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Best Infrastructure Plan...?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by nXPLOSi, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    Right then, i've got a headache, and im looking for some advice / suggestions to help me out with this.

    Currently i've got 3 Servers -

    Server 1 - PDC, Exchange, Home Directories (Data)
    Server 2 - Telephone Server, Veritas
    Server 3 - SQL

    The critical data from these servers are then backed up onto tape everynight at 12pm, and stored on site; while a portable harddrive is taken offsite with the same backup.

    The tapes are becoming pretty full, and we're struggling with space / backups abit too much for my liking. Im also not the biggest fan of tapes, not sure if im alone on that?

    The idea is the following... purchase this --> http://www.dabs.com/ProductView.aspx?Quicklinx=594K

    A 1.5 Tb NAS, configure it to RAID 5, and use it for backup purposes. This would backup everynight at around 11-12pm with the days activity. On the side I have a 1Tb workstation that would carry out backups throughout the day at regular intervals inbetween the larger backups, incase of smaller problems with single files / folders etc..

    Long story short, when I joined the company, it was a smallish outfit (25 users, its now at around 70), without much decent infrastructure, just bits thrown together. Slowly im trying to get it up to standard, but this being my first post, I cant really compare our infrastructure to other companys. Thats where you guys come in, hopefully.

    Any sugguestions / help / comments would be greatly appreciated.

    :)
     
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  2. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Hmm personally as the company is growing I think you need to invest in some more kit. apart from backups what happens if your DC goes down, 70 people are pretty much idle from that moment onwards, business starts loosing money. Companies can very quickly run into serious trouble if that occurs, I would start asking for at least one additional server as another DC, dns and dhcp duties included.

    SQL stuff i dont know much about but someone here will be able to help.

    What size are your tapes? whilst not deemed Hi-tech tapes are a very good solution to backup problems, its just that your companies tape system is no longer fit for purpose. You could go for a system that uses disk 2 disk 2 tape for backups, so you have all backups on a disk for easy retrieval and also tapes kept off site as well.

    As your company is growing at a good rate by the sound of it buying a fairly consumer level nas device isnt really going to cut the mustard I dont think. But then again as with all things getting management to cough up is entirely another matter. It all depends on how much they value the company.

    Also check out Volume Shadow Copy for retrieval of files during the day!
     
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  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    For a client in a similar situation in the past we did it this way :

    Added HP NAS to network which had a SCSI interface onto which we plugged in tape backup.

    We then ran backup onto the NAS and archived to tape for off-site storage.

    In addition we ran online backup with http://www.backupdirect.net/ opting for a plan that allowed for daily backups for a month plus a full year on monthly backup.

    Just something you might want to look at :biggrin
     
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  4. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the input guys, very helpful, even more to think about :biggrin

    Is it a possibility that Server 2 could be used as a backup domain controller? I mean all thats on the thing is our phone config and veritas, which to me seems like very little for a server in this environment?

    Im struggling a little with this backup idea to be honest, at the moment we backup most of the stuff to a 70Gb tape every night, and have a rotation of around 20 tapes. Its a full backup everynight onto a seperate tape. Im wondering how other companies handle the backup issue? I mean we're only small and 70Gb is getting tight what with Exchange, SQL, Home Directories and a couple of important people's My Docs.

    I need a coffee :)
     
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  5. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    If I may give a *biased* plug - give the BackupDirect people a ring. They are very knowledgeable and can give a lot of help and advice as well as some real horror stories about the failure of tape backups just when they were needed. They also give options to undertake continuous backup (for in production environments), backup AD, system state etc. I'm not saying it should be the only choice by any means but it has proved very successful for some clients. If the data amount for the initial backup is too large to deal with online then they offer basically a dump to a NAS which is then sent to them. The online backup then picks up from the data dump - very neat. There's also a risk-free trial available.
     
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  6. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

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    Yep srver 2 would be used as a backup DC but best practisce always have a stricty dedicated back up server...

    About the 70gb tape and the running out of storage space i dont think that anything can be done but purhase more storage and what back up plan are you currently running so that you dont get to always do duplicate copies....
     
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  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I actually believe that he was talking about to load balance AD so if the Server 1 goes down server 2 can seize the FMSO roles (Schema Master, Domain Naming Master, Infrastructure Master, RID Master and PDC Emulator & of course the GC) to ensure that the domain/network still runs properly.

    -Ken
     
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  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    As for backups we have a NAS that we will be using shortly for a couple of our servers.

    But for the others we use the Dell Powervault 114T that uses 200/400gb tapes, we also use compression. Per tape we backup 2-3 server (we use both drive bays) and use the Son, Dad, Grandad rotation (full backup Monday to Friday, have a weekly full backup on Friday, have a monthly full backup at the end of each month and a yearly one at the end of each financial year).

    -Ken
     
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  9. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    yes thats what I ment!
     
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  10. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    I was indeed. I have alot flying around my head at the moment, trying to organise it all now on paper to propose to the big man.

    At the moment the current backup plan is the following...

    Increase the size of the backup tapes and then backup to them on a monthly cycle of tapes. On the last working day of each month, I will use a seperate tape to backup onto and store.

    On the side I'll have SQL, SQL Logs and the Data drives also backing up throughout the day at regular intervals onto a powerful backup workstation with 1Tb disk space, next to me, which then syncs to a portable harddrive that I will take offsite each day. I will also setup a backup of Exchange to this machine on a weekly basis, which will also be on the offsite harddrive.

    Does that sound like a half decent plan or are there weaknesses/easier ways of doing this im missing?

    A question I do have, and im unsure if the answer is an easy one or not is... whats the different between backing up "Exchange Mailbox's" or the "Exchange Mailstore". From what I understand backing up the mailstore is like a full backup, and then therefore removes the logs. Is it useful to backup the mailboxes? What are the benefits, if any, of this?


    Thanks for the continued help here guys.
     
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  11. flounder10

    flounder10 Nibble Poster

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    I may be wrong, but if you backup the mailstore it backs up everything as one entity. However, if you backup the mailboxes, when you look at the tape, you can see the individual mailboxes for each of the users and can restore them individually.

    We backup our exchange server every night and it helps if "Users A" deicdes to delete all their mail, i can just restore user A's mailbox without affecting anyone elses mailbox on the exchange server.
     
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  12. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

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    Fellow you are just as right as the Eiffel tower is in paris...:D
     
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  13. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

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    By back up plan i also mean backup strategy which are normal, incremental, differential, copy or daily backups or even a combination; normal and diferential, normal and incremental. I was hoping you state any of these, which actually best describes your backup plan not waht you have stated above
     
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