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Enterprise Software Thread, Backup to Disk - Specification in Technical; Hi all, Things move fast in the world of IT... only this morning I found out that our current backup ...
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    Backup to Disk - Specification

    Hi all,

    Things move fast in the world of IT... only this morning I found out that our current backup system is not compatible with Server 2008, now I am trying to spec and cost a machine capable of running MS DPM with adequate storage. I don't think our current RM D2D box would be up to the job (Pentium 4), but does have rather a nice case so am looking for internals only.

    Anyone spec'd one of these recently and if so what have you gone for? Please find below my initial thoughts... our backups are fast approaching the 1tb mark so hopefully this should do us fine for some time to come.

    • Case - Use existing RM case
    • HDD - The crucial bit... I was thinking 1 x 250gb ish OS Drive and 6 x 1.5tb HDD in RAID0 array for speed... dont know a huge amount about HDD's but I guess I am looking for 7200rpm drives with 64mb cache. Any particular brand/make I should go for?
    • Processor = i3/i5? Not really sure how demanding DPM is but would also like it to be relatively future-proof and may off-load other jobs on to it eventually (Workstation builds/Packages etc.)
    • RAM - 8gb DDR3 (again any brand recommendations here
    • OS - Server 2008
    • Software - MS DPM (or possibly even ArcServe)
    • Offsite - 2tb External HDD's (encrypted... I presume ArcServe and DPM can do this )


    Any thoughts on the above, things I havent considered etc. It's certainly gonna be the most hectic summer I have ever had (Rebuild network of 450 workstations to non-cc3 standard, Rebuild MIS server with Server 2008/SQL2008, Change Backup Solution).

    Cheers,
    Michael

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    oh... and obviously a MB which supports the above.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use raid 0 it isn't worth the risk. I am using some 2 TB SATA drives in raid 5 with a disk for the OS. Mine is on an HP ML 115 with 3 gig of ram under server 2008 R2. The 3 gig of ram is not enough but it gets by for now with the occasional restart when it gets a bit sluggish. I am using it to back up about 8 VMs and our user data via DPM.

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    morganw's Avatar
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    If you want decent write performance I would go with RAID 10 and just get bigger drives, but generally you don't need high performance as you will be limited by network bandwidth. If you run any kind of deduplication or compression through the day you might appreciate the extra disk performance so that it finishes faster. Personally I would stick the OS on a partition of the same RAID array as well just to give it some redundancy.

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    just found that although the case is mahooosive, when I took it to bits their are only slots for 4 HDD's... so, with those limitations, what would you go for?

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    morganw's Avatar
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    Sounds like our RM D2D box, pretty spacious but nowhere to actually mount anything. I would get 4x 2TB drives and then use RAID5 for more storage or RAID10 for more speed and better redundancy. If you buy server grade drives anything more than 2TB will be pricey so you would be better getting a better case and just putting more drives in.

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    If you are thinking of encrypting data you may find it beneficial to get a processor which supports AES-NI (i5-2300/2400/2500, i7-2600/K etc.).


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    ok, how does the following sound:

    ASUS P8H67 Motherboard - Intel Rapid Store Technology for RAID5
    Core i5 2500k Processor - Would be nice to have the advantages of Hardware Encryption if DPM
    Hitachi 3TB Deskstar - Not quite server standard but with around 2million hours MTBF and 3 year warranty has to be pretty good.
    8GB RAM DDR3-1333
    Server 2008 - Already Licenced
    MS DPM - 12 Enterprise Licences
    Firestream - To allow us to backup to USB HDD for off-site storage... how this isn't included in MS DPM is beyond me!

    Any thoughts on the above? Does it seem sensible enough? Are their parts you would change?

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    morganw's Avatar
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    I would at least get a proper raid card and decent drives. You might be better off just getting a really cheap dual-socket server and using that instead. The most likely failures are disk or psu and your shopping list isn't giving much protection against failure as your are using the cheapest raid solution, cheapest drives, and reusing a system with a single psu. Or you could build two cheap systems and alternate backups between the two to offset the risk.

  10. Thanks to morganw from:

    CyBeRkId2002 (7th July 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    I would at least get a proper raid card and decent drives. You might be better off just getting a really cheap dual-socket server and using that instead. The most likely failures are disk or psu and your shopping list isn't giving much protection against failure as your are using the cheapest raid solution, cheapest drives, and reusing a system with a single psu. Or you could build two cheap systems and alternate backups between the two to offset the risk.
    whilst I agree a RAID card is probably an essential purchase I think the rest is just overkill for our needs and uneccesarily bumping up the build costs. A backup system is just that, a backup, and whilst I agree in redundancy on core network services I think that should a CPU/PSU fail on the backup solution it will not be such a major issue and the limited down-time to replace will not be such an issue.

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    morganw's Avatar
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    Very true, I just have elevated levels of paranoia from D2D2T system that was so unreliable it was worthless. If you are happy you are 'fire proof' then that's the main thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by morganw View Post
    Very true, I just have elevated levels of paranoia from D2D2T system that was so unreliable it was worthless.
    Was that the RM one by any chance? Ours was a nightmare and so under spec'd its untrue! I think the above should cover us in the event of an emergency and should deal with rising backup software hardware requirements for some time to come.

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    morganw's Avatar
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    Why yes it was, with an extremely expensive Sony tape autoloader that never worked. I think we used to get one good full backup every 3 or 4 weeks that we could store in the safe.

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    SNAP! Exact same system here! Probably had a couple of support calls a month for it with one ongoing for around 6 months. In the end ditched it for 2tb External drives... what did you go for in the end?

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    I'd say you should be looking at higher end drives, and not super cheap - most 'consumer' drives are not supported in RAID configurations by manufacturers.

    I'd say go for business drives, or at least pro-sumer ones. At a minimum something like the WD2002FAEX drives, or preferably their RE4 drives.

    Also, RAID 0 is just a Bad Idea. I have 8 of the WD2002FAEX drives in RAID 6, although RAID 5 would be acceptable too.

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