Backing up massive amounts of data - best practice?
Posted on 2010-11-17
I’m looking for suggestions for backing up a company with 3-4 TB of data and growing.
Much of it is static with minor changes made daily, but once in a while there is a flurry of activity and a hundred gigs or even more can change overnight. There are about 12 servers and 3 workstations that need to be backed up.
Right now we’re using LTO-4 tapes with one drive in a tape library and Backup Exec 12.5. That seemed adequate when we had just over 1 TB of data, but lately has been a problem.
I’ve split the jobs up so a few critical servers get full backups every day, but most get a full backup once a week and differentials in between. That’s fine, except, there are always backups running and we frequently miss scheduled backups because they take longer and longer to complete as the data grows.
At the moment there is no off-site rotation of the tapes. The tapes are getting old and need to be replaced, but when you look at the cost of disk drives vs. tapes and consider the speed and a few other factors, I have to doubt the wisdom of continuing to use tapes as the primary backup. There’s got to be a better way to do this backup and get a copy off-site.
Here are some scenarios I’ve considered...
1.) Add a USB 3.0 card to the backup server and use a dozen or so 2TB drives in rotation, taking some offsite, but using multiple drives online so that multiple jobs can run simultaneously.
2.) Get something like a Drobo and use it as a backup device, then replicate it off-site
3.) Get a Drobo with replication built-in and use it as the main data repository – replicate the data to a second Drobo across a WAN and then make tape backups infrequently just for point in time snapshots.
In scenario 1, we constantly have to deal with the drives. With scenario two, I wonder if there is enough bandwidth for replication of backups every day, and scenario 3 doesn’t give us much protection against accidental deletion.
Can anyone recommend a better solution for this backup problem?