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Old 05-20-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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Default Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

Hello everyone, this is my first post on this site. Anyways, I have a server using clarkconnect community 5.0, serving as a gateway/firewall/fileserver. Currently i am backing up to a hot swap hdd ever day. We back up at the end of the day and put the drives in a fireproof safe. We have five separate hdds that we overwrite systematically to keep 5 days worth of back up history. Anyways, it apparently has become too big a deal to have to remove the old drives, so we are thinking of switching over to a more efficient way. Personally its easiest in my opinion to just use a terastation, but that isnt quite as fireproof as id like. I am open to hear some peoples ideas for solutions under these guidelines:

Must be fireproof

As little maintenance as possible, it needs to back up on its own without a hot swap

Remote storage is a possiblity

Let me know what you guys suggest!
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Old 05-21-2010, 05:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

Hey, was thinking a wireless set up that you could run overnight maybe? Like putting the terastation, into the safe (fireproof), and have the wireless backing it up to a different drive each night. I dont know of any terastations that have onboard wireless off the top of my head though.. (allthough I havent had a look, will have a quick browse)

How much data are you talking about backing up on average, a few hundred meg, or several gig / tb? Just wondering.

Also you say you put the current terastation in a fireproof safe. Is safety an issue for this data, or are you just putting it in a safe to keep it fireproof?
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

Thanks for the reply. To answer your first question, we back up around 400 GB of information. It is actually a combination of fireproofing and security. I do think a wireless back up drive would be a great idea, ill have to look into my options on that route. I am probably going to work towards no longer backing up to five separate drives.. its rather overkill imho for our company. My boss is open to the idea of setting up a back up drive at her house that the information can back up to, that way she can access it easily from home.
I ill check into the wireless idea. If you have any other ideas, I appreciate all of them.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

Thats a lot of information. You don't want to trust it to something that could go down and cause you to loose it.
I don't know what kind of data you have. If its important I would invest in tape or a disk based backup that can be encrypted. Only back it up over a secure network, wireless would be pretty slow backing up 400 gb.

What I would do, backup everything to a network storage and back that up to tape. You will always have a fresh copy on site and the tape can be take off site for disaster recovery.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

off site backups are a possibility, but that's going to depend on your line speed.

let's say that you have a 20Mbps SDSL line
you'll be able to transfer 2MB per second, you've got 409600MB to transfer.
that'll take 204800 seconds.

that's 56 hours...

basically, off site backup is probably not going to be an option, if you don't mind starting Friday night, maxing out your business upload bandwidth and your bosses download bandwidth, (assuming that they have 20Mbps ADSL) for all Friday night, all weekend and into Monday morning...

yeah, and that's assuming that you have 20Mb of upload bandwidth too...

and it ignores the fact that you'll never get those upload or download speeds because you're line will likely be contended, and even if your business line isn't contended, your bosses home line probably will be.

you could go for a tape backup solution, but you'll still have to change the tapes.

wireless, (assuming wireless G) 54Mbps.
that's 5.4MB per second and it still takes 21 hours... perhaps a Friday night/weekend backup might not be so bad.

wireless N (assume the fastest speed available is 150Mbps it'll take 7.5 hours

so your only viable wireless backup solution is using wireless N at the fastest speeds currently available.

that unfortunately ignores three things.

I've never seen a NAS device fitted with wireless N
I imagine that if such a thing did exist it'd be prohibitively expensive
you won't get decent reception from inside a fireproof safe. (so you'll get much lower than Ideal speeds).
cables going into your fireproof safe are going to make the safe no longer fireproof. -so you defeat the whole object anyway...




best bet for backups is, buying a leased line (as in a 100MB leased line that only you are using), and employing an outside company to do the backups for you, (as in you get a leased line to a data centre that terminates at their equipment).

you do on site backups to disks or tapes and swap them as you are doing.

or you rationalise the stuff that you want backing up so that you can backup over the internet to your bosses house.
to complete in 9 hours on a 20Mbps line you'll need to reduce the amount of data you're backing up to about 64GB. (and again that assumes maximum speed from 9 pm - 6pm with very good upload speed, good download speed both working at 20Mpbs all the time with no latency...

basically, the best way to backup is what you;re already doing.
it is a pain to swap out tapes of disks each day, but it's a pain that you have to put up with because it's an even bigger pain to loose all the data...



there is a final way to do it.
buy rack space in a data centre host all your data there, do your backups there, then have the data centre staff change the tapes/disks for you!
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Old 05-28-2010, 05:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

Pretty much what root said.

400GB, isnt really that viable to do with a wireless solution, would just take a veryy long time.

You either need to look into the dedicated line route (leased line) in order to shift the data ASAP, or stick with what your doing.

Again root covered it, but if you are going to use an external company, you will be paying them for swapping the disks for you, in effect (doing the job you are already doing, but externally. The only advantage you would get is probably a bit more protection R.E. safety and fireproof - and they would probably offer you some sort of guarantees.)

I mean I dont know how big the business is, or how much money they are willing to invest in this, but it would seem a waste to do something other than what you are already doing.

Maybe if you wanted to cut down your work a little bit, you could up your drive space (im guessing you are using 1 TB HD's) and use 2 TB HD's instead, and back up 2 days worth of work before changing. Just a suggestion, but it would probably risk an extra days worth of work. Just throwing an idea out there!
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Old 05-28-2010, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

One other thing I'd throw out there - swapping drives and putting them in a fireproof safe may not be as foolproof as you think.

Fireproof safes usually only remain fireproof for a certain amount of time - get a fire that lasts beyond this and your data is most likely toast. They also don't tend to maintain a vastly cooler temperature inside, so while the flames will be kept out there's every possibility your drives could partially deform, especially if left in there for long periods of time.

As mentioned before if you really want rock solid reliability, get your data hosted elsewhere and then they'll run offsite and onsite backups for you. Chances are they'll be much more reliable, cheaper and efficient than anything you could feasibly knock up yourself due to economies of scale.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

Hello everyone, this is my first post on this site. Anyways, I have a server using clarkconnect community 5.0, serving as a gateway/firewall/fileserver. Currently i am backing up to a hot swap hdd ever day. We back up at the end of the day and put the drives in a fireproof safe. We have five separate hdds that we overwrite systematically to keep 5 days worth of back up history. Anyways, it apparently has become too big a deal to have to remove the old drives, so we are thinking of switching over to a more efficient way. Personally its easiest in my opinion to just use a terastation, but that isnt quite as fireproof as id like. I am open to hear some peoples ideas for solutions.
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

I can't tell if this thread is closed or not, but Carbonite is what we use on our servers here at work. Great Stuff!!!
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

If it were closed, you wouldn't be able to post in it. LOL!
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Your guys opinion on how best to back up?

If The OP is still about... Which is a long shot... (2 months later) -but I'll post anyway since it might help others...

I've recently discovered a new backup method that will be perfect for use in this situation. it's something we've just implemented at work, and it's pretty damned slick.

Delta backups.

Basically, it's a kind of new type of backup.

you have your traditional backup methods.

Full backup, (where everything is backed up)
and differential backups (where things that have changed since the last backup) are backed up...

now there is a new type, called Delta backups.

it's a bit like a differential backup, but also really different, and from my understanding of the technology, actually fits your problem perfectly.


I'll explain how full and differential backups work first.

lets assume you have 1000 word documents that are each 100 MB in size. (so the total data size is 10GB).

you start off with a full backup (backup everything), that takes up 10GB of tape or disk space.
the next day you do a full backup, that takes up an additional 10GB of space.
the next day you do another full backup and another 10GB of disk space is used and so on...

after 4 days you've got 40GB of used space, but on the plus side, if a user accidentally deletes a document on Friday morning, you can restore from the backup on Thursday night, then you figure out that the reason that they deleted it was that they made a mistake in it and messed it up. and you can restore from Wednesday night instead.


full backup everyday backs up everything in full.

a differential backup works a little differently.
you start with a full backup.
that's 10GB

if nobody changes anything on day 2, nothing is backed up, there are no changes so you can restore to that point in time anyway.

lets say on day 3 a user changes 10 of the 100MB documents
on day 3 the backup will backup those 10 documents, so the total backup for day 3 will be 1 GB.

if on day 4 users make a simple change to all 100 of the documents, then the total backup will be 10GB

so you've got the first backup (10GB) plus the 10 changed documents from day3 (1GB) plus the 100 changed documents from day 4 (10GB)

that's only 21GB of disk space...

and it's clearly going to be a lot easier to pull 1GB down your bosses ADSL line so you can keep an offsite backup than it is to try to pull 10GB down every night.


now, Delta backups are even smarter and even cooler.

they backup files, but they don't just look at the time the file was backed up, they look at files on a block level...

as always, day 1 starts with a full backup.

we'll keep the same scenario going, on day 2, nobody makes changes, so there is no backup data.

as before, on day 3 someone changes 10 documents, we'll say that they add a disclaimer to each, so it's an extra 1k of text.
this time rather than backing up the 10 100MB documents, (1 GB data) that the differential backup does. the backup software backs up the 10 1k change blocks, so there is only 10K of data going to your backup disk.

on day 4, there all 100 document changes, lets say that there was a mistake on the document template that generated the documents and you've had to capitalise a letter on the first page of each, that's an 8bit change, there are a hundred of these changes, but still the delta copy only copies change blocks in the file structure.

so your backup for day 4 will be 800 bytes. (less than 1k).
your total backup size is 10GB for day 1, 10k for day 3 and 1k for day 4


your initial backup is always going to be a problem over an ADSL line, but there are two things you can do about this.

you can either start the backups in the office, so on day 1 you're doing backups over your structured network. and they are really quick, then you take the server to your bosses house and they backup only the small file block changes which take no time at all...

or you just let the backup run from your bosses home...

yes that initial backup will take ages, and will saturate their line, but, it's only going to happen once.
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