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Hardware Thread, robust backup solution, any ideas? in Technical; Hi folks, its Monday morning and heres the thing Came in today to find our backup server has had another ...
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    ranj's Avatar
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    robust backup solution, any ideas?

    Hi folks, its Monday morning and heres the thing

    Came in today to find our backup server has had another hard drive failure, (4 hard drive failures since I have been here)and I am fed up with fixing it all the time, it is an old server, so i went to head and he has authorised for me to buy another backup system. I have about 5k to spend.

    Currently one of our servers has a tape drive which does our MIS data and we have a near side backup file server which just grabs the data of all the core servers and backups it up onto its 500gb raid 5 disks.

    I am looking at a solution, I dont want to go the tape route but I need to think about off site storage as well and my plan is to put a big NAS box, maybe 2tb on the other side of the school (our school is fairly big in size so if there was a fire in the server room its very unlikely that the otherside would be burnt down, i have told this to the head and he fine with that as well).We currently have networking to this other area as well.

    So my plan is to buy 2 storage servers. one I keep in the server room which is on one side of the school and the other server on the other side of the school. The one in the server room will grab the data of all servers everynight and then transfer that data to the other box on the otherside of the school using a dedicated link. its just over 100m and is cat5 and am aware of the distance issues, but i feel for backup purposes it will be fine, because it will be transferring the data from one server to another overnight and will only send data which has changed on that day but anyone feels that I am wrong in saying this, then I am open to suggestions.

    I like to ask other folks, what robust solutions they have in their enterprises and if they work well. I am looking for a solution which hopefully will last up to 5 years.


    If anyone feels that the way i am approching this is not the best way, feel free to say and suggest a better way.

    Thanks

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    I know you say you don't want to go the tape route, but why?? As mentioned on another thread, I have one of these in LTO 3 format. up to 800gb per tape (nearer 600GB in reality) total capacity of fully loaded changer is rediculous. It backs up all our servers in a little under 5 hours at the moment, which is about 320gb of data per night. I find it reliable and quick, and restoring data is easy and quick as well. The big advantage of this is it allows us to take a backup off-site for the ultimate in security.

    I like the idea of using servers to back up to, but I personally still think its essential to have a fail safe solution that can be taken off site or stored in a fire proof safe. You never know when the worst might happen.

    As a note, I use backup exec 10d as my backup software, which I find to be very good and easy to use.

    Mikr.

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    I am almost the same as Maniac except we have a HP device instead.

    It can hold eight tapes but at the moment all our servers only need three tapes so loads of capacity.

    The only draw back can be the speed - but this is down to the speed data is copied across the network rather than the writing speed which is going to be the same on any solution that crosses boxes.

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    We were in a similar situation with our home built back up servers getting a bit flaky so we we went for 2 2tb Buffalo terastations. They have only been in a couple of weeks but seem fine. For extra belt and braces on the MIS I use removable USB drives and archive to DVD twice a term.

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hecate
    We were in a similar situation with our home built back up servers getting a bit flaky so we we went for 2 2tb Buffalo terastations. They have only been in a couple of weeks but seem fine. For extra belt and braces on the MIS I use removable USB drives and archive to DVD twice a term.
    Can you tell us what software you use to backup to these devices, how the connection works (CIFS or FTP) and how you ensure the data is secure?

    Thanks,

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    I've been looking at a NAS backup solutions for one of my primary's as the cost of the NAS is going to be less than a tape solution and I only visit once a week. I find the current tape system unreliable as i constantly get errors on the tapes, and often it doesn't run at all... Thats when the tape is changed too!!

    With the help of Ben (Plexer) I'm looking at perhaps a Terrastation or D-Link mirrored drive in another building far away on the network and using a program called Backup Assist. I believe the NAS boxes have a "workgroup" security where you can only let certain computers access it. I may be wrong though.

    I would also take termly backups on removable storage of some sort. TBA

    Craig

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    I made a decision in buying effectively 2 nas boxes in the end.

    I brought an Adaptec snap server 520 2tb which will backup all data everynight and on the other side of the school i going to have a similar setup which will effectively allow me to have 2 copies of data so in the unlikely event of a fire to the server room, we might be ok. Our school is fairly big.

    What i liked about this sort of solution is like craig mentioned. backup tapes can be prone to fail, and with such important data now on a school network I cannot afford to take that risk and it will also save me doing a daily check of backups. Now i will be able to just check quickly through a drive mapped on my computer to see if the backup was successfully completed and it mean instant restores because the files will be there uncompressed and no indexing and sorting.

    we see how it goes. If i get problems, i communicate them on here.

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    buffalo 2TB NAS server, get 2.

    sorted

    baz

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    Re: robust backup solution, any ideas?

    Don't forget if your on a budget, and had a spare PC laying about, you could slap a couple of large disks in it and use FreeNAS http://www.freenas.org/

    Craig

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