented:
Yes, the backups are written directly to tape (autoloader). There is capacity to backup to disk first, what advantage would this have?
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rindiCommented:
I'm not too well versed with 2k3 server. I'd setup different backup tasks as a test system and monitor that. Check whether the tape gets a continuous data stream, so that it doesn't always have to stop and wait, compare backup times from the LAN and from the local backup server, are the disks always thrashing etc. Also make sure the PowerVault uses it's own SCSI interface, and doesn't share it with HD's or a RAID controller.
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Psy053Commented:
The reason for suggesting disk is that it MAY be possible to acheive faster throughput (depending on many factors) than with a single tape drive.


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