Backup Solution Advice - 15-20TB


My client is looking for a backup and storage solution for around 15TB of media data. Our first thought process was to load up a HP server with 3TB SAS disks for the storage, then utilise a large LTO5 autoloader  (capable of up to 24TB or so) for doing the offsite backups combined with Symantec Backup Exec.

Daily data change is around 500GB to 700GB a day and taking backups offsite is critical.

I have three main questions but would be grateful of any other advice outside of these:

1) Assuming we use the suggested solution, whats the best backup strategy to accomodate taking offsite backups? Full backup weekend then differential nightly?

2) Some one has suggested the de-duplication plug in for Backup Exec but can this work with tape and if so how?

3) Can anyone offer any other better solutions? I know tape is a little old hat now but it still seems like the best candidate when it comes to taking media offsite!?

We're used to working with small businesses so this is a little out of our comfort zone hence looking for some guidance.

Many thanks,

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Duncan MeyersConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The de-duplication option isn't going to be of much use to you as media files tend to deduplicate poorly, so that would be a waste of money.

Your weekly backup is going to be a challenge: consider this:
An LTO-5 writes at approximately 420GB/hour when it's going flat-out.
Each GigaBit Ethernet segment can deliver a maximum of 360GB/hour

So if you have to complete your weekly backups in 12 hours, the you'll need a minimum of 3 tape
Drives and 4 GigaBit network connections. and that's NPR allowing for the substantial growth you note - which represents 130TB a year! That would require 300 tape drives for a full backup!

So. You need to plan for the future. And the only way you're going to get this to work in the long term is to either: adopt an archiving platform and move all data that hasn't been touched in, say, 3 months, off to tier 2 disk and tape. That way you keep your backup sizes in check.

The best way to go, though, is to implement something like Quantum's StorNext file system which rolls backup and archive into the file system itself. It can treat tape as an extension of the disk file system and make backup copy or copies of a file on creation. Cool stuff. it's used heavily by media organizations so you'll have plenty of references. And it's not expensive - especially compared to building out a proper backup environment.

An alternative approach is to us
Deepu ChowdaryConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes i suggest to go for a solution which will provide you a hourly backup option.
As per you comments about the criticality of data, this will be usefull at any point of failure.

Suppose you have opted for a daily backup.
Assume that You have a good backup of tuesday night and you have a lot of changes in data upto wednesday evening.
What if your hardware fails at 8:00 pm..? Then you have to adjust with before days backup.

But if you have a hourly (for 2 or 3 hours) the dataloss will be minimal.
This will be provided by many services.
Check this once which i have seen.
Duncan MeyersCommented:
Oops! That hanging sentence at the end isn't meant to be there.
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Gerald ConnollyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
What @meyersd said and add "Incrementals forever" and synthetic fulls to cut down on the backup volume.
Duncan MeyersCommented:
Thanks! Glad I could help.
Just as a point of observation and comment...

"An LTO-5 writes at approximately 420GB/hour when it's going flat-out"  

That's almost exactly what we're getting with our new Quantum SuperLoader 3 LTO-5 library.  Glad to hear an independent confirmation.  We stage the data to a large RAID-0 array on the backup server, then write from the array to tape.  ArcServe R16.  The LTO-5 has SAS interface.

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