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Windows Server 2012 Thread, VEEAM me up, Scotty in Technical; Getting a new server at one of my schools. 1 physical host with 4 VMs to cover various functions to ...
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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    VEEAM me up, Scotty

    Getting a new server at one of my schools. 1 physical host with 4 VMs to cover various functions to replace the "all in one" DC + everything else, and my thoughts are turning towards backups. Budget is "as little as possible" and there's no scope for more VMs before people suggest further splitting of the various roles. Unfortunately there's no way to backup off site without using tape or disk (and I'd rather go for disk) + the site isn't spread out enough to backup to NAS. Total server capacity is around 4TB.

    The plan was to do a total backup every weekend to USB 3 disk with incrementals Mon-Thurs of those areas where the data changes frequently (SIMS, File Storage). Figured 2x 4TB disks + protective cases for the complete backups and a set of 4 "rugged" 2TB disks for the dailies. Or do we need more than that?

    With all the rave reviews VEEAM has been getting on here, it was my first thought for the job - but can it do backups to disk? Also, is the price a one-off? (There seems to be mention of an annual cost on some pages on their site).

    The other option is Symantec, which I am assured can do the job as outlined + does some clever stuff with SQL (and so SIMS).

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    I'd favor Veeam in place of Symantec any day of the week at present.

    The Active Directory Restores via Virtual Labs, Exchange Mailbox and Item restores via Veeam Explorer are a few things to mention. Not tried any SQL restores yet.

    They have plans to bring out Veeam Explorer for Active Directory which will mount the active directory database from a backup, will be quicker than setting up a Virtual Lab and/or waiting for it to spin up.

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    LeMarchand (18th July 2014)

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    Veeam is great and will do what you want it to do. I'd avoid Symantec - we're phasing it out in favour of Veeam.

    It's a one off cost for the initial purchase, but it's really worth paying the annual support to get upgrades and support where necessary. I think it's really good value.

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    LeMarchand (18th July 2014)

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Thanks peeps. I wonder if I can time the free trial so that it will last the holidays...

    Any criticisms of the disk-swap plan?

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    We use Veeam it it rocks. I would recommend it to anyone with a virtual enviornment. As for Symantec I would stay as far away from Backup Exec as I could.

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    VEEAM does everything except run off to tape in our environment. It will write to tape, but our drive is scsi and there is no VMWare host passthrough for scsi available. Our workaround for this as been to create a VEEAM job to a share, and then run the share off to tape using our legacy BUE box.

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    robjduk's Avatar
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    just....buy.....Veeam.....

    You will NEVER have to worry about backups again.

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    Yes, use Veeam over Symantec, that is a definite.

    As for your plan to rotate multiple USB drives, that isn't going to be so easy. There's no problem with rotating two 4TB drives for your full backups on the weekends as long as you configure two separate jobs for each disk and schedule them as fortnightly jobs. Using multiple disks for your daily backups isn't going to work so well I don't believe, and you would be better off buying a 2 or 4 bay DAS RAID unit (USB3, eSATA) rather than multiple drives. The weekly backups will be taken off-site I'm assuming and having one large 8-12TB pool for your daily backups will make managing your backup jobs and storage much simpler.

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    LeMarchand (21st July 2014)

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    Sorry for the hijack! But for the people who use Veeam..

    Is it licensed per VM host? Or if possible would you mind sharing a rough figure of costings £100-200? £500+? £1k+ etc.

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    m25man's Avatar
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    Licensed per socket.
    There are probably more license combinations than Microsoft so its important you do the research and get the correct bundle for your needs.

    If you run the typical 3 node fail over cluster there is a bundle for 3 x 2 (up to 6 sockets) which is a cheaper way to buy and there are specific Edu SKUs

    As a rough guide this can cost upwards of £600 per physical host no limit in VMs.though.

    The cost is similar to other leading solutions.

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    SteveM555 (19th July 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Licensed per socket.
    There are probably more license combinations than Microsoft so its important you do the research and get the correct bundle for your needs.

    If you run the typical 3 node fail over cluster there is a bundle for 3 x 2 (up to 6 sockets) which is a cheaper way to buy and there are specific Edu SKUs

    As a rough guide this can cost upwards of £600 per physical host no limit in VMs.though.

    The cost is similar to other leading solutions.
    Yep cost per socket.
    It does get a bit expensive when you get to the Enterprise levels, probably cost beneficial to have meaty hosts to run as many VM's as you can.

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    AButters's Avatar
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    I would avoid the use of USB drives for the main backup. Veeam excels when it is installed on a dedicated server (or workstation) shoved full of hard disks, and then backups can be copied to either NAS or USB drive, preferably both, with the USB drive being taken off site.

    Here’s my set up. Was done to a tight budget with basic Veeam Licencing and a second hand Hp Z800 workstation. It may be refreshed next year when we do the VMWare servers, but for now it works a treat. Very fast and reliable. Getting 6 gig a minute from the VMWare boxen to the Veeam server, and 4-5 gig a minute when offloaded to the NAS box in a separate building. It’s basically limited by 1GBit networking. Will be upgraded to 10GIG next year.

    Best part is, unlike previous solutions we had with tapes etc, this is 100% automated, I could get run over by a bus and it will still keep on going, night after night, week after week.

    Backup.JPG

    IMHO = USB drives are the weak point in your plan, not necessarily because of the technology or speed, just because it requires human input and can get confusing. Confusion breeds mistakes, mistakes breed data loss. Data loss breeds unemployment. Best avoided!
    Last edited by AButters; 22nd July 2014 at 12:40 PM.

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    LeMarchand (22nd July 2014)

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AButters View Post
    Backup.JPG

    IMHO = USB drives are the weak point in your plan, not necessarily because of the technology or speed, just because it requires human input and can get confusing. Confusion breeds mistakes, mistakes breed data loss. Data loss breeds unemployment. Best avoided!
    Totally agree that USB drives aren't ideal. Unfortunately it's taken years of nagging to get the 2003(!) server replaced - there's no way the school can afford another server + NAS + off-site backup disks!

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    AButters (22nd July 2014)

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    In my experience, schools can always afford something, once they realise it is a priority. Averaged yearly, our backup solution costs the school 0.03% of the schools yearly turnover. I would suggest it's the most important 0.03% the school spends every year. How much do the school spend per year on all other ICT equipment, communications, software, training etc? How much does the school spend on staff salaries, staff that may cease to function if there's no network with no data. All that money that the school automatically spends every year with no question, is worthless if your backup system fails and suddenly you have no data, no network.

    Yes, staff would manage to start off with using backup lesson plans, resources already printed out, whiteboards and pens, books. But you'd find that very soon things would begin to implode. The problem with no backups is, not just "wait a week then we'll have a new server", it's wait a week, oh we've still lost all our data, wait a month, oh it's still gone, all the pupils work, teachers resources, etc. A Year later, it's all still gone. That's not even taking into account the bad press and ill feeling that will come from the pupils and parents should the worst happen. Could you stand to lose 10-20% of your pupils one one year in disgust? Now .... that would cost the school a pretty penny, those bums not on those seats any more.

    It's not worth the risk.

    I would suggest if possible that you stand your ground. Put a quote together for the following:

    Veeam Essentials for 1 server ~£500
    1 x Second hand HP Z800 with single CPU and 6GB RAM< £400 (position this server in another building to the server if possible)
    4 x 3.5" HDD's of a size of your choice ~£250
    1 x USB Drive for weekend offsite archiving. £100

    That will get you a solid, reliable, fast, and mostly unnatended backup system for ~£1250. Put it in writing, that the school needs it in order to comply with the LAW (assuming you use electronic registration) or at the very least, the Data Protection Act and that it's the best money your school will spend this year IMHO.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by AButters; 22nd July 2014 at 01:44 PM.

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    I'm not hopeful: it would be like Dilbert trying to get Pointy Haired Boss to spring for a backup solution. It's just so far out of his sphere of limited knowledge that it's not a concern (until it hits the fan). I may be able to repurpose the old server somewhere in there, but it's not got the capacity. Off to have a think...



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