Backup Solutions

By Fuznutz04 ·
I just landed a job as a Network admin for a medium size company. Currently, their backup plan is backing up critical files to a external hard drive via a robocopy batch file. I am looking to get a proper backup plan in place. I will be using Backup Exec 12 as the software. We have 6 servers to backup; 2 physical and 4 virtual. One physical server is hosting the 4 virtual servers. One of the virtual servers is Exchange. My backup plan needs to incorporate some offsite storage, so i am leaning towards a tape backup. Here is what I thinking:

1. Use one server that is dedicated as the backup server, and install agents on all the other servers.
2. Backup all servers to the external hard drives on the "backup server."
3. Once the backup to disk is complete, then backup the data that is on the backup server, to a large tape. (LTO-3 or LTO-4?) I currently have about 460 GB to backup.

What are your thoughts on this plan? What would you do different? Do you see any flaws in my plan? Is there a less expensive option to an LTO drive?

Thank you!!

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Well I personally use a 5 Drive Rotation with 2 Off Site at all times

by OH Smeg In reply to Good idea...

But you can use any Combination from 3 up to your upper limit.

Just with these external Drives you need to make sure that you use the Safely Remove Option ALWAYS and I do a Drive Makers Diagnostic on them at every second use. Also you need to make sure that something is actually being written to the Drive when you do the Backup. I had one place that had their Security Guard run their Backups and he did exactly what he had been told pushed the required buttons and then walked away. For 6 Months they carefully Rotated Tapes only to find that the Tape Drive had dies and had not written anything at all to the Tapes that they had been moving around.

You should also run regular Recoveries to different Hardware to make certain that everything is working correctly.

So here I would be running at least 15 Drives as Daily Incremental's 5 as Weekly Full and while a bit redundant 3 as Monthly Fulls. as well as creating an Archive of Older Data to be stored Off Site if there is any.

The trick with moving HDD's Off Site is in having the correct Packaging to pack them into so that whoever gets lumbered with the job can not hurt the drives or enclosures when they Mistreat them when taking them Off Site or returning them to the Site. I've seen Management actually throw these things around and then wonder why they do not work. You need to make the packaging big enough to discourage the idea that these can be thrown around without harm.

But you could move a Weekly drive to the Monthly Area and then rotate the Monthly back into the Weekly Cycle as required.


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That's a good option

by TonytheTiger In reply to Instead of buying Off the ...

the reason we didn't was because our service level agreement is to complete restores within an hour, and if the backup media is off-site, you'd have to either drive fast to pick it up, or have a way to read the media FROM the off-site location. We chose the latter. The USB drive can be hooked up to any workstation at the remote location and accessed by the administrative (E$) share by the backup program. With tape or an enclosure, you'd have to have a tape drive or a duplicate enclosure at the off-site location.

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