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Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

 
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

I've got a problem with running out of time with my backup window and i thought i'd put it out to people who do this every day before i speak to HP sales rep.

My environment:

HP Proliant servers - Mainly P-class blades - enclosures have Cisco switches and Brocade SAN switches.

MSA1500cs SAN

EVA8100 SAN

Mostly Windows 2003 servers with a 4-5 Linux servers.

Veritas/Symantec Backup exec 11/12 with remote windows, exchange & Linux agents

Dedicated backup exec server (currently DL360 G4 with 1x LTO-1 drive and 1x LTO-3 drive, both SCSI attached).

From what i understand, if i purchase a tape library with a SAN/Fibre card and connect it to the SAN fabric, purchase the SAN option for backup exec (and library option if more than 2 drives) it will backup directly over the fibre, removing any bottlenecks caused by the network (ethernet), DL360 and the tape drives. Is this correct?

I understand the concepts of doing disk to disk backups to decrease the backup window.
I don't really want to spend a fortune on one of HP's "VSL" devices (and pay $$ per TB/GB i want to backup).

If i did do d2d backup, i'd prefer to buy some FATA/SATA drives for the EVA and used them for D2D backup.

Any thoughts/suggestions/recommendations will be greatly accepted and points assigned accordingly.

Let me know if you need anymore information.

FYI - EVA has about 2TB native storage (will double in the next month or so - all drives are currently fibre drives) and MSA has about 560GB of space using U320 SCSI drives.
7 REPLIES 7
Urban Petry
Valued Contributor

Re: Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

Chris,

I don't know the current BackupExec Versions 11 and 12, but until version 10 only those servers that had the whole BackupExec product installed on them (and not only some remote agent etc.) could access tape hardware directly.
So if this is still true and you want your data to go the way: SAN disk storage -> SAN -> server -> SAN -> tape library&drive (leaving out the transferral over network to a single BackupExec server) then you would need to buy a full BackupExec license for each such server (plus a SAN Shared Storage Option for each).
Since the Symantec enterprise product "NetBackup" is able to do what you want (but not really at a baragain price), I don't think they enhanced BackupExec that way ;-) A quick check of their website did not reveal any Media Agent option ...

Urban
Ole Thomsen
Frequent Advisor

Re: Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

Backup Exec works sequental, one source after another.

"Enterprise level" backup software like Netbackup, Legato, Dataprotector to mention some, can backup from several servers simultaneously (multiplexing). In my experience this is very much faster.

Ole Thomsen
Martin Smoral
Trusted Contributor

Re: Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

Backup Exec works fine with SAN attached Tape librarys as long as you have all the right licenses. EBS with Symantec Backup Exec requires the Symantec Backup Exec server application and the Shared
Storage Option to be installed on all media servers. (Media Servers see the SAN attached Tape Drives as local devices) One server must be designated as the primary media
server, while the others will be designated as secondary media servers. See attached for more details.
regards,
martin
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

Thanks all for your responses.

Martin, i only have 1 "media" server at that site, and all the other servers at the site use "remote agents" (so they're not media servers).

Would this mean i need to buy the shared storage option, and/or a media server licence for each server (rather than the remote agent).

I understood (straining the memory from a few years ago) that the shared storage option mean that the library looked at the SAN directly and did a backup over FC to the SAN (more at block level) rather then on a per server basis. Is this right?



Martin Smoral
Trusted Contributor

Re: Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

If you only have one media server and the rest of the servers are using the remote agent, then i do not see any advantage to putting the tape library on the SAN if you will continue to back all the servers over the Network with the Agent installed. Plus you would have to buy the SSO (Shared Storage Option) and maybe the Tape Library Option. But if you put the Library on the SAN, made the other servers media servers with the Full BE, SSO and Tape Library option, then you would be taking the backups off the Ethernet Network.
regards,
martin
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

Martin,

I "assumed" i'd have to buy the SAN shared storage option to do what i want to do.

My understanding of this backup exec option was that it made the traffic go directly from the SAN to the SAN attached library (hence bypassing the ethernet network) - the backup server was basically there to control the job etc. Obviously the backup exec media server would need to have a SAN card in it and be able to see all the servers, SAN's and the library.

I've got quite a LOT of servers and buying media server licences for ALL of these is an expensive option, + how would the library handle if there were 3 or 4 jobs trying to push data to the library at the same time?
Martin Smoral
Trusted Contributor

Re: Expert advise sought - Tape backups (including SAN)

My suggestion would be to only use BackupExec over the Fibre for Servers that already have a HBA and have a large amount of data to backup from the SAN. Your first BE server is usually the BE Master Server. This server controls the jobs to the Library and it controls the inventory of the Tapes. If you have a 2 drive Library and you have 4 media servers, you can start 4 backups at once but the Master Server will que 2 of the jobs, then when one job finishes it will kick of the next. All the Servers with a small amount of data, you can save money and use the Remote agent to backup over the network