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Backup Software / Hardware Recomendation

By smorris ·
I have been placed in charge of setting up several sites with a reliable backup scenario. I am curious what people with some experience in the field might suggest as the best combination for reliable backups.

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Backup Recommendations

by ND_IT In reply to Backup Software / Hardwar ...

I would recommend doing an incremental backup each night, and then doing a full backup at the end of the week, for instance, our work week ends on a Friday, I do a full backup each Friday night, also having tape media for each Friday of the month, thus keeping data for a month, then I would go farther and do a full backup at the end of each month, thus keeping data over a year's period. Sometimes files end up corrupt without anyone knowing about it until months down the road, just a thought.

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Don't do incremental backups!

by lynbor In reply to Backup Recommendations

Incremental backups are fast, but that's because you are only backing up what has changed since the last full backup. That means, to restore after a disaster you need to restore from the full backup first and then from each and every incremental backup since the full. If any of these tapes refuses to restore, you will lose data.

My thoughts are "Tapes are Cheap" so buy more tapes and do full backups every night. Take one tape out of service each week or month or quarter and take it offsite. I prefer a 10 tape rotation. That gives 2 weeks of full daily backups to restore from and then your offsite tapes are for restoring very old data should the need arrise.

Right now for the lower end server based backup solution we are recommending DAT drives and tapes. The drives are fairly reliable and the tapes are very inexpensive compared to other solutions. The drives are a little pricey though and they are SCSI, so you would need an SCSI interface in your server. We also like Veritas' Backup Exec for either Netware or NT. Arcserve is also a good backup program from my experiences.

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How much data?

by James Schroer In reply to Backup Software / Hardwar ...

I think a lot has to do on how much data you have to back up. Us here have about 50Gb to back up so we do a full backup everynight. Currently we have only a one tape drive and it's almost to it's limit. So we will be going to a "jukebox" style backup so that we can still back up everything everynight. That way there isn't any confustion on to what tape has what. Every tape has everything on it.

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It does depend...

by Packratt In reply to Backup Software / Hardwar ...

Well, where software is concerned it does depend on what platform(s) you are backing up. I have most of my experience in mixed environments where each system sometimes requires different solutions since no one package supports them all. Typically you will see Microsoft/Novell NOS mixes and there are two main packages available, Computer Associate's ARCServe and Veritas Backup Exec. ARCServe is the defacto standard in that you see it in a majority of environs, yet it's support is difficult and it's implementation is problematic. I have yet to use Backup Exec yet a majority of what I hear from others that do use it in similar environments is quite favorable, so much so we are about to try it out in our testbed as a possible replacement for ARCServe.

Hardware really depends on how much you are backing up and your budget. DLT Libraries are the defacto standard here in that they are relatively fast as far as tapes go, they have good storage space, and they are available in "tape libraries" when your full backups require more than one tape. One caveat is that if you use any compression on your data storage then expect the low end of the advertised scale of tape storage when making the choice.

As for methodology, (differential, incremental, full, rotational, etc...) Your choice there is likely supported no matter what package you use and is dependent on size of backups, time required to backup, tape storage methods, disaster recovery plans, budget, and some part personal preference... This is, as you might be able to tell already, a different topic alltogether...

good luck, and let me know if you have other questions.

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I need a lot more info!

by isys In reply to Backup Software / Hardwar ...

Are the sites separate or part of an enterprise? What are you going to back up? How much? Will the system shut down for the backup? What is your budget? What is in place already? Some generic info:

http://www.lanscape.com.au/Support/backup.htm

http://www.acn.purdue.edu/docs/sysadmin/backup/strategy.html

http://www.zdnet.com.au/newstech/security/story/0,2000024985,20262447,00.htm

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We have used Arcserve and Veritas...

by dlswingle In reply to Backup Software / Hardwar ...

and we also used HP software. Of the three, I liked Arcserve the best--until we lost a server and tried to restore from tape. Arcserve uses a proprietary tape format and you can only use Arcserve software to read and restore an Arcserve tape. Normally, that is a non-issue, but the one time we lost the hard drives it was a nightmare to restore. We even called Novell and created an incident (we had both Novell and NT platforms) and the Novell guru did not have any favorable comments about Arcserve. I agree with Packratt on the DLT tape libraries as a hardware solution. I love the combination of Veritas Backup Exec and HP DLT multi-tape libraries. I have been to Veritas workshops and I think their support is really good. Their licensing policies still confuse me. Also, 1 giga-bit fiber NIC's are worth their weight in gold. We get up to 500 MB per MINUTE throughput on SQL and Lotus Notes databases, 200-300 MB per minute on the rest of the file servers. GOOD LUCK and remember "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH BACKUP."

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O.B.D.R. - The Magic Formula

by ncodrut In reply to We have used Arcserve and ...

Recently we bought a HP Dat unit drive, who have a new tehcnology implemented. It is called OBDR (One Button Diaster Recovery). Check HP home page for details. The software shipped with the unit is Yosemite TapeWare, not a very good piece of app, but it knows OBDR implementation. With this, you can back-up entire system structure (partitions, filesystems, OS, apps ...) and restore it with one button click (nice, isn`t it ?).
In addition, we use ARCServe Backup for the database and users files.The backup method is up to you (regarding amount of space needed, backup time, etc.)
So, in case of system crash, we restore system files (OS, apps...) with OBDR technology. It takes about 2 hours (we have WinNT/Oracle Server, plus other tools&stuff). We have a specific tape for backing up this part of system.
Then we restore userfiles (the backup software is already restored :-) thanx to OBDR).
It shouldn`t take more than a half`o`day to restore the entire system. :-)
In addition we use ARCServe Replication for data availability on a secondary server in case that primary fails.

good luck on your backup strategy ... :-)

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O.B.D.R. - The Magic Formula

by ncodrut In reply to Backup Software / Hardwar ...

Recently we bought a HP Dat unit drive, who have a new tehcnology implemented. It is called OBDR (One Button Diaster Recovery). Check HP home page for details. The software shipped with the unit is Yosemite TapeWare, not a very good piece of app, but it knows OBDR implementation. With this, you can back-up entire system structure (partitions, filesystems, OS, apps ...) and restore it with one button click (nice, isn`t it ?).
In addition, we use ARCServe Backup for the database and users files.The backup method is up to you (regarding amount of space needed, backup time, etc.)
So, in case of system crash, we restore system files (OS, apps...) with OBDR technology. It takes about 2 hours (we have WinNT/Oracle Server, plus other tools&stuff). We have a specific tape for backing up this part of system.
Then we restore userfiles (the backup software is already restored :-) thanx to OBDR).
It shouldn`t take more than a half`o`day to restore the entire system. :-)
In addition we use ARCServe Replication for data availability on a secondary server in case that primary fails.

good luck on your backup strategy ... :-)

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Veritas in General

by trb In reply to O.B.D.R. - The Magic Form ...

I have used both Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec with a Qualstar TLS-4210 AIT Robot. For the most part Backup Exec. works every time and is easy to navigate in an emergency. NetBackup on the other hand can be a major hassle to operate. It's riddenwith ridiculous DOS commands, in order to reuse tapes and to update databases on occasion. I don't find it reliable, and find myself always calling for support. I don't claim to be the expert with the software, but it is not user friendly. Good Luck

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