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Hardware Thread, Which Backup Hardware to use in Technical; Hi Folks Just joined the forum and you seem to be a lively and well informed bunch! - I know ...
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    Which Backup Hardware to use

    Hi Folks

    Just joined the forum and you seem to be a lively and well informed bunch! - I know - appearances can be deceptive

    We're about to replace our server, the one which I built is getting a bit crusty.
    I've had 2 quotes. The first one is a Dell Poweredge 2800 with 2Gb Memory, Xeon 3.2, 3 X 73Gb HDD's, PERC 4 embedded Raid and a PV110T 200Gb LT02 Internal Tape drive. The 2nd quote is basically an HP equivellant to the Dell but with a HP Ultrium 100/200GB Tape Drive.
    Now we're only a small school with not a lot of network usage and my current backup including SIMS, exchange 2003 and the usual school Data amounts to around 20Gb.
    My question is, do I need the expensive tapes drives I've been quoted for or can someone recommend a cheaper alternative?
    Phew! that was a bit of preamble!

    Ta

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    Hi Brad, welcome on board

    I can't really vouch for hardware, but I can recommend against the Sony AIT2 SDX-500 range of tape drives that we currently have. After a year or so our tapes get stuck and the drives click. We've also been told about other schools with similarly-ages models going the same way.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    Hi Brad. I have 4 Dell 2650's with a similar spec and they haven't failed me in 3 years. Fantastic servers. As for backup I wouls aim for something which will last you well into the future, and after seeing Rics Tandberg StorageLoader LT02 I decided it is exactly what we needed. Single tapes require far to much intervention these days and spreading the load out over an auto loader seems much more sensible. A weekly (220GB) backup goes home with me every friday.

    http://www.tandberg.com/index.php?op...245&pdbl=1&a=8

    Fully loaded this will last you years and will run quietly and unobtrusively 24/7.

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    I can agree with webman. Three years ago we spent about £1800 on a Sony AIT-3 drive. It is both the most expensive and most unreliable component I have ever bought.

    We had it replaced under warranty twice. Sony said it was our U320 SCSI adapter was too fast for it (really!) and was causing it to fail after a few months. It was a known problem. We had to spend £100 for a seperate slower SCSI card to get the third drive to work for more than two months.

    Still had some problems - mainly tapes wearing out after only a few uses. At £35 a time tapes were costing us a fortune. :x

    I eventually gave up with tape storage and built myself a NAS device out of an old PC and some 200GB SATA drives. The downside is that it's not offsite, but when we get the new extension built in September I'll move it over there, which is almost as good.

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    We have a Certance LTO2 Ultrium Drive. We've had it for about a year now and have been actively using it since September. So far, so good....

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    Quote Originally Posted by OverWorked
    I can agree with webman. Three years ago we spent about £1800 on a Sony AIT-3 drive. It is both the most expensive and most unreliable component I have ever bought.

    We had it replaced under warranty twice. Sony said it was our U320 SCSI adapter was too fast for it (really!) and was causing it to fail after a few months. It was a known problem. We had to spend £100 for a seperate slower SCSI card to get the third drive to work for more than two months.

    Still had some problems - mainly tapes wearing out after only a few uses. At £35 a time tapes were costing us a fortune. :x

    I eventually gave up with tape storage and built myself a NAS device out of an old PC and some 200GB SATA drives. The downside is that it's not offsite, but when we get the new extension built in September I'll move it over there, which is almost as good.
    I have one of these too

    After updating the firmware and general messing about, and 15 runs with a cleaning tape, all the tapes that were aparently dead are being used and verified again. I think there must have been an issue with the drive not turning the cleaning light on, not once in a year, and after the update it comes on every few weeks. I still prefer it over my super dlt drive. Its not as good as my new lto2 drive though - lto 2 or 3 would be my choice.

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    Just got a HP External USB2 Dat 72 drive (36/72gb), cheap as chips tapes, and drive not bad value, about £300, and tapes can be as little as £6 a throw. Nice drives. For larger volumes, and my personal backup at home is an LTO1. Have one at work identical but badged HP rather than HP rebadged Dell as I have at home. Got my work one from Cristies Data Solutions, and my home one from a refurb company, cost me £200 for my home one, and worth the mulah

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    We have a mixture of Sony AIT2 and DELL badged DLT drives but I do not rely upon any of them as my only source of backup.

    I prefer disk backup these days as large capacity tape drives & media are not cheap or particularly reliable.

    Last year I took a long hard look at our data backup strategy & came up with a solution which means at any one time I have critical data on at least 2 different backup devices as well as the original source.

    We built a disaster recovery server and located it as far away from the main server room as we could (it lives in a storage cupboard in our sports hall). For backup storage it has 5x 200gb SATA HDD drives, imaginatively labelled Monday, Tuesday... Friday and we currently backup up all of our servers (MIS, user data, system data totalling around 160gb) each night across a gigabit fibre link. This server cost about £600 using a big Antec case with loads of drive bays, an Intel server board with 6 SATA ports, ECC memory and the slowest P4 I could find !

    Twice a day (12:15pm and 15:15pm) we run Secondcopy to take a backup of staff & student data files to our Network Management server (this has a couple of 300gb SATA drives mirrored), and once a month we back up user files to DLT tape and these are kept in a fire safe.

    Normally, we use the Secondcopy backups to recover data from, this deals with the day-to-day student mishaps when they delete files or overwrite their work. Secondcopy is set up to maintain 5 versions of any file created by staff/students.

    The DLT tape is to allow us to go back up to 2 years for user data, and we backup MIS data to AIT2 tape every night.

    Roughly every half term, I test we can restore data from the backup tapes.

    Brian

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    Thanks for your replies, although I'm no nearer making a decision. Blimey! Dos_Box that Tandberg thingy is nearly 3 grand! and I thought 900 quid was expensive.for the HP Ultrium Just shows you how out of touch I am :-)

    As for backing up on site "broc", lets hope the building doesn't go up in flames, cos I was under the impression that back ups should be taken off-site. It would be interesting to learn of other folks methods. At the moment I'm using an HP internal drive and I back every day on a monthly cycle, hence 20 tapes. So that way at least if the data was corrupt for a long time, there's a good chance that we could recover. - or not

    I'll stay away from the Sony then

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    I've moved over to a Dell Powervault PVT-132T 20 tape loader. I use the same rotation for the AIT3 Drive that is backup for the servers awaiting virtualisation.

    The rotation I use is Monday-Thursday. Friday 1-Friday 4. Month 1-Month 4+

    Using a tape library means I need to keep more of the tapes onsite as you have to keep importing and exporting them all the time otherwise. As its a new setup I export the weekly tapes and keep them offsite, bringing in one each week. I will probably keep every other month offsite too.

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    I back up to disk as well. I have a dedicated back up disk in a server. This is then mirrored every night to an externally attached SATA drive so at any time there are two seperate backups. I have two external drives and one is always offsite. I swop them round every week.
    Cost 3 big hard drives and 2 external cases. Suites our budget and I cant stand tape but have been put off by the DDS4 stuff which I know is crap but that all I have had experince of .

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy

    I have one of these too

    After updating the firmware and general messing about, and 15 runs with a cleaning tape, all the tapes that were aparently dead are being used and verified again. I think there must have been an issue with the drive not turning the cleaning light on, not once in a year, and after the update it comes on every few weeks. I still prefer it over my super dlt drive. Its not as good as my new lto2 drive though - lto 2 or 3 would be my choice.
    Thanks - I may have another go with it one day. It's probably full of fluff by now, though.

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    For £3000 we got the Tandberg autoloader, 8 LTO2 tapes, Dantz Retrospect Backup 7.5 + Exchange Server client. Money well spent. TBH, we need this level of backup in schools now with user areas, mail and MIS info all requiring ever increasing amounts of backup simply having a single tape pop-it-in-daily-and-pray solution is no longer an option. This should see me and my organisation for many, many years to come, the Dantz software is fantastic and has a great proactive backup system where you simply throw varoius jobs at it and it does them all as and when it can, so I have daily, weekly and monthly backups of my user areas and Exchnage Server all delt with by the software, and the tapes are all handled by the autoloader. I take a weekly copy home with me, and as all my mail clients have a local copy the mail server can be stolen\destroyed (as well as the backup) and we will still lose no mail. Single tape drives IMHO are no longer a viable option for the sheer volume of data we generate in modern schools.

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    The main advantage of your system is doing away with the bother of manually changing tapes. Most of the big name 3rd party backup apps (e.g. Arc Serve, Backup Exec etc.) have job management facilities.

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    Re: Which Backup Hardware to use

    i have had ex amount of companies trying to push a high tape drive my way, even though i only need to back up 30GB and maybe only grow to another 30GB over the next few years.
    The other day a company called Techms contacted me and just advised me, it was great. i ended up buying a DAT 72 which now doing great. The best thing about it is that it is USB, no need to open the server.

    I went on to ask about servers, again they advised me on all sorts. They came back with Dell, HP, IBM and bespoke. Of which they explained the positives and negatives. I went with the bespoke as i could build it to my spec and it still worked out cheaper than the others.

    Anyone else delt with this company before?

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