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new backup solution for a small buiness server - 300gb to 1tb capacity

Posted on 2013-12-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-01-15
We have a client (small business 10 users ) who has a G6 hp ML350 server - they currently use a dat drive for backups. with Backup Exec 2010 software.

They are looking to replace their backup drive in the next few weeks. However they currently have a 200gb quantum tape drive.

They need greater capacity backups .

However they are also going to be upgrading the server next year.

They want to avoid having to pay out twice for new tape drive now and a new tape drive in next year for the server.

Is their any advice you can give on any new backup technology they may or will be compatible with any potential server they purchase next year?

I am thinking we could go for a new SAS tape drive but I assume this may well not be compatible with a new server they may purchase in 2014 etc?

Is there any external devices that anyone would recommend that will be highly likely to work with any new server purchased in 2014?

ANy advice would be great :)

Question by:phoenix81
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LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Joseph Daly earned 1500 total points
ID: 39716878
I really like the HP LTO external drives. The drive will be compatible with any server that you can put a SAS card into. The HP LTO ultrium 5 and 6 will be plenty big enough to handle their data plus any growth they will have.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 39716910
Is there any reason for you to stay with tapes rather than using a disk backup setup? You could backup to disks that you connect to the server either via USB or eSATA, get a dock so you can easily exchange the disks. Disks are cheap. You could also backup to NAS, or use a mixture of both.

Expert Comment

ID: 39717029
In a twist on rindi's suggestion, have you looked at the Dell PowerVault RD1000 drives? They're USB-attached devices, so it doesn't matter what they upgrade to. They have up to 1Tb cartridges for it - the cartridges are really just cartridge-mounted 2.5" SATA hard drives.
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Author Comment

ID: 39717099
thanks for your advice guys - I like the HP LTO External drive option this makes sense to me :) I have used the Dell Powervaults before but my experience I like to have more media than just 1 or 2 cartridges so tapes are better I think.

The Esata dock idea sounds good rindi - do you have any recommendations on decent kit and products so I can look at these options please? also are they reliable with Backup Exec dso you know?

Expert Comment

ID: 39717108
Not to belabor the point, but you do realize that you can buy as many cartridges for the RD1000 as you want. There are even secondary-market manufacturers for it. I know Imation makes them.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 39717479
You can really use any USB or eSATA dock. The example below has eSATA and USB3, and you can use 2.5" and 3.5" disks with it, so you are most flexible with it. But once you have decided on what to use (eSATA, USB2, or USB3), a dock that only has that port you need could be less expensive. For eSATA or USB3 you may possibly have to get an additional adapter for your server, as many may not yet have that interface included. Although eSATA and USB3 would be faster than USB2, it should still be enough for your backups. Apart from that you could easily go for incremental backups after the first full one, which would greatly reduce both the time needed, and also the space used on the destination media. Good backup software like shadowprotect from storagecraft can be set to make an incremental backup at least every 15 minutes, which increases your data security. Apart from that you can consolidate old incremental backups into the full backup, and you can start your backed up server directly from the backup media via Oracle's VirtualBox, so you can have a server running again and usable while your main server is being repaired in case of a disaster. I detest all Symantec crap, including Backup Exec, and have no idea whether that thing has any such advanced options... but it should still have no problems with backing up to external disks via docks.

The disks you use inside the dock also doesn't matter. You can use any disk there.

LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 39718072
My opinion,keep the G6 when you upgrade.
Throw a bunch of large disks in it.

Use it for disk to disk nearline backup and use an attached tape drive for long term offsite storage.

As for upgrading the BE software,2012 was a disaster,so buyer beware.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 39718735
Yes, there are reasons to stick with tape.

Most importantly, your disks won't reliably hold data for long periods when they're sitting on a shelf without power.   Tape specs are published with 20 or 30 years data retention.

Other things that tape can do:
1) wire-speed encryption: no load on the server or slow-down of the backup
2) wire-speed compression
3) Designed to resist damage when dropped from as much a s 4-6 feet

A problem this customer may have with LTO 5 or 6 is feeding the tape drive fast enough to avoid buffer under-run (sometimes called shoe-shining).  To get around this, he may want to stage the data to disk and they use the back up application to copy the backup job from disk to tape.  This is pretty much what pgm554 suggests.

I agree with the caution on BE 2012.  Stick with an older version, or, with your new tape drive, you'll probably get a single-server edition of a backup application that will be more solid (at least, you will with an HP tape drive).
LVL 56

Expert Comment

ID: 39718894
A SAS Ultrium drive for the current server will be compatible with any new server they buy as long as it has the standard 5.25" form factor hole to put it in or use it externally. If they get an external one and want to use it internally in the new box you can always unscrew the casing and take it out of the external enclosure, the actual drive is identical, the external units cost about $100 more due to the case and PSU. With HP servers they recommend you use a Smart Array controller to drive it but I'd go with a standard SAS HBA - you may want to get an HBA with both internal and external connector in case they don't know whether they will want internal or external on new server.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39782536
I was really pleased with all of the ideas on this and thank you all for your opinions - we have decided to go down the External Tape drive LTO 5 route which should work perfectly for our needs - plus we are allready familiar with using tape drives rather than e-sata drives but i will look at and test the e-sata option in the future :) thank you all for your input

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