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Backup entire san using 1 media server

Posted on 2011-10-31
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We currently have multiple systems in a data center that are all doing their own backups via backup exec.  Because of this, we have 5 separate tape devices and 5 separate tapes that we need to take offsite each day (1 for each system).  We would like to restructure this setup so that 1 backup exec server backs up all the systems onto 1 tape and then we only need to take 1 tape offsite.  
What i would like to do is have each server backup to our SAN and then have the backup exec machine write all those disk backups to tape.  That way we still have our offsite storage requirement met, but we can restore from the san if we ever needed to and dont ever need to restore from tape directly.
My question is, what would be the best way to set this all up?  How can the individual servers have access to the san to write their backups and the backup exec server then have access to it to read them if they cant share san targets?  Would it make more sense for each server to have its own copy of backup exec then use BE SSO to all write to the same tape device?  I really just dont know the best way to set this all up to consolidate the actual backups.
Also, Id like to keep the backup traffic off the lan if possible.  The san is a dell ps6000 which is iscsi (if that matters)
Thanks.
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Question by:vxaxv17
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Expert Comment

by:SelfGovern
ID: 37062519
Backup Exec may not be the best application for what you want to do.  Here's a solution that I have used in similar situations.

Backup application: HP Data Protector
Backup appliance: HP StoreOnce D2D Backup System http://www.hp.com/go/d2d
Tape device: LTO tape drive or library with enough capacity to make tape swapping minimal or none

Configure Data Protector with one Cell Manager.  Push agents to the other servers.
Create iSCSI- or Fibre Channel-based Virtual Tape Libraries on the D2D system, one assigned to each server.
Each of the systems will then back up directly to its own target device.
The cell manager will be aware of the data the other systems are putting on the D2D
The cell manager can then copy the data from D2D to physical tape sequentially.
Typically, all your backups go to the D2D, and you copy off the weekly or monthly full
backups for off-site archiving/DR

Notes:
1) The HP D2D systems mentioned above use deduplication, where unique blocks are only
stored once.   This means you can keep backups for much longer than on a simple disk
target.   You'll still want to use your backup application to expire the data after a while, and
you'll still need to size the device correctly ("20:1" dedupe ratio is only achieved over time,
it's not instantaneous like you think of compression being).  
2) If you use an LTO-4 or LTO-5 tape drive, you can use the drive hardware to encrypt the data and protect you (and your customers) from the possible loss of data if a tape goes missing.  *Key management* then becomes very important... don't lose the keys!    A standalone drive can do it with Data Protector managing the keys (back them up!), or an HP 1/8 autoloader or MSL2024 library can do it with the MSL Encryption Kit.


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Expert Comment

by:jzaniewski
ID: 37062907
I've been working with Backup Exec for over 10 years and have built solutions for SMB through enterprise.  In order to give you any options, I would need some more information.

Is it possible that you can be more specific on the configuration. You state that there are 5 server, each with their own TBU (tape backup unit) and their own copy of Backup Exec. You also mentioned that you have a single SAN configured with iSCSI.

Are any of these systems virtualized?
Does each system have a separate iSCSI target or are they sharing targets for (HA) high availability?
How much free storage do you have available on the SAN to be used for backup storage?
Is your iSCSI network 1 Gbit or 10 Gbit, and is it a dedicated/isolated network?
How much data is on each server that needs to be backed up?
How is/are your Backup Exec solution(s) licensed including what additional agents and options are included for each instance?
What TBUs do you have and what are the backup speeds?
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Author Comment

by:vxaxv17
ID: 37063129
Thanks for the response.  I looked into the d2d devices but their pricing really just isnt going to work for this.  I mentioned backup exec because we already have multiple licenses of it which we would like to reuse to minimize costs.  I guess what im thinking is just have one server with backup exec just grab all the other server backups and write them to tape.  in this setup, all the other servers would not even be aware of the tape backup going on.  they just backup to disk and are done with it.
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Expert Comment

by:jzaniewski
ID: 37063345
Using only a single TBU with Backup Exec would require, 1 BE server license, and 4 Agent for Windows Server licenses. All 5 servers would need to be on the same subnet and preferrably on the same domain - (although, I have been able to backup servers on different domains, but it's slightly more complicated).  Create separate backup jobs for each server using a D2D2T method and have the first backup job configured to overwrite the tape.  Configure the other 4 jobs to start sometime after the start time of the first job and set the jobs to append to the same tape.

This solution will work assuming that the backup window is long enough and that your network bandwidth can sustain the dataflow to completely do the jobs without interfering with daily productivity.

NOTE: having 5 BE licenses does not constitute having the ability to backup 5 servers from the same BE engine. You will need to purchase 4 BE Agent for Windows Servers in order to perform remote backups.
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Author Comment

by:vxaxv17
ID: 37065267
@jzaniewsk:

None of the systems are currently virtualized although we intend to use the SAN to hold the virtual guest OSes for future systems we are setting up.  We have going to share 1 iSCSI target across 2 esxi servers w/vmotion to provide HA.  All other servers not related to VM will not share iSCSI targets as is generally recommended.

The san is an equallogic ps600vx with 9tb. It is unused at this point so has quite a bit of space but this is a shared unit and as such must have space available for other purposes.  Its difficult to say at this point how much space would be free for backups.

I believe all units on the storage network are 1gb although the SAN has (4) 1gb ports per controller for a total of 8.  Each server has a minimum of (4) 1gb network ports available so we would most likely use at least 2 of them dedicated for iSCSI traffic.

I cannot say at this point what licenses we have for backup exec and what additional agents are included.  This is an inherited setup and for whatever reason it was previously set up standalone on each server.  ie: each system has its own copy of BE and own tape drive and only backs up itself.  

We have multiple tape units that could be used.  the ML6000 is currently used for another system (unrelated to this question) but i suppose could be utilized for this purpose as well.

Dell ML6000
Dell RD1000
IBM Half High LTO Gen 4 SAS
IBM TS2340 LTO 4

If you need additional info please let me know.  I appreciate the help so far.
Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:jzaniewski
ID: 37065638
I would say, before moving forward with any solution, you should do some due diligence.

1. Verify your BE licensing and make sure you have all the agents and options you need.
2. Verify the capacity of the tape drive(s), and make sure that the tape drive you choose can handle the total amount of data that you plan to backup.
3. Verify the backup speed and make sure that the speed is fast enough to backup whet you need in the time slot you allocate as your backup window.

If you want to use multiple tape drives, you'll need licensing for multiple drives as well as a controller(s) for those drives. Don't use the exitsing hard drive controller, it will slow down the entire throughput of the system.

Hope this helps.
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Author Comment

by:vxaxv17
ID: 37101516
1. BE licensing is minimal at this point.  We do not currently have any additional agents or other options other than what is necessary to backup the systems in our current setup.  If we need to purchase additional options to make this work, then we will. Im just not sure what would be necessary to correctly backup the entire san.

2. the only tape drive i think we can realistically use is the ml6000 i mentioned previously.  this is the only drive which would be able to backup a potential 6tb of data without having to manually swap tapes.

3. backup window really is pretty flexible as long as it fits within the entire day as we would need to do this daily.

The thing that im having trouble understanding i guess is the licensing for BE.  Would each server that needs to be backed up need to have BE on it?  If we have 10 vm's each stored on the SAN, would those 10 servers need to do their own backups to tape or could be have 1 server attached to the tape drive backup all of those 10 servers.  I dont see how this would be possible since the 1 server would not have access to all the other targets on the san so I would assume each server would need to do its own backup.
Thanks.
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Expert Comment

by:jzaniewski
ID: 37108596
BE does have the ability to backup multiple servers from a single backup server, but before I answer that question:
Are all the servers on the same subnet?
and are all the servers on the same domain?
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Author Comment

by:vxaxv17
ID: 37110526
All servers are on the same domain and subnet, yes.  The only thing which is separate is the iscsi traffic.
thanks.
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Accepted Solution

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jzaniewski earned 1000 total points
ID: 37114800
Assuming that the five servers are just basic servers and not Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, or other application servers, you would only need 1 license for the "Backup Exec Media Server" and 4 "Agents for Windows Systems".

Performing the backup to disk, (SAN, NAS, or DAS) does not require additional licensing unless you are performing a direct connection to the storage device and not going though a Windows system.  So performing a D2D2T backup would not require any special licensing other than the media server and the remote agents for the additional Windows systems.

If you would like to backup Active Directory so that you can recover individual objects as opposed to recovering the entire domain as a whole, you would need 1 "Agent for Active Directory" license.  

NOTE: The "Agent for Active directory" includes an "Agent for Windows Systems", so if you go with this, you'll only need 3 "Agents for Windows Systems".
Additional note: This also holds true for the MS-SQL, SharePoint, Oracle, and Exchange Agents.

Here is the Symantec Backup Exec 2010 Licensing Guide which should be of some help.  http://www.symantec.com/business/support/resources/sites/BUSINESS/content/live/TECHNICAL_SOLUTION/125000/TECH125462/en_US/BE2010_R2_customer_license_guide_Jan_2011.pdf
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Author Closing Comment

by:vxaxv17
ID: 37222281
Sorry for the delay and thanks for all the help.
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