I've had half term off (unpaid) which has provided opportunity to think of hare-brained schemes while away from day to day hassles - very dangerous and most are probably best forgotten!
For a while I have been convinced that we can do better for our backup and DR solution. Currently we have backup exec running on our only server to a set of 10 Seagate Go-flex USB disks which have to be swapped every day and are then stored in a fireproof safe on site.
We have a separate building on site with a fibre link. My thoughts are to put a(n old?) PC (or an HP Microserver?) in the cupboard where the fibre terminates on a switch, with the daily (and maybe weekly) backup disks permanently connected. Then I could mount them individually as network shares and schedule backup exec to use each one in turn. For monthly backups, I was thinking of using the free Crashplan service to take a backup to an HDD stored in a local school. I would start with a seeded disk and then do incremental backups over the weekend.
Background info: All MIS (SIMS etc) is on a data farm and is accessed by rdp to a hosted server which is not our responsibility to backup. I therefore just need to keep system state and day to day data backed up. The on-site server currently has about 1.4TB of data - although most of it is ancient and the daily changes are in the realm of 10s of MB at most.
Advice sought in two parts: Does the physical part sound logical and sufficiently robust? Does the software sound suitable - I'm not convinced that backup exec is necessary - mostly just suggested it 'cos it's what we already use. I have thought about using Crashplan for the local backups too, or robocopy in backup mode or Windows backup...
Thanks in advance... Long question because I've had too much time to think
I'm in the middle of tinkering with our backup solution so know where you're coming from. SCDPM is what my predecessor set up so I've decided to continue using it as it seemed to work OK. I've decommissioned the old server and have set it up on a new server with a couple of iSCSI devices connected to it, along with an autoloader tape device.
Once I've made sure all the servers we want backing up, are being successfully backed up I'll be setting up another SCDPM server with a slightly smaller iSCSI device attached to it to backup the Primary DPM server along duplicating some of our server backups of what we consider to be our most important servers. This server will be situated in a building at the other end of the School so in the worst case scenario we'll be able to get our major servers back online.
My thoughts are to put a(n old?) PC (or an HP Microserver?) in the cupboard where the fibre terminates on a switch, with the daily (and maybe weekly) backup disks permanently connected. Then I could mount them individually as network shares and schedule backup exec to use each one in turn.
You might as well take the disks out of their cases, place them directly in the HP Microserver and set them up as a RAID array. You could make a number of different shares from that one array if you liked, although BackupExec will backup multiple backups into a single share.
Personally, I'd rather have whole disk images backed up rather than anything I have to restoe via BackupExec. If your server was a virtual machine you could snapshot it at a certain time each night and back up that snapshot image to your backup server, leaving the server itself running. You would then have a ready-to-go server image you could actually use as a working server should anything happen to the original.