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Thread: Tell me why I shouldn't use detachable (usb) storage as server backup?

  1. #1
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    Tell me why I shouldn't use detachable (usb) storage as server backup?

    Tell me why I shouldn't use a detachable (usb) storage device such as a HDD as a server backup?

    I've dont a test run using backup exec and there appears to be no problems. Having to buy just a few ext HDD's on usb is 10x cheaper then a SDLT drive and then the subsequent tapes. However is there a flaw to my plan?

    Reliable? Well its a HDD so its not infalable but I would say its on par with a tape if not better.
    The situation's looking...

  2. #2
    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    make 2 copies

    and test regularly that you can restore from it ?
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Its a case of the director wanting me to save money on IT spending, whats new!

    So instead of forking out £2500 for a SDLT and then the cost of media I thought why not just use the external drives of 120gb that cost £100 and get BackupExec to work with them. Test seems fine, so I'm alternating 3 drives with a 4th being incremental end of week.

    Restore worked fine to.
    The situation's looking...

  4. #4
    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    hmmmm its an intesting posisblilty - though I'd be tempted to make up mirrored "battleboxes" ( we're doing this for a 1Tb backup unit )
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleek
    Its a case of the director wanting me to save money on IT spending, whats new!

    So instead of forking out £2500 for a SDLT and then the cost of media I thought why not just use the external drives of 120gb that cost £100 and get BackupExec to work with them. Test seems fine, so I'm alternating 3 drives with a 4th being incremental end of week.

    Restore worked fine to.
    It's a good plan; I archive off one set of tapes every 4 weeks, but the daily backup is done to a Lacie Firewire-800 500GB drive, then the bkf gets run off onto AIT3.

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    Oh no!I've re-dorkalated! Jiff Lemon's Avatar
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    I've had more tapes and tape drives fail than I have Hard drives.

    The only concerns I'd raise would be:
    1) Try it for at least 2 months before giving up on tape.
    2) How are you going to handle off site storage? Disaster recovery should cater for loss of buildings (and therefore you backup medium).

    You may want to take a peek at zetta server - www.zettasystems.com - Not played with it yet but its on a big list of stuff to be done!

  7. #7
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    External storage is movable, so the day before backup will go off site or be kept in our fire proof safe. We deal with insurance companies and natural disasters etc so our data and our disaster recovery plan is at the top of the list when it comes to our clients.
    The situation's looking...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleek
    ....... or be kept in our fire proof safe.
    That reminds me of a client of mine, from many years ago, that thought this was a good alternative to off-site backups.

    Unfortunately,
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    the fire-proof safe manufacturer didn't make any claims about flood-resistance.



    I kid you not.

  9. #9
    F.A.S.T. Butuz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleek
    Tell me why I shouldn't use a detachable (usb) storage device such as a HDD as a server backup?

    I've dont a test run using backup exec and there appears to be no problems. Having to buy just a few ext HDD's on usb is 10x cheaper then a SDLT drive and then the subsequent tapes. However is there a flaw to my plan?

    Reliable? Well its a HDD so its not infalable but I would say its on par with a tape if not better.
    Q1) What happens if you drop a SDLT tape?
    Q2) What happens if you drop a 250GB USB hard drive.

    A1) Nothing much - they bounce quite well
    A2) Chances are your data is ding dong gone.

    Thats one argument against it.

    The other is - what happens if you need to take a long time archive? What happens if you need to take some of your backups home or whatever? I wouldnt fancy lugging 5 external hard drives round with me, but 5 AIT tapes fit niceley in my bag and weigh nothing.

    The best backup would be to have both. Backup to tape once a week and back up to disk the remaining 4 days for fast backups and restores.

    Butuz

  10. #10
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    Just a heads up on how things have panned out.

    I'm currently using 5x Maxtor external USB2/Firewire HDD's on the server and they are working a treat. I've managed a 40GB p/hour transfer so far, thats a very file intensive directory though (1.3 mill files).

    So, they are working well and prove to be a lot cheaper and faster then the DLT solution.
    The situation's looking...

  11. #11
    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    good stuff mate ! - hope it all works out well
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    Aren't those new Seagate drives good for upto 35G shocks?
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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoo
    Aren't those new Seagate drives good for upto 35G shocks?
    buy one & test!

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    YEah I was a bit surprised when i saw that my WD Caviar SEs where rated for 65G operating shock and 350G non operating shock.

    Thats a fair bit and I would have thought that if HDD are really able to withstand such shocks they would be fairly resilient ?

  15. #15
    Drop it like it's hot Howard's Avatar
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    I've dropped many a hard drive and they've worked fine afterwards

    They have been old 3-4gig drives but that shouldn't make a difference?
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