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I have recently started a UNIX administration position with a large US-based ISP. During my first few weeks here I noticed that their backup solutions are really outdated or are simply non-existent. They currently have a large tape library that is connected to Backup Exec which is meant to do backups for the entire server farm. However, currently this system isn't connected to the network in such a way that will allow me to backup remote servers. So, I have two solutions for that problem.
1) Build an ATM circuit from the remote locations to the local tape library over a private 172 address space. The problem with this is that the ATM link will only be ~500M and there are ~5 servers to be backed up via this method. (~$23K)
2) Build a SAN at the remote location and have the backups for the remote servers created locally to that server location. This system would use iSCSI over an existing Ethernet infrastructure and thus would be considerably faster than the WAN link. This solution would provide storage expansion and facilitate much faster backups. (~$20K)
I am leaning toward the second solution to this issue. The backups would be much faster and it would be way easier to recover files from a local server rather than a remote library. However, the only issue I am looking at is the variety of servers which need to be backed up. We have a combination of Linux and Sun 2.7,8 and 10 servers.
Do any of you have a setup like this? How are you doing your backups? What types of systems are you using/running? If you are using a SAN, what are you using? I am looking at the PowerVault MD3000i.
The first solution would be a no go because you run the risk of your backups timing out.
The SAN is not a bad idea, but you still have a large amount of risk involved by not having off site copies of the data.
I would go with solution two, but add another SAN at the local data center and have it replicate with the remote SAN. Then backup the local SAN to tape. Obviously this would not be a cheap solution, but backups are not an area that you want to operate on the cheap.