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Update on Backup to disk.

By TonytheTiger ·
Well, we've been running it since October, with a few tweaks since, and I think it's shown its success.

Here's our setup

Server 1: Main File Server, 900GB, 360 in use.
Server 2: Backup File Server (identical, different building, connected by fiber)
Server 3: Print Server, Application server (application doesn't need backed up, since there is no saved data associated with this application, and if server crashes it is simply copied from DVD.)

Five 500 GB USB hard drives for full backups (stored at two different offsite locations which are T-1 accessible to main location)

Two 400 GB USB hard drives for incremental backups (one stored in different building at main complex when not in use)

We use Backup Exec 10d

The procedure:

The USB drives, and the Backup Exec program are on Server 1.

Server 2 is backed up FULL the first Friday of every month (the C: drives of the other two servers are also backed up at this time), and incremtally on all other weeknights. Then Server 1 is copied to server 2 using Robocopy. Consecutive months are not on the same disk (for example: October and March, November and April, etc.). We are getting about 2.5:1 compression, so thess drives should be large enough to hold two full backups until we get to 600 GB or so. The 400 GB drives hold about 5 months worth of incrementals.

Restoring: With the mirrored server, we can just drag and drop if the file was yesterday's. This is the neat part. It used to be if we had to restore something that was on a tape in offsite storage, we'd have the tape set sent in, (or drive out to get it) and it would often take several hours to get the file restored. Now all we have to do is call the remote site and have them simply plug the drive into their PC, and we can restore over the T-1. This takes a fraction of the time.

The only thing I noticed is that when they hook up a drive, they have to reboot their machine to get the D$ share to work AND I have to stop and start Backup Exec Services.

Performance: When we were backing up the same servers to tape, it took about 56 hours to backup 320 gig. It now takes less than 25 hours to backup 360 gig. That's over twice as fast. Restoring is the only performance the user cares about though, and we can restore in minutes versus the hours it used to take.

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