I've been using tar to backup my servers for years, however, that's only because I've been doing Linux and Apple. Currently, we have a three physical servers (Cent and Rhel) and a large disk array. 2 Cent machines run in a cluster configuration and run several VMs off of the disk array. The third server (rhel) hosts a nfs share, which is also tied to the disk array, that all the other servers write their backups to. These backups are all scripted and include daily, weekly and monthly cycles as well as cycles of database dumps from our MySQL server. Everything up to this point is scripted with some simple bash scripting, and one month's worth of backups are sitting on a partition of the disk array.
We use LTO tape to archive a/v data, keeping one tape onsite and two additional copies at off-site facilities. We chose IBM's Tivolli software to do that for us, and since it is backup software, it also "backs up the backup" by copying the data that sits on the backup partition to a local tape and one additional off-site tape. Right now these are getting reclaimed at four-month intervals, so the idea is that you have one months' worth of data immediately available on disk, and up to four month's worth of data available on tape.
The advantage of doing it this way is that you only pay for one server and client license from Tivolli. If we wanted to, each server could have its own Tivolli client license and write backup data directly to tape and Tivolli could track every file on every server. This could be very helpful in some scenarios, however, Tivolli client licenses are not cheap and there could be increased demand on Tivolli's database. Since we're relatively small, in the sense that we don't have a lot files and systems, this sort of solution makes sense for now.
Tivolli is whole other can of worms, and is quite complex. Suffice it to say that it can do pretty much anything you need, it just may take a while for you to figure out how to do it. There are certainly other alternatives. We also looked at some LTO products from Sony (the Petasite) and Dell, which uses Symantec software. IBM made the best sense from a financial and usage standpoint. We're using a TS3310 tape library, which can expand enough to hold of our future a/v storage and also fits in a rack.
If we didn't have such large archival data storage needs for our a/v collections, I probably would have opted for some kind of cloudy solution that takes the backup files and stores them out there in the cloud. Let me know what you end up doing. I'm always interested in how each of us solves these sorts of problems, with a seemingly infinite variety of possible solutions.
Adam Wead | Systems and Digital Collection Librarian
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On Oct 27, 2011, at 5:35 PM, Edward M. Corrado wrote:
> This might be slightly off topic, but I am sure most of you do (or
> have some who does) some backups of your servers, so who better to
> I am doing a review of our backup procedures and I am looking at
> different "enterprise" backup software (both open source and
> proprietary). I use enterprise a bit loosely because a lot of what I
> see that is enterprise means more servers than we have. In some
> respects maybe I mean midrange. Basically I would like a centralized
> platform for backing up all of our servers so I am not managing the
> backups for each server separately. We are looking to primarily to
> back up to disk with either cloud, tape, or remote disk for redundant
> off-site backups.. Anyway, what I am wondering if anyone has any
> particular backup software suite that they really like. While I am
> asking, if you have a storage device that goes with your backup
> solution you like, I wouldn't mind hearing about it as well.
> A little about our environment. We have 15-20 servers. The O/S are
> about equally split between RHEL, Ubuntu, and Windows. 2 of the RHRL
> servers have an Oracle database, most of the other Linux and Windows
> servers have MySQL however they do not need to be 24/7 so I could do a
> cold backup of the databases and thus do not require hot database
> backups. Total storage s about 4TB right now but likely to double in
> the next 3 years,
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