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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #720268 20-Nov-2012 18:22
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As far as storage, we currently have an external drive. I'm concerned, although it's 2 terabytes, that soon enough we'll need yet another one to fulfill our needs of having enough storage. Therefore I think it'll be interesting to learn what HP has in the works.

Our current products that we use when we are really ready to get down to business are HP products. They've proved to have the solutions that we need to get the job done.

576 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #720291 20-Nov-2012 19:02
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I'm working on a project for the office which is very much will a WIP, but the general outline is:

Storage requirement for local storage of install sets (ie: Laptop recovery discs), with WAN access for other branches to access local copies they may not have in their own local store.

The solution I'm dabbling with is effectively a distributed filesystem with replication, and additionally local offline de-duplication at block level to optimise storage space.

Presently I'm designing around Linux using XtreemFS as the distributed file system, with the plan to run it's object stores on BTRFS for filesystem.  XtreemFS stores it's data as files of a fixed size (essentially blocks), and by leveraging how it stores it's checksum data, it can be combined with the BTRFS reflink/CoW facilities to make the offline de-duplication a practical solution.

As I mentioned it's still very much a WIP, but it's all non mission critical data that won't significantly affect business operations, so will be built around off the shelf hardware. The data set is also one that lends itself to de-duplication being viable since for all intents and purposes it's a set of ISO disc images with only minor  variations from one set to the next as you chance make/model of recovery discs. Block offsets is still an issue, but the initial tests say it should yield at least 10% de-duplication for minimal processing overheads, which is enough of a saving not to ignore. The real world test however will be the actual telling on how well that theory works or not.

Once one object store is prototyped and tested OK, I'd like to extend it to the other two branches to provide the distributed filesystem, and background replication for recovery sets required at other branches.


Working for Service Plus -

Authorised Service Agent for Apple, BenQ, Sony, and Toshiba - warranty & non-warranty repairs.


804 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #720296 20-Nov-2012 19:18
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Has anyone ever considered using those bd-xl discs as a long term storage solution. 128Gb on one disc, sorted away in a vault would be sufficient.

The problem I see with storage is people , users of IT think storage is unlimited and they can gobble up all they can chew... as IT admins putting quotas on peoples home folder etc then makes us appear as bean counters type IT geeks... we cant win!

The little things make the biggest difference.

36 posts


  #720352 20-Nov-2012 20:44
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freitasm: Anyone using storage in a datacenter, fiber, etc?

We back-up our virtual servers to a datacentre in Auckland (incremental back-ups every couple of hours) as well as daily back-ups to USB drives. Those drives are taken offsite (my home) every night so that in the event of, say, an office fire or similar we can be up and running with remote access to a box at my home. Yes, it will be treacly slow but we are a small organisation (<15 people) and we have simple needs - primarily MS Office applications.

Whilst the USB backup would be about 24 hours old by the time it was pressed into service, we could recover any more recent files from the datacentre. By contrast, if we had to download the lot from the datacentre it would probably require us to courier a drive down as it would take far too long to bring it down via the 'net (my home connection is cable but that would still take forever to get 500+ GB.

We have run a couple of trials and, with a good following wind can be up and running (using VirtualBox) in about 3 hours.

Great believer in Murphy's Law so hoping this will mean we never need to use it in anger <-- there's a Tui Billboard right there!!

PS - the server boxes are HP, as is the gear in the office and the box at home

49 posts



  #720443 20-Nov-2012 23:08
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What are your current storage problems in enterprise and SMB?
a nas box or something nas like is so much cheaper than a tape based solution, when im looking at backup up 500gig of data, as i discuss below i dont know why i would use a nas box over an existing computer with large hard drives (mirrored) and shared for network backup.

-Do you use any specific technique to solve these problems? 

We have a few buildings in the sameish location and the server backs up across the network to an off site computer (not a nas box) that has 2 x 3tb hdds..., I dumped the 400 gig tape drive as i dont want to have to keep changing the tapes (2 per backup and each day), may well change to a dedicated nas box..

-What kind of hardware/software platform are you using to manage storage?
we are using shadow protect on the server (not for profit lic is cheap..), backing up to to a mirrored 3tb in another office... and every 1/4 i copy a full backup to another drive i have.

-How do you leverage HP products now?
not at all, the server is an IBM server so... and for off site i use cheap 3tb drives (reliability is assured via the mirror).

-Are you attending HP Discover, or watching online?

i use roaming profiles etc and when i think about all the space that is not used on all the computers we have, i always think someone should design some trendy domain based software that looks at all the free space on all the domain compters (most of the user do not really use local storage much anyway and all the new comptuer always come with a fair amount that is never used) and pool it as a redundant, encrypted network storage resource (i realise that the potential transient nature of computers being on/off etc but hey )

1 post

Wannabe Geek

  #720470 21-Nov-2012 04:25
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I use an external hard drive (1tb) for some of my storage, and my desktops 2 internal hard drives for the rest. I find that over time this has led to fragmentation of things - some pictures and receipts for my on line shop on one drive, others on other drives. It can quickly get confusing, unless you maintain some discipline and stick to one drive!! In the end I usually have to set time aside for 'housekeeping' - where I tidy up and move things into better order.

Long term storage is usually on dvds, though that has the problem of marking them - early backups now won't work because I stuck labels on them, which despite being supposedly specially made for disks, have over time damaged them (I assume from the adhesive) and corrupted them. I have used a program in the past called disklib, which catalogues the disks, but once again has caused problems - the database became corrupted so I lost the whole catalogue!!

3124 posts

Uber Geek


  #720484 21-Nov-2012 06:57
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We got enterprise going on at work. Storage is pretty awesome - IBM XIV with absolute megatons of storage (a few hundred terabytes at least) hooked up via fibre channel to our server racks. Backups are mostly done to LTO5 tapes (hello HP!) through IBM tape drives (we actually still have a couple of HP MSL tape libraries which are in use too). Our biggest problem is time - backups sometimes don't start because the backup from the previous day hasn't finished running yet - Backup Exec is not very good for big backups, seriously.


35 posts


  #720489 21-Nov-2012 07:17
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As a very small design company we use a NAS (Ready Nas Duo) which has worked very well.

We use Snycback to mirror this to an external drive which I  take home. Simple but foolproof.

Only issue was when an older NAS (Stardom) died. Not the drives which were fine but the device itself. Because it was a software RAID (not hardware RAID) we were stuffed, but luckily had that backup at home!

2892 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #720500 21-Nov-2012 07:53
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At home I have an hp usb hard drive using synctoy. I also have a second hard drive which I sync monthly and take it off site to the inlaws.

I also use Windows offline folders which works pretty well on the laptop.

I haven't been able to find a decent backup / sync solution for my webhost. I would love to have a local copy of my website files that would sync with my web host.

Cheers, Matt.

My views (except when I am looking out their windows) are not those of my employer.

804 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #720519 21-Nov-2012 08:35
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HP 3PAR F400 used here at work.
We have had to tweak the timing and assessment that Adaptive optimization does as it was running at the same time as our backups - for 2 environments. Causing a few over subscribed disk alerts.
We had the flexibility to shift some backup schedules around and also influence when AO runs.

The little things make the biggest difference.

BDFL - Memuneh
65638 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #720522 21-Nov-2012 08:38
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244 posts

Master Geek

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  #720541 21-Nov-2012 08:59
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Working from home - couple of laptops and a desktop, NAS and external HDDs in use.
Same issues as raised earlier. How to separate work and family data?

Running a NAS with Raid and using Sync Toy (run automatically on a schedule) to keep working files backed up. Works reasonably well - though really need to sort out an offsite backup option.

Perform a fuller weekly backup to USB drive using Areca Backup. This is not ideal though as it is done manually and not consistently across different machines.

Will be looking for larger NAS solution sometime soon. Currently only 1GB.

28 posts


  #720582 21-Nov-2012 09:45
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Ok - so we have a small office with 3 PCs and 2 employee's. 

We have a NAS (QNAP TS-212) for manual backups and shared data. It's just so small I worry that someone could just walk off with it! 

And unfortunately we purchased Win 7 Home Premium which means you cannot use windows backup to backup to a network drive. The NAS has some kind of iSCSI support which is a work around although I haven't spent time on working this out yet. 

We had in the past had extra drives in each machines for automatic local backups although I note that these have either failed or been removed for some reason. 

So our office is fairly unprotected! It's sounds like I should find out more about this sync-toy. 

Our web app is hosted offsite is where all of our customers data is held and is a cloud solution with daily backups. So that's good. 

Haven't played with HP Discover - no idea what it is sorry. 

BDFL - Memuneh
65638 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #720597 21-Nov-2012 10:00
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Getsited: Haven't played with HP Discover - no idea what it is sorry. 

For those who don't know: HP Discover is an HP conference, happening every year in Las Vegas and Europe. I have attended the last three years in Las Vegas and around 12,000 attendees have access to all sorts of technologies. Check some old posts at Discovering HP (a side blog I run).

31 posts


  #720598 21-Nov-2012 10:01
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I Dont believe in online and cloud solutions. Why would you trust someone else ? Is there any history to show that I should trust any large company with my data (Telecom-Xtra, Facebook, Microsoft, Sony, Megasoft - of no fault of their own) ?

At work, we use a removable HD attached to the sever to back up the server and selected drives/folders of selected workstations. The WSs get left on on different days for this purpose.

For my development, I have a complete backup PC at home. And I use USB HD to backup several times a day as I finish a task. If one of the developers machines fails, we can clone another working one. And they backup their stuff on USB sticks as they go.

When a version if the software is released, we put it on a separate PC that contains all the versions (source an executables). This gets backup to the server-removable HD as above.

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