Solved

Backing up massive amounts of data - best practice?

Posted on 2010-11-17
6
456 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
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?
0
Comment
Question by:technoid-usa
6 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:volcer35
Comment Utility
NAS is always a possibility
0
 
LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:dacasey
dacasey earned 50 total points
Comment Utility
I like your DRobo solution.  Do you have the funds to pickup a couple or three of NAS boxes, DRobo or other.  Just rotate the DRobo's, one offsite, one for current backup one ready to go.

This way you simply take the whole DRobo offsite.

0
 
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

by:
marine7275 earned 250 total points
Comment Utility
I use a combination of solutions.

Right now we use Backup Exec with both tapes and disks. We backup to disk first and then for important stuff we write to tape for offisite storage. We have Dell MD3000i's in our Corp Data Center and use Drobo Pros in the Branches.

We are moving to CommVault now to take advantage of Dedupe, compression, and offiste DR replication purposes.

You are on the right track. I would suggest you classify your data first and seprate into backup groups. Sev 1 could include email, accounting data, and dbase data that need to be replicated and/or stored offsite. Sev 2 could be data that changes weekly or monthly that may or may not need to be stored offiste. Sev 3 could be Tier 2/older data that may just need to be backed up tot disk. By doing this, you will save $$ on bandwidth needed for replication, tapes needed for offsite purposes, etc.

Hope this helps.
0
Backup Your Microsoft Windows Server®

Backup all your Microsoft Windows Server – on-premises, in remote locations, in private and hybrid clouds. Your entire Windows Server will be backed up in one easy step with patented, block-level disk imaging. We achieve RTOs (recovery time objectives) as low as 15 seconds.

 

Author Comment

by:technoid-usa
Comment Utility
marine7275 -
Can you clarify just a little for me and make sure I understand?  You use the MD3000i's and Drobos as the backup target, right?  

The Dell and Drobos are all connected with iSCSI?  Do you think the Drobo Pro FS would be fast enough?  It's an ethernet (NAS) device.

I think your suggestion on prioritizing data and making backup schedules accordingly is probably what's going to do it for us.

Also - thanks dacasey - I was thinking of duplication over the wire or maybe even swapping out disks, but hadn't thought of taking the whole unit off-site.  It gives me something to think about.

The bottom line, is that backups are increasingly problematic for many of my clients.  I wish I could find a cookie cutter solution that works without breaking the bank, but I don't think that's going to be possible.

0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:technoid-usa
Comment Utility
This is a best practices question and the opinions offered are very valuable, however there is no "right" answer.
0
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:marine7275
Comment Utility
Can you clarify just a little for me and make sure I understand?  You use the MD3000i's and Drobos as the backup target, right?  
Yes

The Dell and Drobos are all connected with iSCSI?
MD3000i is iSCSI but the Drobos are connected eSata

 Do you think the Drobo Pro FS would be fast enough?
Yes
0

Featured Post

Top 6 Sources for Identifying Threat Actor TTPs

Understanding your enemy is essential. These six sources will help you identify the most popular threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

Join & Write a Comment

Suggested Solutions

VM backups can be lost due to a number of reasons: accidental backup deletion, backup file corruption, disk failure, lost or stolen hardware, malicious attack, or due to some other undesired and unpredicted event. Thus, having more than one copy of …
This article is an update and follow-up of my previous article:   Storage 101: common concepts in the IT enterprise storage This time, I expand on more frequently used storage concepts.
In this Micro Tutorial viewers will learn how to use Boot Corrector from Paragon Rescue Kit Free to identify and fix the boot problems of Windows 7/8/2012R2 etc. As an example is used Windows 2012R2 which lost its active partition flag (often happen…
This tutorial will show how to configure a single USB drive with a separate folder for each day of the week. This will allow each of the backups to be kept separate preventing the previous day’s backup from being overwritten. The USB drive must be s…

771 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

11 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now