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recommend backup for 50-100 GB of storage

By jsfald ·
I have had bad luck with tape drives so I am looking for other hardware to use for backing up 50-100 GB of storage daily.

What have you used successfully and consistently (more than three months) or what do you recommend I use that is more reliable than a tape drive?

If you want more history and details you can keep reading. We are on our second Dell backup tape drive. It works pretty good for 3-4 months than it starts to have drive errors. No system changes happen during this time so I think it is just cheap and unreliable hardware. We are using Veritas 8.6 for the backup software.

One employee will take the latest tape back up home with them for the usually reasons. So hopefully the new solution will also have a way to keep a back up off site.

I have thought about an Iomega solution and an external hard drive solution, but I don't know if multiple external hard drives are pratical.

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HP SDLT Storage System 180-320GB

by sysnetmgr In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...

We have been using this system for almost a year. The drives are reliable and backups are fast. We backup 106 - 150 GB on 2 drives each night and the backups only take 4 hours with a verify. We also use Veritas 9.0 backup exec. HP are good - a hardware failure is normally diagnosed or a new drive sent within 24 hours.

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Backup Strategy

by BassemAK In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...

Given the small budget, here's what I recommend:

- Make sure you test backups by restoring some files to another location at least once a week. This way you'll avoid bad surprises should a disaster occur.

- If the drive capacity is adequate, get DELL to replace the faulty drive. If you've given up on Dell and definitely want to change to another drive/brand, there are many brands to choose from: STK, ADIC, HP, IBM or Quantum. I recommend checking the price per GB of consumables (tapes) as this will be the bulk of your cost in the long run.

- Make sure you frequently use the cleaning cartridge to keep the drive in good condition

- If you're using Win 2003, explore the possibility of enabling the Snapshot feature (Shadow Copy) and having at least daily snapshots for a week and weekly snapshots for a month. This will make restoring files accidentally changed or delete a snap. If you're using a different OS that doesnt support Snapshots, look into investing in a 3rd party app that helps you do that. This would normally eat up 10-15% of your disk space.

- Your drive might be overworked. Try having a full backup every week and an incremental during workdays. the amount of files you need to backup will hopefully shrink drastically.

- I would recommend an autoloader if budget permits. If you can't get an approval for one try convincing the management by showing them the benefits of one. Point out the cost of NOT having a working backup. All of a sudden an autoloader will become very reasonable ;-) You might find good deals from reputable resellers on ebay for a fraction of the cost of new.

Hope this helped.

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How about these

by salian In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...

Have you tried using one of the pocket drives. We are using 2 drives with 80 GB capacity and have been doing so for last 2 years. Not had any problems with the drive as such. using a USB 2 cable the rate of transfers should be pretty good too. Cost about a $ per MB.

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Multiple IDE Hard Drives

by mhambrecht In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...

I have a professor for my networking classes, he works for clear channel communications and all of his backups are to IDE hard drives that he swaps out of a computer that hehas setup strictly as a backup device. He has several of these PCs setup throughout his area of responsibility and he has had a good deal of success over the last 10 years. He has I believe 15 Hard drives per Backup PC and he uses Windows backup to schedule his backups.

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don't have a recommendation, however...

by drummerb0y In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...

our project has had, and dealt with, almost the same problem you're having. We use Dell Vaults (tape library, don't remember the model #) connected to a Windows 2000 Adv. Server, (now) running Veritas 9.0. We previously used 8.6 (of course!). And we encountered the same errors you've faced. Tape errors, the device suddenly not a part of the system (in Device Manager), etc. It might sound simple (though it wasn't; we had problems), but we got updated drivers for the tape device, and upgraded to Veritas 9.0 when it came out.

Well as for recommendations, I'm not sure how large your actual storage solution is (you say you back up 50-100 GB/day, are those incremental/differential backups, or a full every night?). But unfortunately for that amount of data, tapes ARE the most cost effective and reliable for data integrity. Yes, hard-drive based archival setups are faster to backup/restore, but you run the same risks of data loss that you do with your normal storage. Hope this helps!

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HDD based solution is working for me.

by randy In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...

I work for a local school district. We have the High School where the NOC is located and seven remote buildings linked via fiber. I have 2 backup servers, each with 1.2TB capacity. (5x300MB SATA drives in RAID 5). I back up all serves locally via an HP SCSI tape drive and Backup exec.I back up all important data daily to the BU server at the HS using NTBackup and batch files. I then copy the entire contents of the BU server at the HS to the BU server at the Business Office. All this happens overnight and has no impact on my day-to-day operations. When I needed to add space, I just took the BU server at the HS down, added drives and let the scheduled tasks fill it up overnight. The next day, I did the same to the BU server at the business office. This way I never had less than 2 copies of all my data. (Tape + 1 BU server) The servers are homebuilt white boxes and the total price was less than $1500 each.

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D2D2T is the way to go

by Daniel.Muzrall In reply to HDD based solution is wor ...

Disk-to-disk-to-tape is the way to go. Like Randy said, you never have less than 2 copies of the data. I would also recommend that you look at Robocopy, available with the Windows Admin Pak...this command-line util allows for easy replication of entire directory structures, is fairly quick, and can generate a summary log of the backup. If you're looking to save costs, going with SATA RAID-5 is an excellent option, though the SATA drives are no where near as fast as the nice 15000 RPM SCSI drives. I'd also recommend getting the largest capacity tape drive you autoloader would be great if you can afford one.

Good luck!

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Exterenal Hard Drives

by scress In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...

We have had several customers with tape drives that failed at critical times. Our solution for the past 2 years has been to replace them with an external hard drive, such as a Maxtor One Touch. As of lately we purchase a case and insert the size of drive needed for the customer.
We have used several types of backup software includung Veritas. Our customers are happy with the drive there easy to store and swap out and less expensive to use (no additional tape to buy) With a hard drive we are able to mirror image the complete system (not just the data) once a month, with incremental data backup dailey. We have found in the past with doing this if a machine (case in point- a server and several machines) is damaged by lighting we can completely restore a new machine with minimal down time usally 1 - 2 hours instead of days.

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Electronic Vaulting?

by bdv8805 In reply to recommend backup for 50-1 ...
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Electronic Vaulting And D2D Backup

by john.a In reply to Electronic Vaulting?

Been there - done that. We backup 170GB raw. After tape disasters, we now use a combination of electronic vaulting and D2D backup. We use electronic vaulting for our mission critical data, 37GB compressed. The remaining data is backed up with Computer Associates ARCServe R11 using D2D backups. The primary backup disks are on the server itself, followed by a copy of the D2D backup to removable 200GB USB drives. One removable for daily, one for week 1, and one for week 2. Our Electronic Vaulting provider is They use a technology that backs up changed blocks, not changed files. Thus our 37GB of compressed data has not exceeded 40GB of storage. Yet we have 12 revisions online. The cost is $400/month. Hope that helps you. If you buy ARCserve R11, get the maintenance contract for atleast the first year. Veritas 10.0 is comparable to ARCserve R11.

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