PROS v.s. CONS of maintaining file server in branch office for improved RTO

bergquistcompany used Ask the Experts™
Hello EE,

I have a File server at each of my 5 branch offices as they are manufacturing facilites and would be down if they couldn't access their processes on the file server thus a WAN outage would cripple them.

1. Leave file server, add appliance for backup locally (small 2 week retention) that replicates to larger appliance at datacenter (90 day retention) then to tape.
2. Bring File server to Datacenter and access across the WAN.

What are the pros v.s. Cons?  I've come up with:
Pros: Local restore for best RTO, Data kept local in branch, WAN outage won't impact, Extended retention still recoverable from disk before having to go to tape.  Additional backup to tape.  No additional bandwidth.

Cons: cost of appliance and backup software to branch

What am I missing?
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Gary DewrellSenior Network Administrator

I can share with you what we do. We recently started using a product from Barracuda.

Our topology.  We have a our main site that we call HQ. This is where 90% of the employees work. I have an ASP offering co-located in our parent companies datacenter. And I have multiple small offices but only one has a local file server.

We placed a Barracuda appliance at the HQ location and the Datacenter location.
The HQ appliace backs up all servers at HQ plus backs up the one remote file server at the remote office.

The Datacenter appliance backs up all the data from our servers colocated at the datacenter.

Each unit nightly cross replicates to the other.

We could have chose to to replicate to the Barracuda cloud service but our RTO is a little too tight to be able to do a full system recovery from the cloud even with our 60MB internet connection.

Because the appliances do block level deduplication I was able to increase my retention period dramatically. This also is what makes it possible to backup the remote file server over the WAN since only changed blocks are actually being sent.  

Because it is a backup to disk solution my RTO improved dramatically compared to when we were using BackupExec and tape.  

Very fast recovery.
Automated offsite replication removing the need for tapes entirely.
Longer retention period possible due to the space savings after deduplication.
Can backup remote file server across LAN.

Price.  But we justified the price in the cost savings in man hours of not having to deal with tapes, and the inherent issues of such.

Hope this helps.

Have a blessed day.
Top Expert 2011

I would keep the file servers local and use this:

You can use it with Amazon for storage.

Dell AppAssure Partners with Amazon Web Services to Offer Cloud Backup and Replication

Instead of archiving to tape for long term retention I use  Amazon Glacier


@gdewrell how much data did you have and what was your retention.  With the block deduplication what did you go to in size/retention?

@TheHiTechCoach what is the cost for amazon glacier and how is the recoverability given it's in the cloud.
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Top Expert 2011

$0.01 per GB / month

Senior Network Administrator
I just pulled the updated stats from my HQ unit.

Storage                                              Efficiency
RAW Data: 39.03TB                         Storage Used:            18.64TB    
Items:        219,437,039                 Snapshot Equivalent:  82.81TB
Messages: 1,567,251                      Deduplication Rate:    2.09x

We currently maintain a 1 year on disk retention.


@gdewrell you have 39TB of data and you back it up one full then all block level changes only and can hold a year worth only taking 18.64TB?

What appliance do you have?  You have your primary data on another server and this is your backup target?  What do you use to backup (sofware)?



Thank you so much for the information
1. What is the raw size of your file server data as I assume you have that on a stand alone machine and then backup to the Barracuda?  I am unclear if the Barracuda is 39TB or the data you are backing up and want to clarify.
2.  What do you use to backup to the Barracuda?
3.  If you have to restore a file do you use the backup software to restore from the Barracuda?
4.  What would be the plan if the entire file server were to go down?

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