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In need of assistance with backup solution

Hi all!
I need a bit of help creating a solution to a back up issue for a medium to large company. Up until recent, we used LTO3/4 tape drives combined with Backup Exec 2010, did a full backup every night and removed the tapes from site in a rota; and it worked fine but lacked in speed. So, we upgraded to 2TB SATA drives and have been trialing different consoles to see which is the most efficient. Currently, we are trialing some software called iBac5 by Idealstor which my manager has taken a liking to so that is what we would like to use. (We have trialled Paragon Backup & Bckup Exec2012 so far and found nether did what we needed).

We have found that the iBack5 software works great. It uses a function called "version" (Basicaly a differential) backup which we decided was the most efficient backup type we could use in he following set up:

Fri - Sun: Full Backup over 2 disks at around 2.2TB
Mon - Thur: Differential every night, with the disks left in the drive bays.

Whilst this gave us the fastest backup times and caused the least network interference, it meant that if we ever had to go into disaster recovery there would only be two tapes for the whole week. Not good enough in a midweek scenario.

So ideally, i need a way of implementing a fast back up that is similar to/or is a differential that allows hot swappable disk drives for preventative maintenance.

Please keep in mind that i've been in this job for half a year, it is my first job in IT and i still have a tonne to learn so bear with me if i seem to be missing something obvious.

Let me know what you think!
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Sorry, but I'm confused. You said you had switched to 2 TB HDDs, but then you mention " there would only be two tapes for the whole week". Are you still using tapes in combination with HDDs? I thought you weren't using tapes any longer.

    I understand the "Mon-Thur differential backups every night with the disks left in the drive bays", but I don't understand the "Fri-Sun: Full backup over 2 disks at around 2.2 TB". Are you doing a full backup each night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights? Are they over-writing each other, are they co-existing with each other on the same drives, or are you swapping out disks every night, so there is a full backup, each on it's own disk (Friday night full backup on one disk, Saturday night full backup on it's own disk, etc.)?
  2. mbreslin1954 said:
    Sorry, but I'm confused. You said you had switched to 2 TB HDDs, but then you mention " there would only be two tapes for the whole week". Are you still using tapes in combination with HDDs? I thought you weren't using tapes any longer.

    I understand the "Mon-Thur differential backups every night with the disks left in the drive bays", but I don't understand the "Fri-Sun: Full backup over 2 disks at around 2.2 TB". Are you doing a full backup each night, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights? Are they over-writing each other, are they co-existing with each other on the same drives, or are you swapping out disks every night, so there is a full backup, each on it's own disk (Friday night full backup on one disk, Saturday night full backup on it's own disk, etc.)?



    Sorry as i said i may have missed someting. I meant two drives (not tapes) in place for the whole week, on Friday there is a full back up of the 2TB's split over two disks to cut down the time it took to complete and we let it run over the course of the weekend so everything is ready for the week. Then we planned to do a differential Mon-Thurs on the same to disks because again that shortens the process and also takes up less disk space. However, because we want to use a differential backup if there was a disaster on site, we would lose a critical amount data because there would be no up to date backup's off site to restore from. However unlikely it is, unfortunatley it is a risk we aren't allowed to take.

    So what im saying is, we're looking for the most efficient way of backing up, without risking a loss of company data.
    Hope this helps!
  3. OK, as I understand it, you're concerned with data loss in the event of a catastrophe on your site, where the backups are stored: fire, flood, whatever.

    - Do you currently have any offsite backup storage at all, or is whatever backup you have only on-site?
    - How much risk of data loss is acceptable? Half a day? One day? A week?
  4. Thats right yeah, currently as of this week we are doing a full back up over night split between the 2 drives every night and then taking them off site the next day until we can find a better solution.

    realistically, we can afford to lose maybe a full day but even then that poses a great risk as we often store confidential customer and buisiness critical data.
  5. Best answer
    Not sure what you mean by "split between two drives", and how that helps with speed. It seems to me that the only way you're going to avoid having to physically carry drives off-site each day is to do backups over the Internet to an alternative site. Depending on how much data you have to backup, that may take a lot of bandwidth between the two sites.

    The obvious thing to do is to make two full backups over a weekend, keep one on-site and carry the 2nd one to the alternative site. Then, each day during the week, you do two incremental backups each night: One to on-site full backup, and a duplicate incremental to the off-site backup, over the Internet. You'd have to do the math and see if you have enough bandwidth to do an incremental backup overnight.

    You could also rent space in the cloud at, for instance, Amazon, if you don't have an alternate facility to make and store on-line remote backups. Do the off-site full backup on-line over the weekend, again, if your bandwidth can meet your needs.

    http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

    If Amazon goes down for a few days, you don't really care, 'cause they're a backup backup site. The odds of you losing access to your remote site at the same time you suffer a catastrophic loss at your primary site are pretty remote.
  6. We have 2TB of data to back up over one night, we have plenty space to put the 2TB on 1 disk but that was taking between 13/15 hours to complete. Splitting the data over two disks so we have 1TB on each disk seems to cut the time it takes to finish the back ups.

    Thank you for your advice though, i am taking into consideration sending data offsite via internet. Since we already have branch servers replicating their data to our head office servers i dont think bandwidth would be a huge concern, though that is just my opinion.

    We had already considered storing data on the cloud, however it would have cost more than the company was willing to spend.
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