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How would I do this? (Full backup to one disk, differentials to other)

Mystical_Ice
Mystical_Ice asked
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Hi,
Here's the situation... we have a file server with ~1.5TB of files.  The files rarely change; probably every week only about 10% change.

I have backup exec 2010 r3, and would like to have some sort of off-site backup, in the event the building burns down.   Just a weekly backup would be great.

What I had anticipated doing, was running a full backup to one external hard drive, and then taking and storing that device offsite.  Every week after that, running a differential backup to two hard drives (one hard drive the one week, the second the next week, the first again the following week, etc.  alternating the two of them).  

I'm not sure that's possible to do, however.

How would you suggest going about this?  At any given time i need to have a copy of all the files offsite, no older than 2 weeks.  
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Commented:
With tape, you can create media pools, and this is easy.  But try this, without guarantee --

1) See if you can use the scheduler to schedule two different jobs.  Job A will go to drive A, job B to drive B.  Each job runs every other week.

2) If that can't be done, do your backups to a single disk and then copy (image) it to a second, offsite disk.

3) Or, use tape.  ;-)

DO be aware that data sitting on an unpowered hard drive is NOT safe for long periods.  I would power your original full for at least 24 hours every six months (or less).

Author

Commented:
We do keep the original powered on at the DR site (offsite).

If i can do it with tapes, why can't I do it with external hard drives?  It seems to me like it should just be different media, right?

My problem is i don't want to have to keep bringing the only 'off-site' hard drive back 'on-site'.
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Commented:
> My problem is i don't want to have to keep bringing the only
> 'off-site' hard drive back 'on-site'.

Then use my suggestion #2 with a pair of offsite disks in rotation.

Author

Commented:
How would it work with a tape drive?
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Commented:
In short, you create a pool of tapes, and assign that pool as a resource for a particular backup job/policy.  The backup application is able to use any tape in the pool to perform backups, so you can freely move a tape offsite and know that the backup application will use another tape in the pool for the next day's backup without erroring out.

You then enforce data retention policies by selecting an appropriate overwrite protection period for the tapes.  So that initial full (which you should re-run periodically) may get a retention period of six months.   The differentials will get a retention policy of, say, one month.   You can then use tape 10 for a week and move it offsite, use tape 11 for a week and swap it with tape 10, which will then get appended to it the third weeks' backups.  When you take 10 offsite and swap it with tape 11, 10 will have weeks 1 & 3, 11 will have week 2 and be getting written to with week 4.

Every month or three or six (up to you and the amount of redundancy you want) you take another full backup and start all over again, possibly keeping the set of (full plus its most recent differential) for archive.

Since most backup applications "grew up" with tape, they're just designed to work with tape drives better than disk.   Also, USB-attached disks can get different IDs or drive letters when unplugged and replugged in, which will cause a backup application fits.

Author

Commented:
So there's no way to make a USB attached drive do the same thing (have a backup pool), and just make sure the drive letter is the same perhaps?

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Commented:
As I suggested above, have you considered backing up to a single large physical drive that's always kept onsite, and using two others in rotation, imaging the stationary drive to the ones you alternately take offsite weekly?

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