Server and back-up questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by g-fixie, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. g-fixie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #1
    I work in the production department for a small weekly newspaper. Without going into too much detail, the server set up and back up situation is not cutting it. I'm the most tech savvy of the designers, so I've been asked for suggestions.

    The Goals (In order of importance)
    1. Offsite back up
    2. Local back up
    3. Mac server for the department

    My Thoughts
    1. For offsite back up I've been considering a company like CrashPlan, Carbinite, or Moxy. A clould based service seems reasonably priced, trustworthy, and takes some responsability off our overworked "IT" department.
    2. There are days when production is very busy and down time would make things even crazier, so we'd want local data redundancy. Is RAID storage a good idea? Or would it be better to just use and external back up drive? Maybe both?
    3. We could keep the old Novel server, but we'd like to move to something Mac based. It would make it easier for us Mac people to do some self support. (The IT department is 2-3 hours away at the parent company offices.) What hardware should I consider? (The company may have an extra MacPro to build up as a server, and I don't think we need the extra capabilities of OSX server. Money, of course, is an issue.)

    Other Considerations
    1. There are 5 seats in the production department. They are a mix of G5s MacPros and one iMac.
    2. It be nice to move the other departments servers and Widows PCs to the same back up sollution. (I think there are two other servers and about 12 PCs in the office.)
    3. Another reason to consider a Mac server is to eventually move production to a more computer based workflow. For instance, I'd like to suggest using InCopy for proof reading.

    Any suggestions, experiences, or words of advice?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    1. Cloud based backup is good solution but that requires very fast upload speed. For example, 10GB of data takes 11 hours to be uploaded with 1Mb/s upload speed. That's still over an hour with 10Mb/s speed. If you have insane upload speed, then definitely invest on online backup.

    2. So, are you looking for a solution to every computer so that every computer would have its own backup storage? How much storage per computer would you need? RAID is a good solution if you're looking at large amount of storage.

    RAID 0 - Bad for backups as it increases the risk of data failure (if one HD dies, everything is lost)
    RAID 1 - Good for backups but doesn't provide much storage (only up to 2TB) unless you do RAID 0+1. Very secure but not really worth it for you.
    RAID 5 - Probably the best solution for you if you're seeking for large but secure backup. You get C x (N - 1) amount of storage (N being the amount of drives and C being the capacity of each drive, so for example with 4 1TB drives, you get 3TB of storage). The good thing about RAID 5 is that one HD can die without any data being lost.
    RAID 6 - Same as RAID 5 but with two "extra" disks so two drives can die without any data being lost

    So a RAID 5 solution with several HDs could be the best choice for you.
     
  3. g-fixie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #3
    More questions

    Thanks Hellhammer,
    Upload speeds might be an issue. I think I need to find out how many changes are made in a day. Any idea how incremental back ups would effect this as apposed to a back up done every night? (I wonder if only backing up portions of the server each day of the week could be a stati with upload speeds

    One of the reasons for doing a central server is to have everyone work off it. Theoretically each computer wouldn't have to be backed up. Though it might be nice to cover all our bases and also back up people who don't follow the rules.

    Can you "hot swap" drives in a RAID 5 set up? Or I guess my real question is how hard is it or how long does it take to replace a drive and have the data repopulate once it fails?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Incremental would possibly be the best so only the changes would be uploaded. How fast is your upload speed at the moment? You could always leave it running overnight or even do it on the weekends

    One central server is probably the best for data security and also it's a lot a lot cheaper to back it up than having individual backup solutions. How much data are we looking at?

    You can hot swap a drive in RAID 5 as one of the disks is used for parity data. I'm not that RAID specialist bud. I'm sure tht I think the parity data is copied to the new disk once it has been installed. I'm not that RAID specialist so I'm sure here is someone who has more knowledge about this than I do
     
  5. g-fixie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #5
    It's a T1 connection that appears to upload at about 1 to 1.5 Mb/s.

    Storing somewhere between 1 and 2 TB of data should be plenty. As far as daily file changes, I'm not sure. I don't think we would go over 10MB a day.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    With small b right? You could run SpeedTest to get real world speed

    Well, 2TB of data @1Mb/s (0.125MB/s) would take around 185 days to be uploaded with my maths (2TB=2 000 000MB; 2 000 000MB / 0.125MB = 16 000 000 / 60 = 266 666 (minutes) / 60 = 4 444 (hours) / 24 = 185 (days))

    Even 1TB @1,5Mb/s would take around 62 days. So, the first backup would be massive and take very long time. Additional update wouldn't as 10MB is nothing
     
  7. g-fixie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #7
    Yes megabits, and the 1 to 1.5 Mbps I gave was real world. I actually tested the upload speed a few times in the office yesterday. I actually got 1.2 to 1.4 Mbps to be more precise.

    Yeah, I forgot about the initial back up. I wonder if it would work to do a local back up first, then take the drive offsite for the incremental back ups?
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    Yeah that would work. Just get a new HD where you save all incremental stuff so it's easier to just back it up rather than seeking for the files (you could create a partition/folder of course). I would get couple HDs and put the local backups there. One HD isn't enough, it might be a lemon ;)
     

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