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Hardware Thread, Best external hard drive backup solution? in Technical; Hi, Here at our primary school we are currently using a tape drive to back up our information but this ...
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    marsdenprimary's Avatar
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    Best external hard drive backup solution?

    Hi,

    Here at our primary school we are currently using a tape drive to back up our information but this is proving to be slow and we get intermittent errors with it. Even though this is a good enough backup solution we're looking at changing it to a more convenient hard drive backup solution.

    What would be recommended for this kind of thing? I was thinking some kind of multiple hard drive external HDD bay might do the job? Perhaps with 5 HDD's? Anyone know of a good solution to this without it being too expensive?

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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    Go for a QNAP device? There's some good offers on at the moment. We use one and I've had no problems with it.

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    marsdenprimary (8th May 2012)

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    marsdenprimary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy View Post
    Go for a QNAP device? There's some good offers on at the moment. We use one and I've had no problems with it.
    Hey thanks for this Is there any particular brand you'd recommend?

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    I'd be careful if switching away from tape. Tape often forces the good practice of cycling full backups (keeping last weeks, last months, six months) with daily incrementals. With disc some folks seem to think that a 'copy' of their data, updated every night, is OK. That might save you from a disc failure but when you find you have been 'backing up' a corrupt file and need to try and track back to when it was good, you will need more than a copy. Tape still gives the best value in a robust backup strategy (IMO).

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I'd be careful if switching away from tape. Tape often forces the good practice of cycling full backups (keeping last weeks, last months, six months) with daily incrementals. With disc some folks seem to think that a 'copy' of their data, updated every night, is OK. That might save you from a disc failure but when you find you have been 'backing up' a corrupt file and need to try and track back to when it was good, you will need more than a copy. Tape still gives the best value in a robust backup strategy (IMO).
    What I thought might work though is using the same system but with hard drives... Using a full backup cycle. Daily and a monthly Friday backup. Wouldn't this be a good method? So the server literally backs up to drive one on a Monday, two on a Tuesday etc... and when it gets to Friday it backs up to four separate folders on the drive depending on the week... is this possible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I'd be careful if switching away from tape. Tape often forces the good practice of cycling full backups (keeping last weeks, last months, six months) with daily incrementals. With disc some folks seem to think that a 'copy' of their data, updated every night, is OK. That might save you from a disc failure but when you find you have been 'backing up' a corrupt file and need to try and track back to when it was good, you will need more than a copy. Tape still gives the best value in a robust backup strategy (IMO).
    I would have thought most people migrating from tape to d2d are using the same s/w they used with tape and just changing the target to be a disk array somewhere therefore the same rotation scheme will still be used?

    Discuss!

    Ben

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    We have off-site backups, tape, and NAS solutions here - not that we're paranoid or anything

    The QNAP we have is a TS-410. There's a good offer going on Amazon at the moment for the TS-412 (you'll have to purchase your drives separately):

    QNAP-TS-412

    At this price I'm tempted for getting one for use at home.

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    I've been playing with Iomega devices recently - they seem ok.

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    4 QNAPs here, love them. They are currently doing our backups, hosting our intranet via Joomla, internal Wiki, internal Picasa style photo software.

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    I would have just used a system of plugging in a hard drive at the end of the day then the following day swapping it for another but a self-enclosed system seems to make more sense. That way it can be in a secure location and i won't need to swap them about all the time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danp View Post
    4 QNAPs here, love them. They are currently doing our backups, hosting our intranet via Joomla, internal Wiki, internal Picasa style photo software.
    This sounds like a great setup!! Would you be able to give me some kind of guide how to setup something similar? x

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    I can, buy a QNAP, we have 4 x TS-439 Pro II+

    Once plugged into network and setup, very easy, you can setup webserver, iTunes sharing etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    I would have thought most people migrating from tape to d2d are using the same s/w they used with tape and just changing the target to be a disk array somewhere therefore the same rotation scheme will still be used?
    Some are, some aren't, but even the ones that switched in a disc array, may now have a compromised strategy. With tape, your rolling 6 month full backup is on it's own set of tapes hopefully sitting in a fire safe, off site. If you just replaced the tapes with a disc array then your weekly, monthly, 6 monthly yearly and all your incremental are sitting on one device. That seems like a lot of eggs in one basket and the cost of disc vs tape tends to make people adopt those compromises.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    With tape, your rolling 6 month full backup is on it's own set of tapes hopefully sitting in a fire safe, off site
    How many schools properly off-site vault their tapes?

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Some are, some aren't, but even the ones that switched in a disc array, may now have a compromised strategy. With tape, your rolling 6 month full backup is on it's own set of tapes hopefully sitting in a fire safe, off site. If you just replaced the tapes with a disc array then your weekly, monthly, 6 monthly yearly and all your incremental are sitting on one device. That seems like a lot of eggs in one basket and the cost of disc vs tape tends to make people adopt those compromises.
    Perhaps if the disks can be removed to a secure and fireproof location every week though- wouldn't this be just as effective?

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