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  1. #1

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    Backup software

    We are in the process of reviewing our backup strategy, and I wondered what software/hardware solutions other schools/Colleges are using.

    Hardware

    We recently switched from tape to using USB HDDs. This solved the capacity issue, but backups aren't as faster as we'd hoped.

    Software

    Veritas V9 (had for 3-4 years and some remote agents). But we don't have enough remote backup agents for the number of new servers (mainly Hyper-V), so we use Windows Backup for rest (in relation to Hyper-V running on the VMs themselves rather than the top level "Host").

    Options

    We are reasonably happy with the hardware, but I'm not satisfied with using a combination of an old version of Veritas and Windows Backup.

    We are just moving to Exchange 2007 and Windows 2008 backup seems very very limited to me (particularily in relation to restoring data).

    Veritas software and agents seem very expensive (e.g. £300 per agent) and don't seem to over educational pricing.

    Microsoft have a new product (I forget what it is called), but we did a quick calculation and that seemed to work out at £5,000 (again very expensive).

    Our network

    We have 4 Geographical sites (about 120 PCs at each). One site has around 12 Windows servers (inc Exchange and SQL) and there are two servers at each of the other 3 sites. We have about 1,000GB of data in total to backup. The sites are connected at 2Mbit, so network backups between them aren't feasible. However, we are in the process of having these upgraded to 100Mbit.

    Advice sought

    What software do people use and how much do they pay for it? What backup media do people use? What types of backups do you do (e.g. full/differential & GFS)?

    Advice appreciated.

    Many Thanks,

    Bruce.

    Leeds, UK.
    Last edited by Bruce123; 19th September 2009 at 08:31 PM.

  2. #2

    plexer's Avatar
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    I've just invested in R1Soft CDP Server. $180 per client.

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    This may sound like a stupid question but do you really need all those servers?

    What type of backups are you taking every time? Full?

    What are you backing up?

    Are you excluding anything from your backups?

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    that actually is not a stupid question, infact i wonder myself why you require so many servers? are the sites all linked? or are you a company whom covers mutiple companys?

    <edit> did not read network paragraph right </edit> i would look at how many servers you have in the core though.. there is still far to many in my eyes. what are they all doing?

    anyway, as for a backup solution you might want to look at investing in some SANs or something with faster disk access rather then usb drives this will speed things up.

    If you using virtual machines then i would also look into Vmotion or something similar to back up the VM's and have some kind of redundancy in place.

    Backup wise, its not something i am very clued on myself cost wise but the new MS software is very good! and would probably work out alot cheaper for you if you looked at how many servers you actually need and try and minimalise this.

    alot of people seem to be expanding how many servers they have just because they are virtual machines. just because they are not physical this dont mean you can have more than what you actually require in theory.

    first things first i would have a look at your current setup, you might find you will be able to get rid of alot of servers that hold the data which means you would need less agent/licences for backup solutions

    James.
    Last edited by EduTech; 20th September 2009 at 02:00 AM.

  5. #5
    p858snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    i doubt you should need that many servers on every site,
    Not every site, only one of them has the 12, the other three have 2 each.

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    Two solutions I'm considering are Zamanda (enterprise version of the open source Amanda backup software) and Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM).

    The DPM server license was a negligible cost as part of our MS schools agreement (£20-30/yr I believe), but like you I was slightly put off by the per-server licensing costs. That was until I was investigating licensing for SCOM/SCDPM/SCVMM/SCCM/SCWhateverelsetheythinkof.
    I happened to stumble upon http://www.microsoft.com/systemcente...nt-suites.aspx - a license pack that gives you a enterprise server management licenses for all of the above products and a server license to run SCVMM. It wasn't until I read further that I realised that it was aimed at those running physical servers with lots of VMs. Like the windows server licensing it comes in two main flavours - enterprise or datacenter, and like the server licensing the same VM rules apply.

    If you buy the enterprise license pack you can use the licenses for upto four OSE (operating system instances) on the physical server, or if you buy the datacenter pack (licensed per CPU) you can use the licenses for unlimited OSEs. Now the prices on that page are pretty high, but when I asked a few resellers to quote as part of my schools agreement I found that the pricing for a datacenter license was less than I was paying for server 2008 licenses in the schools agreement.

    The price for DPM certainly isn't £5,000 (with a schools agreement anyway!), and is actually several orders of magnitude lower making it a very attractive solution

    I'd definitely check out the price you can get the System Center server management suite datacenter licenses for, as the price we were being quoted by people it really is an absolute steal.

    I've rambled a little there but I blame it being late at night - if I haven't made myself clear let me know and I'll see if a good nights sleep will help me explain things a little better

  7. Thanks to Soulfish from:

    sahmeepee (29th September 2009)



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