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The Overrated Raccoons
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Topic # 150937 8-Aug-2014 11:18
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As long as I've been in IT, I've never really had anything to do with backup systems, they've either been really simple straightforward task scheduled NTBackup type systems or been done by someone else (and not in my area of concern).

But now where I am, I do have some responsibility for the backups (mainly in case of any errors etc)......

I know the basics, but would like to know more so when backups do fail, I know exactly what I'm looking at etc and be confident that I'm understanding the terminology correctly etc.

We currently run Symantec Backup Exec 2012 and Ive got the manual for that, but its more for setting up the software rather than giving any info on the processes etc which is what I'd like to know more on....

Can anyone recommend something (video/book) I can go through to get a better under standing of enterprise level backup systems etc ? I did start watching some videos by a guy on YouTube, which gave me some good info but then when he started contradicting himself (within 30s of original statement) , I turned off.....

TIA :)

XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ


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  Reply # 1104734 8-Aug-2014 11:21
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Does not answer your question, but definitely related.  Note the web site is ridiculously old, but I applaud the publisher for leaving it live and not filling it with ads.

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  Reply # 1104741 8-Aug-2014 11:28
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A few thoughts about backups - 

-follow the 3,2,1 rule....3 copies on 2 different types of media with 1 offsite. Check out the codespaces story for how not to do backups. If they had something offsite and offline then their business would still be operating
-test your backups, just because the job reports successful, doesnt mean it was successful
-have another tape drive available if you are planning for point having a backup tape offsite if there is nothing you can put it into
-for retention periods I generally keep daily backups for 2 weeks, weekly full backups for 6 months, monthly backups for 12 months and yearly backups for 7 years. Define your business requirements and work out a rotation that works for you
-if your infrastructure is virtual then check out Veeam, one of the best backup products Ive used and makes restores super easy.

Hope that helps.

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  Reply # 1104777 8-Aug-2014 11:49
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We've used CA's ArcServe (BrightStor now)  in the past with Dell PowerVault Tape libraries.  Using 3 sets of media cycled out weekly by operators.

Now with a virtualised solution, we've got HPs DataProtect backing up the VMDK files daily.

The former was a full system backup...but it needed a working windows system running before a restore could be performed.
The latter returns the system to as it was.

There's differences between backing up data for loss, accidental or stupidity and restoring a system.

The costs come in how quick you need to do both tasks....or if you should notice any down time at all.

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  Reply # 1104779 8-Aug-2014 11:51
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Veeam has just saved our bacon in a big way when we had a SAN failure. I couldn't recommend it enough. We Veeam to in house esx box loaded with local storage and to a second SAN on a remote site, and do tape backups using BackupExec 2010. 

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  Reply # 1104787 8-Aug-2014 11:53
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+1 for Veeam, I use it and it just works.
in the last few years prior to that I have been using Acronis and shadowprotect backing up to external Hard drives and NAS.
Prior to that was tape, and I dreaded restoration of anything.
as for where to learn about them, I am not so sure, you will get loads of propaganda from their own sites, whitepapers etc.
The beauty of using image based backup solutions like Acronis and Shadow protect, you can mount an image and look at it, pluck out files or even boot them into a virtual environment.  The sort of thing that just isn't possible with tape.

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  Reply # 1105218 9-Aug-2014 01:13
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what do you need to backup?  (software/servers/etc)
good internet bandwidth?
Want DR capability?
Are you using hypervisors - VMware or HyperV?

lots of emerging cloud options from simply backup of files - e.g. windows server backup to azure, to backup of workloads - e.g. sql server backup to azure, or Microsoft DPM backup to azure, to full DR options using things like Azure Site Recovery.

Many of the big backup vendors support sending backups to the cloud also - the Commvaults, ShadowProtect etc.

you can also get cloud integrated storage options, like the Microsoft StorSimple - a SAN that backs itself up to Azure, and uses Azure for 3rd tier of storage.

and for home, you can get any number of automated cheap ($5/mth) services like crashplan, mozy, carbonite

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  Reply # 1106297 11-Aug-2014 11:56
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You'll only get unstuck when you need to do a less than simple restore.
eg restore a trashed email database , only to find the restore wizard either doesnt work or the process is honestly just too complex . Keeping in mind it will be panic station/rush rush rush at this time, with managers constantly wanting updates & ETA's .

Thats when things could become awefully complex and  time consuming , and the online(or ph ) helpdesk is not allways so helpfull.

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  Reply # 1106829 12-Aug-2014 07:24
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This blog is related specifically to Backup Exec 2012 disk media management.  It is helpful as a How To but also explains the process.

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