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Best Backup Strategy for Windows servers and NetApp Filer Data (NDMP, CIFS, etc.)

Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'm in the process of setting up a new FAS2020 to handle a small firm's CIFS data. Currently we have 3 W2003 servers and 1 2008 Citix server. We are running Exchange 2003, SQL Server 2005 and backing up to a Dell PowerVault 124T (LTO-3) with Symantec BackupExec 12.5d. The PowerVault 124T is connected directly to the Symantec Media Server.

I can't get Symantec BackupExec 12.5d to backup any CIFS data via a user-created shared (which isn't the best performing option, anyway). I've also recently learned that if we use NDMP I can only restore NDMP data to an identical device.

So, in the case of a real disaster, like a blown up server room or fire or building, I would need to get my hands on a FAS2020 ASAP to use the data from our off-site backup tapes.

I know need to look at other options. Is there technology to restore NDMP-backed up data to a none NDMP device? Can I emulate an NDMP device with software on a Windows server?

It looks like BakBone's NetVault: Backup is a better product for supporting the NetApp Filer. Could I confidently use it to support backing  up Exchange, active directory and system states?

We'll also be moving to Exchange 2010, SQL Server 2008 R2, VMWare vSphere (also hosted on the filer) in the coming year and we do have software assurance on BackupExec, so we could upgrade to 2010. However, before I purchase the NDMP license, I need to know how I will deal with this issue.

This is a small business with 50 users and limited financial resources.

Thoughts? I must be missing something,
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