I am looking to change the backup strategy at our school and it would be great to get some much valued advice.
At the moment we are using Backup Exec version 9.1, which is installed on one server. There are 5 300GB USB 2.0 external HDD (one for each day of week). I have scheduled a full backup for each day and Backup Exec is set up to "Overwrite media" and "verify data after backup is turned off".
I am backing up user data, SIMS data and system state on a daily basis and the current total of this data is creating a backup job of just under 200GB. This data is being backed up from the main server that Backup Exec is installed on and another server. There is only one tape drive (Sony AIT drive) that requires x2 tapes to do a full back up so I have only been using the tape drive to backup utilities, etc on Saturdays.
The main problem is that each backup job is taking over 20 hours to complete. So the backup job is carrying on well into a school day.
I would like to create a whole new backup strategy and if required purchase any equipment necessary to ensure that the school data is safe and also to give me pease of mind :-) I have looked at the Equinox backup solution, which combines local backup with a remote offsite combination. This seems ok, but would work out really expensive.
The server set up in the school is :
x1 2003 DC (Backup Exec and Sony Tape Drive) all the external drives connect to this server. User data, system state
x1 2003 member server (no tape drive) user data and SIMS
x1 2003 member server (used for online exams and SUS server)
x2 ISA servers
The school has x2 Buffalo Terastations, but these are really old devices that do not integrate with AD.
I would think you should back up your MIS system daily. As this is a critical system and has a lot of changes happed every day. Ideally you would backup three time a day. Once after the morning reg, once after the afternoon reg and at night after some teacher has made lots of changes at the end of the day.
We do weekly full backups to hard disk (and then from there to tape for off-site storage), and daily differential backups.
The full weekly takes about 12 hours to hard disk (250GB from 7 servers) - the transfer to tape (Ultrium) takes about 3 hours). The daily differential takes about 3 hours (Usually around 50GBs - thats with a full Exchange mailboz backup as it doesn't seem to like differentials).
We use differential as oppose to incremental so that of we need to restore we only have to restore the full backup plus the latest differential as oppose to having to do a number of incremental restores.
Back up should be at least once a day for each server whether its used much or not. There will be a time when you have to restore one of them and you'll be kicking yourself when you can't restore all the files because you hadn't backed them up that day (not to mention making yourself very unpopular with the staff and students!)