Backup to Disk System
So, Summer work coming along nicely and just finalising the server configurations. We now have three XenServers running a total of 12 virtual machines doing various task from DC's, Remote Apps, SIMS, Finance, etc. I still having a physical Exchange Server and have rebuilt the Main DC as a Backup Server with runs a Sony AIT-5 LIB-81 8 Tape Carasel Library which is now backing up all these machines through various agents.
Current Full backup is around 1.5Tb and is taking a long time to do a full backup! :eek: This is not a major problem, the differentials are obviously a lot less and the tape unit chuggs along nicely.
Tape is obviously so 'last decade' with its obvious problems but I do like having an Offline backup which is stashed away in the fire proof safe. Looking for maybe a disk backup solution with something like the Tandberb QuikStation using RDX and having multiple RDX's to remove and stash away offline (and offsite).
Anybody used something similar? Or offer other suggestions that I can plan to put in place in the near future.
Why do you say tape is so last decade? I've just invested in a new tape system as I have no faith in disk based backups, having had a range of NAS units for backups none have performed or lasted long enough or well enough long term for me so its back to tape I go which just works and always has just worked :)
We will probably add some FreeNAS in the mix next year but I am a fan of tape and LTO5 tape writes pritty darned quick, I can get up to 2GB/Min rate to it off my CIFSs shares on my SAN which isn't much of a slouch really! and at 1.5TB per tape I can backup my entire school's data with 2 tapes and can be done over 48hrs easily.
I'm using DPM on a cheap server with 2 gig disks in it. I would prefer a qnap box or something like that for the storage but it does the job. DPM creates replicas of the volumes you tell it to protect and updates these to your schedule. It does this updating by only syncing the changed blocks. You can then also set recovery points (snapshots) as well. After that you can define the retention period for these recovery points. This is for the disk based backups.
Long term backups go to tape and this will work well with an autoloader.
So this means short backup times and the ability for off site backups. It will do SQL and exchange with no extra costs and will spit out an image file for you to use with bare metal restore for disaster recovery.
I'm using Backup Exec (legacy which i hate) for my DC's/Exchange/Sql backing up to a single server (hp dl380 with MSA 60 - 12 x 1tb)) but for my file/linux servers i've just started to use BackupPC which stores the data in a similar way to DPM which ChrisH has mentioned above. This backs up to a 4U SuperMicro SuperChassis 847E1-R1400LPB with 16 2tb HDD's giving a total formatted space of just under 28tb's so we can take entire copies of the SAN. Then each of the weekly backups is copied to a different block to an HP N36L with 4 2TB drives). So that if the main server room in A block burns down I have the ability to restore from night before from block B but it block A and B burn down then I can restore from the previous Friday from another Block. None of the blocks are closer then 15m from another so the risk of fire spreading is minimal.
But we happen to be a large secondary which has been chopped and changed so much we have lots of different blocks everywhere!
I have my backup server on the other side of the site as well.
I guess its just what you read in the press. I'm not against Tape as such as I like it being an 'offline' sort of media, it's just a tad slow with things. The current PC-Pro A-List still has an Ultrium Drive as the best backup solution but I guess I'm just looking at alternatives for an extra speed boost. Our LIB-81 library device is now over five years old and no longer supported by Sony so need to look at a replacement in the near future.
Originally Posted by john
Thanks for all the replies thus far. Really appreciated.
I have only ever used DAT or LTO, DAT was, and still is, on MS SBS 2003 Servers as they simply are usually small enough to fit onto the tiny tapes. LTO has been the tape of choice simply as its fast and big, LTO5 is well worth looking at, I had hoped LTO6 would be out by now but I suspect its a few years away as that speed and capacity gets stupidly big stupidly quick but an LTO5 16 slot SAS2 autoloader can be had for sensible money. I posted on here about it but seriously it was very good money for the kit and its performance is excellent.
Its currently in the main server room, however from next summer we will have a 2nd campus across the road, so it will move to that site along with the server its connected to (well probably a new 1U rack one just for the job but that's still TBD), and then its off-site but still on-site if you get me.
I will have some D2D stuff, that can also go to that site, or even into our other building on the main site, both are linked with direct fibre connections to the core so won't be a speed issue, the other campus will have a 10Gb connection so that shouldn't slow anything or anyone down!
We do D2d and then D2T for reduncancy. Just bought a large 50 tray Dell tape library, and another tray of 15x2TB drives for the powervault storage array that houses the D2D.
IBM FASTBACK with Thecus N8800+ storage....then also have cross site DR backup capability with same hardware...
Avoid freenas as stated elwhere here, it is good for test but not up to scratch for production....
I am happy to show you my solution in practice if you want to see it....
We've gone with Veeam now we're virtualising all the servers... in an ideal world I'd have D2D with a copy on a cloud-based service. Unfortunately the cost of those services is still prohibitive if we want to store all the data (which to me is the only way that makes sense now from a DR viewpoint).
I thought about going with a secondary disk copy of the data but still wasn't happy with that setup as a power surge \ virus could still wipe out the data and backups. At that point I've just ordered an LTO-5 drive to run archive copies of the Veeam backups once a week. That way we have instant recovery from the disk copy and offline media to tape.
We had to put the backup server in the server room, wasn't 100% happy with that but there's nowhere else we can put the box in this building without disturbing office space with noise (tried an acoustic cabinet but it made the noise worse as it had its own set of fans at the back!)
At some point if I could add a NAS as well to end up with a paranoia-level D2D2D2T system :p
Veeam is nice in that it dedpues and compresses the data and can run a VM directly from backup in case of emergency. Also quite nifty that you can mount a copy of the servers in their own isolated lab to check the backups of the VMs start and run correctly :)
We've just gone over to backup to disk using a 4TB NAS box. However I will still be backing up to tape over the weekend as I'm still like the idea of having offline tapes! The only issue being in the future that our 8 bay Fujitsu autoloader only seems to support LTO2, not a problem at the moment as I have only provisioned 2TB of space on our SAN, but when the time comes to increase that to the 4TB it actually has I'll need a new tape solution......
I realise this is an old thread but I'm in exactly the same position as @FragglePete. I've been doing D2D2T for a few years now but my Sony AIT4 LIB-81 Tape Library needs replacing and I'm unsure what to replace it with. I too have wondered about the RDX QuikStation - has anyone got one?
Originally Posted by FragglePete
just bumping this thread on the off chance.... :)
Tape may be 'very last decade', but it is also very fast - much faster than RDX, although I would concede that RDX is quicker to find individual files.
Originally Posted by FragglePete
We are currently using both RDX and LTO 3 systems. Using EMC Retrospect, backups to RDX run at about 500 MB a minute average. Backups to LTO 3 tape run at about 3 GB per minute, with an overall average of about 2.4 GB per minute.
RDX may be a more reliable backup medium then previous hard disk systems, but I have had numerous problems with large backups to external drives over the years. By contrast, I have only ever suffered one LTO 2 tape breakage in about seven years.
RDX cartridges also cost at least ten times as much as LTO tape per gigabyte of storage space.
Using backupexec 2010 with Qnap 419p+ 6tb NAS box in a separate physical location to the main server room.
Works really well and blazingly fast.
Can't believe people are still using tape lol.