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Hardware Thread, Researching a backup system in Technical; Hello, I am working on setting up a pretty major backup systrem (In my opinion). We currently have 14 sites, ...
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    Researching a backup system

    Hello,

    I am working on setting up a pretty major backup systrem (In my opinion). We currently have 14 sites, I think 19 servers last count. We have over 15 TB's in use currently and within 3 years I would expect it to double.

    All of our servers are setup up in a raid 5. In the past, before the WAN, we had a computer with a 500gb hard drive and we would back up each site.

    Today I had the perfect storm. A power failure caused 2 hard drives to go bad in the server thus destroying the raid. Then the backup computer, had a sata drive go bad over the summer somehow. I believe due to a school tech installing a new dvd burner in the backup system. All this 1 day after school opens. I am still dumbfounded about my luck and the way all this happened but it helped me realize two things. One, I need a backup I can depend on, in a secondary site. I also dont want to have to depend on anyone else to do the backup.



    I would like to find a backup that I can setup in our central office. Then go to a secure place at one of our sites and setup a backup of the servers at our central office. We have 100mb lines between our office and each school.

    I am also cheap....Really Really Really Really cheap. To be honest this wasnt in our initial plan for this year so I am having to fit it in the budget. Plus, I feel like in education we have to be creative, that I owe it to the students to try to find the best bang for my buck.


    I used to be a programmer before working in the school system and have thought about writing a small program or even a script and buying winrar console and setting something like that up. I would love any ideas that anyone has, any suggestions and any success or failure stories.


    Thank you!

    Chad

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    Joedetic's Avatar
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    Have you considered soemthing using RSYNC?

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    rsync or rdiff-backup rock teh big one!.

    I believe robocopy is also highly regarded for win.

    $0.02

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    I have thought of many different softwares. I guess my biggest question is the hardware. Should I buy a really large server, or a large network drive array?


    Chad

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    Quote Originally Posted by itschad View Post
    Should I buy a really large server, or a large network drive array?
    If you're aiming for cheap-as-possible, like us, we went for our main backup server being a large "gamers" case bought off eBay, plus a cheap motherboard, processor and RAM bundle also off eBay. Make sure the motherboard has a whole bunch of SATA ports (6 minimum, many now have 8), amount of RAM and processor speed doesn't really matter that much. Then buy a bunch of 500GB SATA drives (also off eBay has been just fine for us in the past, and the 500GB drives seem to currently offer the best MB-per-pound value, although check that 750GB ones haven't gained on them). Install Linux (CentOS? Like Red Hat, but for free), use the disks in a software RAID-5 array (don't forget one extra small harddrive for the boot disk). Should be able to get 6 500GB disks in two RAID-5 arrays giving you 2TB of disk space for easily under 1,000. Raw disk performance won't be stunning, but should chug away at writing backups to harddrive readily enough.

    Note that you should also arrange to have some off-site storage of some kind, either tape of removeable harddrive.

    --
    David Hicks

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