backup solution advice

Hi all,

looking for some advice on backup solutions

currently we are using acronis to backup 5 servers to 1 server (all windows) then that 1 server with all the backups on is backed up to a removable USB drive

now this solution seems like it works, but ive yet to test a restore or have to, and it jsut seems overcomplicated and worries me it wont work

so our 5 servers have approx combind id say 1-1.5tb of data, can any of you advise of a different solution?

tape backups perhaps?
move acronis to a management only server and get the servers to backup to the tape drive?

Thanks
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awilderbeastAsked:
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EVeugerCommented:
Tape backups would certainly be good, even better in combination with Backup exec (symantec). Designate one server as backup server with the tape library connected and install agents on the other servers. relatively simple to use and very good to monitor.

You will sleep better knowing that your backups are safe and actually working!
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jerseysamCommented:
Yes, sounds like a good plan.

I use Backup Exec 12 and in a similar setup.

However, i have recently had to do a restore from tape and ran into problems.

I think you should take a full snapshot backup on tape. Take a full image with acronis (just in case). Then try and do a full restore with Backup Exec.

I know it is time consuming and maybe a logistical nightmare, but trust me, it is worth knowing if your backup will do the FULL restore you picture ie. Individual Mailboxes etc.

I have quite a headache having to rebuild after 2 HDD failures on a Raid 5 setup!
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awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
well acrnois exchange backup doesn't event support exchange 2010 even in the latest builds I have, there's a worry! luckily I am running DAG across our VPN link.

would you recommend something like a powervault?

ideally id rather have a machine that does the backups and has the software built in, not a tape connected to a machine, that way i can free that machine up for other uses
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EVeugerCommented:
Powervault or similar works well, we work with a storagetek library but before that we had a Powervault that worked well also, just didn't hold enough tapes for us.

However...you will always need a server that holds the software (like Backup exec).
It is not a big program, so you can utilize any server to do this task "on the side".
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awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
yeah i was going to stick the software on one of the other servers and just tell the agents to backup to the dedicated device

can you recommend any dedicated devices for me, baring in mind we are small company cost will be an issue

thanks guys
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EVeugerCommented:
It depends on how much storage capacity you need i.e. how many tapes.

When you calculate your needs I would recommend a full backup once a week and daily incremental backups.
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awilderbeastAuthor Commented:
needs are 5 servers approx 1.5 tb of data total would do 1 full a week and a number of incrementals as you said
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EVeugerCommented:
Just saw you mentioned the amount of data that needs to be backed up.
So, 1.5tb would need 6tb of storage per month retention. Add to that 10% for the incremental backups. And then double it for future growth!

If you run databases the percentage for the differential backups will be higher, it's a challenge to calculate exactly, so always make sure you are on the safe side!
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pgm554Commented:
Acronis will support Exchange 2010 very shortly

http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ARExchange/beta.html



As for DR stuff,you need to test your DR at least  twice a year.

Tape recovery statistics aren't all that high and one bad spot on a tape and your DR is toast.

I think I remember reading where tape recovery was somewhere in the low 90% range when it came to recovery from a DR  situation.

So that is why you need to test at least twice a year.
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rbudjCommented:
To test, use a different hard drive. Restore your image there and then swap the drives. You certaily do not want to use your current working hard drive for image restoration testing.
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pgm554Commented:
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