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backing up large volume of data

Posted on 2012-03-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-04-09
Hi all, i have a client who needs to backup over 230GB of data on a regular basis. Currently they are using external WD hard drives, but in the last 2 years they have gone through about 5 of them and they are getting annoyed for outlaying more $ for replacements. I have had a look at online backups but these are just way to expensive for the amount of data they need to backup. Can anyone suggest another method to back these up. Can you get tape drives still and do they support this much data.

Any opinions will be welcome.

Thank you
Question by:cybertechcomputers
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LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 37746066
The external hard drives some of my customers have used were poorly made and the biggest problem has not been the drives but the controllers and the power supplies.  Poorly regulated supplies cause the controller chips to burn out.

The other problem with 'external drives' is that they tend to be mishandled.  You don't have to drop them, just knock them over and a lot will fail.  Anything that stands up gets knocked down.

I don't know what they are using.  I would say a unit with a good power supply and a shape that lets it Not be knocked over is what you would want.

Expert Comment

ID: 37746072
We use tapes that have a 800Gb capacity (LTO Ultrium 3). Tapes and tapedrives are still supported and available. Common back-up software also support tape drives.

Expert Comment

ID: 37746073
you must use DLT backup tapes. 1 or 2 TB data backup very small time. And tapes 20-30 years life.
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Expert Comment

ID: 37746074
You can still get tape drives, the newer LTO5 drives can store 1.5TB natively

Expert Comment

ID: 37746092
Cloud backups aren't going to be that much more expensive than buying all the hardware/software you will need for a backup solution such as this, and you won't have to be responsible for any maintenance either. drivehq.com (there are many others too) is offering a 50%-off special right now and you won't have to buy any hardware, it might be a better/cheaper option.

I just set a small business up on this last month, and they couldn't be happier with their backup solution for about 200GB of data.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 37746199
The biggest problem with on-line backup is the time it takes to back-up the data 250Gb is going to take some time - even at high bandwidths if you have to do this in one hit every day (the use of incremetal/differential backups could reduce time considerably)

Tape drives are available (as others have said), personally I think a life of 20 years for a tape is more than a little optomistic - in any case technology will have mooved on considerably by then and the hardware will probably be obsolite before the tape wears out.

Good quality - perhaps more rugged - drives are an effective solution - and they are relativly cheap - very respectable 500Gb drives can be has for £100 - or a lot less if you go for alternatives - that seems very cost effective to me if you compare it with the value of the data.

Author Comment

ID: 37746361
Thank you all for the replies, far out i didnt realise who expensive the tape hardware is to install. I dont think that is an option. But i have given them a few to start with.

I have sent an email to the drivehq company as there enterprise version does not provide a price. so will wait and see what they say.

At the moment they are using 3.5" WD external drives, i have also advised them to perhaps try seagate 2.5goflex drives, also while on seagates website i just found the NAS solution. Perhaps they might consider this as well.

But thank you all for your quick posts, will let you know what they decide and how it all goes
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

shahzoor earned 2000 total points
ID: 37746403
i would recommend using NAS and create incremental backups rather than full backups. It will save space and less load on the network
Online solutions are good but since you have huge data in GB, its gonna take a lot of time to download the things required provided your internet connection is stable at that time also.

Expert Comment

ID: 37746588
With regard to the concern about taking too much time, I know at least with the driveHQ backup utility, the very first initial backup can take a lot of time. But every subsequent backup then checks and skips over files that haven't been modified since the last backup, and it takes considerably less time.

Also, a small personal tip if you're working with driveHQ, call and try to speak to Rosanna, and tell them you know someone who set up "FutureMedicineToday" in Boulder, CO and that I recommended them to you. She's great and I worked extensively with her, and she might hook you up with a discount. :) No guarantees on that one, but a small shot in the dark.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 37763342
230GB in 1 hour is only 64MB/sec,

An easy speed for a LTO-4 or 5, (all things being equal) probably easily achievable for a SAS connected disk, may not be on for a USB attached disk (don't be fooled by bus speed)

Using the cloud is fashionable, and easy, but do your due diligence on your disaster scenarios and work out what will happen if your ISP (and the cloud provider) cannot provide you with connectivity/speed/reliability at the critical times that you need it, especially for a restore!!!

Author Comment

ID: 37763594
Thank you all for your comments, after all the comments and bit moresearch we have decided that cloud backup is not the way forward at this stage, simply due to the amount of data that needs to be backed up. I sent them a big long email with the different methods of backing up such as LTO4-5 SAS backup, cloud backup and external hard drive backup. They have now asked what my suggestion is regarding backup. without having cost in mind is tape better then the SAS backups and also is SAS still a reliable media for backing up.

Thank you

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37826105
My client decided to go with the NAS backup solution. with a seagate 2.5" external drive for offsite backups weekly

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