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ML350G5 Offsite backup options

Blkrx7
Occasional Visitor

ML350G5 Offsite backup options

Afternoon all, after piling through searches I can't quite find what i'm after, hopefully someone in the forum has a solution.

We currently have a ML350 server (w/E200i) that needs to be backed up daily, with an offsite drive removed and kept offsite, with little to no user intervention other than physical installation and removal.

We'd purchased 6 sata drives (4x250, 2x500), 2x2 raid 1 arrays for 2 logical 250gb fault tolerant drives, and an additional pair of drives used for backup of the entire system, with the intention of keeping one offsite at all times swapping them once a week or so.

However, regardless of what i've come up with, Server '08 always seems to report the array being in a failed state and will not let me backup to a remaining drive, even if that drive is installed and working.

I've attempted to raid 1 the two 500's into one logical drive and remove one, (can't backup while the second drive is out, and doesn't automatically reset the array when re-installed) or keep the drives seperate as two logical drives, with two backup's running nightly. In which case backup fails to run reporting a vss copy error when one of the drives is missing.

Any hints or suggestions on a backup routine that we can keep a copy offsite and still keep daily backups without necessitating a technician onsite to re-set the 'failed status' when a drive is removed and re-installed?

Thanks!
Paul
4 REPLIES
Cederberg
Honored Contributor

Re: ML350G5 Offsite backup options

Hi Paul.

I would use the windows ntbackup to make the backups and place the backups on a remote server instead of using the disks. Described in detail in this guide.
http://www.ilopia.com/Articles/WindowsServer2003/Backup.aspx

Or you can buy a tape robot and exchange the tape and take it offsite.

You should be able to use the disk when the other is out. Is it software or hardware raid?
There is no way other than breaking the raid to make it not say it's failed. but I can't garantee that the data will survive that action.
Blkrx7
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML350G5 Offsite backup options

Thanks for the reply,

We've currently got Server 08 installed, and i'm using wbadmin in the task schedualler to perform backups (no more ntbackup). The raid assembly is an E200i and is a hardware based raid controller, and 'hides' the physical drives from windows leaving only logical drives attached. But unfortunatly also reports the drives as 'failed' when removed (expected) or installed, and waits for user intervention to re-enable them. I can find no option to have it ignore missing drives, or auto-enable re-inserted drives.

The major issue with my current solution (Running two seperate backups each night to two seperate drives), is the VSS reports an error whenever any of the logical drives are removed, and refuses to allow windows backup to complete a backup until it's been resolved. I was hoping to find a command line switch to have it ignore the state of one of the removed drives and complete the backup, as this would solve the issue perfectly.

Or, some way of re-enabling a removed raid drive and auto-re building it without reporting a failure of the set rendering the on-site drive as un-useable.

We only have one server on-site, and inssuficient internet bandwidth to do a remote backup, so backing up to another machine isn't currently an option.

I'd think purchasing a tape robot would be a substantial expense to simply get a backup made to a removeable HDD? We'd done tapes in the past, however only to find whenever they were needed, were often bad. And slow to recover or backup to begin with. By replacing them with a pair of HDD's and raid'ing the main system drives we were hoping for a much faster more robust backup solution.

In case of single drive failure, we were covered via raid, and were hoping to keep two backups on backup drives, to cover in case of data loss, and with one offsite in case of a site failure (fire, flood, theft) swapped weekly.

It's the offsite drive that's got me stymied, it seems like there's no real solution for this using the current HP hardware?

Paul
Cederberg
Honored Contributor

Re: ML350G5 Offsite backup options

Ok.

Well the HP hardware Raid is not intended to make out a backup solution other than the raid it self.

you say you have 2 drives in an Raid1 that you make your backup to. how about buying a third drive so your raid is always complete. 2 in the server and 1 offsite. And then each time you make the backup you exchange one drive in the raid with the other. In theory when you need to make your restore you just yank out the two raid1 disks currently in the server and replace it with the "offsite" disk. this has to be done offline so that the OS doesn't freak out. But as I said in theory that should work and you should test it before taking the plan in to action.
Blkrx7
Occasional Visitor

Re: ML350G5 Offsite backup options

I think i'm going to have to re-think the proccess surrounding this. It seems clear that HP didn't intent drives to be removed from the internal raid array on this server by end users without technical help availible to re-enable arrays and/or removing logical drives from the array.

Thanks for the help,
Paul