Windows Server Backup Solutions - Over 3TB

Posted on 2014-11-10
Last Modified: 2015-01-19
I have a client who has a Server running Windows Server 2008 R2, it currently has just under 4TB of data stored on it and this is getting larger all the time, this data needs backing up, as you will know there are issues with backing up to USB Drives over 2TB on windows server backup for 2008 R2.  To get round this we have split the backups so different data is backed up on different days, this works for now but is not a ideal solution.  Has anyone got a solution for backing up 4TB and more on Server 2008 R2, maybe some kind of NAS? or a different software solution?  I've done some digging on the internet and on hear and cant find a lot.  
Thanks in Advance.
Question by:systemagic

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by:Kent Fichtner
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we don't quite have that much, but i am using Backup Exec 2014.  We also have a 12TB NAS.  We have the servers backup to the local disk then from there it is duplicated to the tape (LTO5).  We also do DE-duplication which significantly drops the backup amount, but every Friday we do a full backup.  The NAS is actual just a Dell server with a lot of hard drives and a full OS that runs the backup exec.
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A cheaper solution would be backup to NAS using Hard Disk Manager 15 Business:
It has no problem when imaging to 4K drives like Windows Server Backup has.
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You need to take a look with your customer at his business requirements as well as the risks to the business under different scenarios, and figure out a solution that fits their budget and covers as many of the situations as possible.

For instance, some businesses need to preserve data for a decade or more due to legal requirements.  
Other businesses are at risk of fire, flood, earthquake, etc., and need to keep a copy of data at a remote site to ensure they can recover from a site disaster.
One business can't risk losing a minute's worth (or less!) of data, while others might be OK if the systems are down for a week before they can restore the data.
Another consideration is how often you need to do partial restores (vs. full machine restores).

The amount of data you have is almost the least of it.  :)

A complete solution will have copies of data in three places, on two different media, with one copy stored offsite, away from the rest of your data and systems.  Ideally, you'll use a combination of backup methods to meet all your requirements.   Backing up to a local NAS system gets you a copy and fast restores -- but doesn't protect from a site-wide disaster, and isn't good at storing data for archival periods (as you note, data grows very fast, and yet much of the old will never be needed again).  Tape has high capacity, is very fast, and gives you an easy way to store data offsite and for decades, but it's not ideal for fast restores.

Thus the ideal solution will be a combination of backup to local disk (such as NAS) with a copy made to tape for your long-term storage and legal/business requirements.  A single tape cartridge today (LTO-6) stores 2.5TB native, and up to 6TB if your data is compressible.  The data can be encrypted with no performance penalty to ensure it doesn't get into the wrong hands.

Another alternative is to use backup software like HP Data Protector that can do an Incremental Forever backup to disk, and then periodically create a Synthetic Full Backup to tape, giving you a best-of-both-worlds solution.

By the way -- the USB interface is terrible as a backup connector.  The spec for the interface allows more than one undetectable error per 10TB of data.  That means a '+' could be switched to a '-' in a spreadsheet, or some error introduced into an engineering drawing... and you'll never know until the bridge collapses.  SATA (or eSATA) is much better, and SAS is better still.  In essence, when the USB interface was developed, nobody thought that this kind of error rate was significant... and yet disk sizes have kept increasing... while the error correction/detection has not.

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