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How do you do....it? Thread, Is this good backup practice? in Technical; I intend to purchase a server, which will host 3-4 Virtual servers. i then want to have a standalone DC ...
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    Is this good backup practice?

    I intend to purchase a server, which will host 3-4 Virtual servers. i then want to have a standalone DC on a very old Dell server we have. I want to use DPM or Veeam to backup my Virtual Servers. I've been told and figured it would be best to have this backup software on the standalone DC as that would make it easier to restore from. But as the old Dell server i have, i think will be far too old and sluggish so some has suggested i should put the backup software on a seperate Virtual server on my virtual host.

    Is this a good idea, if the mainboard on the virtual host goes and takes all the VM's down, won't this then make it hard to restore everything? is this good practice or can someone suggest a better way of doing that doesnt involve purchasing a 2nd server simply to install backup software on and run from. I'm also thinking of purchasing a NAS RAID 1 or 5 to connect and use as my storage for files and backups and then to transfer full backups to USB hard drives every week, again is this easy to do, partition off a load of space to use?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    You could use DPM or Veeam in a VM but replicate the data to a storage server (Veeam will give you an entire copy of the VM). You could purchase a large Qnap or similar to backup to and then if it has iscsi support effectivly boot the vm's from that device on any old hardware

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    You could use DPM or Veeam in a VM but replicate the data to a storage server (Veeam will give you an entire copy of the VM). You could purchase a large Qnap or similar to backup to and then if it has iscsi support effectivly boot the vm's from that device on any old hardware
    Im not too fussed about being able to get the VMS back online, with a 2nd DC thats going to be there to allow people to log in and as long as the internet works then business can continue. I'd be relying on a next day agreement to get our hardware back up and working. I'm just not sure if i'd be making life difficult for myself having the backup run from a VM on the hardware i'm backing up and in turn would it make it difficult to restore?

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCan View Post
    Im not too fussed about being able to get the VMS back online, with a 2nd DC thats going to be there to allow people to log in and as long as the internet works then business can continue. I'd be relying on a next day agreement to get our hardware back up and working. I'm just not sure if i'd be making life difficult for myself having the backup run from a VM on the hardware i'm backing up and in turn would it make it difficult to restore?
    Personally I would recommend storing any backups on a second physical device weather it be a server/nas/tape as what happened if you had a complete raid failed in the servers would be completely gone. Or (as i think you have mentioned before) you are going office 365 and the only thing you are backing up is file data you could look at an online backup solution to take data off site.

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    I went round and round in my head about the best method of deployment for Veeam... so much so it nearly sent me crazy!

    Eventually it came down to this...

    - in the event of a major storage failure having my Veeam VM in the same place = no restore

    - backups in theory go slower as you hammer the same storage, CPU and network you're backing up (Veeam needs a fair bit of grunt for the de-dupe etc)

    - you can't take advaantage of some of the advanced Veeam features without a physical server (not sure how this applies in v5)

    We now have a dedicated DL180 G6 single quad core CPU server for Veeam and backup the backups to tape once a week as an offline archive.

    Btw I'd go Veeaam over DPM as the ability to run servers direct from backups is awesome and a create way to test if said backups actually work

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    i think i'd like to combine an offsite backup (cloud/usb hard drives) with a disk backup, be it on the server hard drives or a NAS. I just cant really find any advantages or disadvantages for NAS or Local Hard Drives right now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCan View Post
    i think i'd like to combine an offsite backup (cloud/usb hard drives) with a disk backup, be it on the server hard drives or a NAS. I just cant really find any advantages or disadvantages for NAS or Local Hard Drives right now!
    Speed of restores. I've been involved in DR testing over the last couple of days from a large online backups company which store about 1.4TB of VM's for my client. We invoked DR on monday (as a test). They send engineer to Datacenter and get data off there servers (normally send an engineer to site) but couriered it to use which arrived Wednesday. We had to plug into the off site server and start vm's which one didn't work! Onsite stuff is better to be safe then sorry.

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    Virtualize everything except your backup server. So the dell you were going to use as a DC, I'd virtualize. You can always use the Dell as a second DC, or use it for backups with the NAS box. Virtualizing your backup server is bad news for the reason you pointed out.

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    Yeah the plan was always to use the Dell as a 2nd DC just in case the main server went BOOM but its a P3 and i havent seen the minimum requirements for Veeam but i doubt it would run on it.. I was already leading towards Veeam and i think from What gshaw said, i'll settle on Veeam.

    Bengual, maybe i'm being stupid but how would i use the Dell with the NAS, i thought i'd just plug the NAS straight into the main switch and a bit of remote config and away i go? I've never actually used a NAS before, only SAN's and that was a couple of years ago so not completely up to speed on how i configured all of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyCan View Post
    Yeah the plan was always to use the Dell as a 2nd DC just in case the main server went BOOM but its a P3 and i havent seen the minimum requirements for Veeam but i doubt it would run on it.. I was already leading towards Veeam and i think from What gshaw said, i'll settle on Veeam.

    Bengual, maybe i'm being stupid but how would i use the Dell with the NAS, i thought i'd just plug the NAS straight into the main switch and a bit of remote config and away i go? I've never actually used a NAS before, only SAN's and that was a couple of years ago so not completely up to speed on how i configured all of that.
    You could use iSCSI to the NAS device from the Dell. Not sure the dell would be up to veeam but if you can get away with a decent I3 based machine and an iscsi NAS you can probably do it.

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    I was simply thinking of using the NAS box for your backup store. So it would present itself as locally attached storage, if it provides iSCSI, or whatever means you care to use, to the Dell. Although your Dell does seem a bit underpowered it's true. Best case scenario is a new server for Veeam, perhaps with lots of cheap SATA storage instead of a NAS box?

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    You could use iSCSI to the NAS device from the Dell. Not sure the dell would be up to veeam but if you can get away with a decent I3 based machine and an iscsi NAS you can probably do it.
    ahh i see so i could plug the NAS into the backup server with iscsi simply for performance as opposed to into the switch with ethernet? I was intending to use the NAS as a central file storage for the whole network though so any thoughts on how to do that? Maybe scrap that use the NAS for backups, and use local hard disks on the main server for my main file storage? The size of data im actually sotring is small, currently about 200GB and dont see it rising too much too quickly. How much space i would then need to store my backups, i dont know, about 1TB would get me 4 weeks full backups and an monthly??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bengual View Post
    I was simply thinking of using the NAS box for your backup store. So it would present itself as locally attached storage, if it provides iSCSI, or whatever means you care to use, to the Dell. Although your Dell does seem a bit underpowered it's true. Best case scenario is a new server for Veeam, perhaps with lots of cheap SATA storage instead of a NAS box?
    Hah that was my original plan, HP DL120 with 2TB of usable RAID5 SATA storage. but then for storing my backups, do i need RAID 5 or will RAID 1 suffice and then do i bother with a NAS for my central file server or just use a few SAS drives in the main server?

    And new question, should i rule out AMD Opterons and stick with Xeons for my server CPUS as from what i can see the AMD's look decent enough and cheaper but i've been told by people to look at Intel, humm

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    Intel VS AMD - personally in the Intel camp but then there is just as many in the other camp!

    For your scenario I would personally.
    1 x Decent spec server with enough local SAS storage to provide all your VM's something along on the lines of a DL380 32Gb Ram 1 6 core Xeon. Scrap using your P3 as it will probably just cause more of a headache later on even as a backup DC.
    1 x Large Nas Device for Backups - RAID 5 is fine for backups and Raid 6 for VM host.
    1 x Host for backups - Entry range server possibly look at second hand to reduce costs. <- run this as a DC if you want a physical DC.

    ISCSI from the Backup Server to the Nas device and run live backups and replicas to the Nas device.

    What we do for our clients here is actually host a DC for them offsite connected via a VPN back to the main site for AD replication. So you could possibly look at companys that will provide you a system like that. We also have facilities to restore full VM's in the event of a customers offices going out of action.

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    File server, DC's everything except your backup server should be virtual, unless you have some specific hardware requirements. So your main file server should be virtual as well, and the storage available to your virtual host should be enough to house everything. Veeam then needs to have enough storage to back it all up. As for RAID scenarios, RAID 5 if you can afford it for backups, performance with RAID 1 isn't good but it may well suffice for 4 - 5 VM's. RAID 5 or 10 for the virtual host. IMO.
    Last edited by Bengual; 24th May 2012 at 10:15 PM.

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