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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

By ebott ·
I'm working with a TechRepublic member who recently upgraded to a Windows 2000 Server. He's managed to convince his users to store their data on the server where it can be backed up, but getting all those data files into safe storage has turned intoa struggle. His old DDS-2 backup drive doesn't have the capacity or the speed to do regular backups. What hardware would you recommend? Should he consider migrating older files to Removable Storage? I'll award 1000 TechPoints (and maybe even a cool TechRepublic T-shirt) if I use your advice in my next column. But don't delay--this challenge closes at the end of the day on Thursday, July 27.

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by gaston In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

more info would have been nice.

In win2000 you now have Dynanmic disks, creating a mirror would be a safer method than the existing procedures, creating a raid 5 (Stripe set with parity) would increase performance and enable fault tolerance also.One advice from 18 years of experience, everytime you try to save a customer a dollar it will cost you 2. If the hardware is not satisfactory, change it, don't patch it, have you considered the cost of not having the server available or the file fora period of time? a newer server is a cheap solution.

Now why is the disk slow? use Performance monitor with at least the following objects. ram, disk, network and processor, make sure there is enought physical ram and cache, so the disk is not being used for pagefile activity. Found the source, replace the weak link, re-monitor.

Definately clean up aged files to other media, removable or even CDR or CDRW can be acceptable and has the advantage of delivering the data on any PC and its life cycle is long.

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by ustutz In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

First answer this question (for yourself): Where are we now, and where are we going.

Option 1. If we are not expecting any "exponential" growth, and we are still in the "same order of magnitude" as we were before upgrading to W2K: Upgrade yourtape drive to DDS4. Reasoning: Familiar technology and backwards compatability with current tapes (possibly used on other servers as well?)

Option 2. If we are seriously exceeding our ability to back up to tape: Invest in new technology. DLTand 8 mm AME tape drive technology have grown to capacities ranging from 40 to 180 GB per tape, depending on make/model and compression. Which technology to switch to then becaomes a question of who can deliver the capacity within allocated funds.
Option 2a. New technology - tape libraries. Instead of just one (monster) tape drive, you can go to a network-attached tape library system (DLT, DDS, or AME tape technology). Thus you are no longer manually swapping tapes. This gives additional flexibility in sche

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by curlergirl In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

1. You don't say anything about capacity, but given that it seems this is his co.'s first foray into real networking, I'm assuming they're pretty small. Onstream has 30-50GB tape drives that are reasonably priced and I've found them to be generally reliable and very fast.
2. He needs to invest in GOOD backup software, not fool with the totally inadequate (sorry Mr. Bill!) NTBackup. CA's ArcserveIT and Seagate Backup Exec are both good products. They offer very important features like scheduled backups and tape rotation schemes that help small offices manage their tape libraries.
3. If RAID 5 (hardware) is an option, it would be a very good investment for maximum fault tolerance. Adaptec's RAID controllers are good and now that they've bought out DPT I don't know of any better ones.
4. I advise him not to go with archiving files off to CD's or other removable storage unless he's ready to invest in some type of document / file management software that will help him manage the offline files. Manual

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by ian.g In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

I`ll go along with what most poeple have said, if it is economic upgrade your server to RAID5. Next buy a good backup drive, I can`t recommend enough the HP Surestore 80E we bought at christmas, V.fast (200mb/min)but expensive, remember your too poor to buy cheap. partner that with some good backup software like CA`s Arcserve, and you should be sorted.

As for the archiving older files to tape I`m still debating that one for our site and haven`t come to a serious answer yet! the Users just won`t let me - we might still need that attitude prevails.

Good Luck

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by Z In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

Standard fault tolerant measures should be built into the server, ie: RAID5, mirrored or duplexed drives, and redundent power. The question posed is one of backup. For large volumes, DLT is certainly an option and depending on the budget, a DLT changer. This should be paired with a good backup software. (Seagate/Veritas BackupExec wopuld be my choice).
As far as removable storage, again this becomes a question of volume and what your budget can bear. A tape or optical library paired with a hierachical storage program could be justified if the volume was large and needed to be retained for quick retrieval. A variation of this would be to use one of the newer DVD-RAM drives (Currently can be picked up for under $500) and move older or static (re:clip art, help files, etc.) files to this. A second drive could be used to make copies of the online DVD for permanant backup.
Also, since this is Windows 2000, use the disk cleanup feature to spot little used files that may be deleted, compressed or moved to remo

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--7/20/2000

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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