budget archiving and backup with NAS

Posted on 2011-04-29
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a windows 2003 file server, Exchange 2003 server, SQL Servers all being backed up on tape.
The 500gb file server has reached its max. 4 Gen HP hardware, so there is no room to improve.
I also have a very limited buget.
I was thinking of adding a 8TB Iomega StorCenter Pro ix4-200d NAS to the network in the premise of archiving as much as possible from the file server and keep the file server for day to day operations.
I also have a problem of tape backups as they are currently taking two days, as they require two tapes. So I was also planning to back up the exchange server and sql servers onto that NAS too.
So i then have the problem of backing up the NAS itself . I have a premises about 500metres away which i am going to link to our main office network and I was going to add a 2nd 8TB NAS box for business continuity.
Is this a feasible scenario?  Has anyone done anything similar?
How would I rsync the two NAS boxes? Is there a best practice?
Thanks for any guidance.
Question by:seancoffey
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution


    Here's my grain of sand...

    Used to work on networks where servers are tens or hundreds of km away from each other. So distance is not an issue as long as your hardware is made for it (check always the network support) and your network is reliable... In theory a 10 Base-5 segment can be 500 meters long.

    I don't know that Iomega product you are talking about, but if it is a linux box, like most similar harware out there, you can happily go for a rsync of the two (I'd be surprized they don't implement such a useful tool).

    So, yes, it is clearly feasible. And rsync is a powerful tool, allowing, amongst others, incremental syncs... Based on the amount of data you want to sync, you can use a chron job or some other scheduling tool to trigger a regular incremetal sync.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Oh, and another point : what if your equipment is stolen ? Since your two offices are in the same location (500m is the same address for me), I'd make a really 'external' copy of my data, like a copy I can carry around (bring it home when you leave) or a sync with a distant location (other offices, an online storage provider, etc).

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    thanks for that Piloute
    I am reassured i am on right track but still need to know if anyone successfully tried it with these 8TB iomega nas boxes. I have one IOMEGA 1.4 TB NAS which allows "NAS server" to be enabled but I would need the process of safely setting the rsync up between the two 8TB Iomega NAS boxes(which i am thinking about getting).

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    NAS replication/mirroring/backup.   It depends a little on how 'real-time' you needs this versus if it is more for having a backup.

    It will somewhat depend on your network and whose data it is. If it is the same companies data and there is a secure connection already and the data is not private then the data can be directly
    backed up.

    On non-private networks: VPN point to point is what I would suggest or ssh-agent tunnel

    For the NAS method of backup/replication, it may depend on your NAS, which may have tools to auto-sync/replication or simple backup the other disk.

    It sounds like you already have the NAS installed in both locations, so what are the manufacturer/models, some have built-in the ability.
    The Unix way would be: rsync - more of a backup route over a tunnel (can simply use SSH with key setup)
          DRBD -

    And Free NAS solutions:
          FreeNAS - (BSD based)
          OpenVault - (Debian based)
          OpenFiler -
    I do sync task between 2xnas
    I did the ssh keys for root users on both servers like this
    mkdir ~/.ssh
    chmod 755 ~/.ssh
    /usr/bin/ssh-keygen -t rsa
    /usr/bin/ssh-keygen -t dsa
    cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    ssh root@node2 cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    ssh root@node2 cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    chmod 644 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    ssh root@node1 cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    ssh root@node1 cat ~/.ssh/ >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
    chmod 644 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

    $ ssh node2 date
    $ ssh node1 date

    #  [created  by madunix]
    #  This script uses Rsync the backup files
    #  to a remote server. To use this script
    #  you first have to setup ssh to use keys.
    #  This elimates the need for a password but
    #  still provides security I have ssh on
    #  a non standard port so I had to specify
    #  the port (ssh -p 2998).
    #  Simply change the variables list below
    #  to match your specifications.
    #  The Script also logs the transfer time.
    #  For automated backup add script to crontab.
    # Setup Variables
    #The user you created with ssh_keys
    STARTTIME=$(date +"%s")
    # Verfiy the last rsync is not still running
    if [ -f $LOCKFILE ]; then
    ERRORTIME=$(date +"%d/%b/%Y:%H:%M:%S %Z")
    echo "[$ERRORTIME] WARNING rsyncbackup.lock exists, aborting..." >> $LOGFILE
    exit 1
    # If it finished, create a new lock file
    touch $LOCKFILE
    # The rsync command (for explanation type rsync --help)
    rsync -a --delete --bwlimit=512 --rsh='ssh -p 2998' $SOURCEPATH $DESTUSER@$DESTHOST:$DESTPATH 2>&1 >> $LOGFILE
    # Log when the script was run
    DONE=$(date +"%d/%b/%Y:%H:%M:%S %Z")
    # Log how long it took the script to run
    STOPTIME=$(date +"%s")
    echo "[$DONE]finished: - Tranfer took:$(((SECONDS/60)/60)) hours $(((SECONDS/60)%60)) minutes $((SECONDS%60)) seconds" >> $LOGFILE
    # Remove lock file
    rm -f $LOCKFILE
    # END

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    LVL 20

    Assisted Solution

    Just a few things to think about --
    1) the concept of "budget" and "archive" and "disk" are a "pick any two" kind of thing.  Archiving (true long-term storage) to disk is expensive.   Archive is well-suited to tape, not disk.  
    2) I agree with another poster to be careful of how reliant you are on two sites only 500m apart.   A natural disaster (earthquake, tornado, flood) can render both of those sites kaput at the same time.
    3) Of the data you have, how much is fairly unchanging, and how much changes often?   A solution like HP Data Protector or IBM TSM can perform a full backup just once, and then incremental backups forever, creating occasional "synthetic full backups" that give you fixed recovery points in case of disaster, but also the ability to restore from disk recently backed up files.  This kind of product works very well for situations when your backups are taking so long because of many small files that change rarely.   See

    Perhaps you can use the NAS for your backups, and tape for the archives.  Or perhaps the synthetic full strategy meets your needs and covers both backup and archive.

    Author Closing Comment

    Maybe my question was too exact to have the two iomega drives and their o2 systems backing up using rsync. i will try madunix script but my knowledge of unix is rudimentary. May also ask iomega directly to provide instructions. Thanks to all who answered

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