offsite data backup

johnbowden
johnbowden used Ask the Experts™
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I have a customer that is looking for an offsite backup setup. We would like to do it in-house since we have two remote locations. In addition to that, they have very confidential information that they don't want sitting on a server that they don't know about.

We are running Windows 2008 servers and currently using Backup Exec

I am reading about Cloud Backup solutions but they are all directed to their storage at thier locations.

I'm looking for hardware/software that we can purchase to do the same thing but between our two locations. I'm sure there is something out there but I haven't come accross it yet.

Any advice?
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There is really no off-the-shelf software that you can buy. The only thing you can do is setup a VPN connection between your server and their location, and then use a regular enterprise backup system. You can keep using Backup Exec, but I'd recommend getting Acronis Backup & Recovery Advanced Server.
Symantec just came out with their latest appliance which includes software, all ajents needed, remote storage on a second server.

Replicates backup data to another Backup Exec 3600 Appliance or managed Backup Exec Media Server in any location when using the Enterprise Server Central Admin Server Option

Here is the link:
http://www.symantec.com/backup-exec-3600-appliance
You'll want something that only does incremental backups but stores as a virtual full.

If it was just fuiles, I'd say go with rsync on a linux/unix platform, if you want to add security to it, you'll be be into commercial software very quickly.

I've not liked BackupExec for years.

I used Attix5 for several years with one client, everything is encrypted and it does block level incrementals with "manual" HSM capabilities.

There is also Microsoft DPM, again block level incrementals, not as secure as Attix5, but considerably more affordable, and has built in tape capability.
Get a D2D backup appliance like HP's StoreOnce systems (hp.com/go/d2d).  Use almost whatever backup application you're comfortable with.  Make sure you have a VPN between the two sites for encryption.

The appliance stores backups on virtual tape and deduplicates them so that it only stores the block-level changes (while still being able to restore as if you'd put everything on traditional physical tape).

Because the appliance knows which are the new blocks after a backup, it can replicate the data to the second site by only sending the changes and some metadata, for very efficient replication.

You can restore the data from the original site in a traditional scenario, or from the replication site in the case of disaster recovery.  

Unless your data retention policies don't require you to keep data for more than six months or a year, I will recommend that you consider using tape to get a copy to store securely at (preferably) a third location.   LTO-4 and LTO-5 tape drives can both use hardware encryption to secure the data on the tapes.  I make this recommendation for two reasons: First, the amount of space you'll need even with perfect deduplication for storing archival data, and second the costs of keeping data online vs. tape.
Commented:
Google "Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Disk-Based Backup/Recovery"
http://www.staweb.com/Gartner-Jan-2011report.pdf

A Disk-to-disk (D2D) backup should not be seen as a direct replacement for backup to tape; it should be viewed as backup architecture that takes advantage of the best features of both tape and disk technologies. As you know, tape has an inherent reliability advantage over any disk drive since it has no boot sector or file allocation table that can be infected or manipulated by a virus.

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