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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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