Xserve backup solution

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by focused, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. focused macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2011
    This is my first post after reading solutions on this forum for years. Thanks to everyone for solving my problems so often!

    I've now got an issue where I'm genuinely over my head and need help understanding the solution. I searched the forums and saw some similar posts but nothing that exactly matched my situation.

    I work in a video production environment. We have 6 intel xserves which are used for rendering and compressing as well as hosting 3 xraids connected through fibre for a total of about 18tb of data. The xraids are used only for short-term storage of active projects. After a project is finished it is moved to one of 6 drobos for long-term storage and the 7th backs up our xraids. Our total drobo storage space is about 70tb.

    Last week we had a drobo fail, completely catching us off guard. It was under warranty and drobo had us a replacement unit overnight, but somehow our data was unrecoverable. We've relied on the drobos for backup and assumed that they were totally safe and bulletproof. Knowing that's no longer the case, I've been asked to investigate other backup/long-term storage options.

    I need, badly, advice on which way to go. My leaning is towards tape but I know very little about it. The goal is to have a reliable backup for our system, totaling about 70tb. It doesn't need to be fast and we will only write to it about once a month. We're not opposed to a cloud system and have ample upload speeds if that's found to be the best option.

    Any thoughts or advice would be VERY much appreciated.


  2. JudeMac macrumors newbie


    Feb 10, 2011
    The cheapest, easiest, and most reliable (for backups and emergency recovery) is to back up your backup onsite. However, if theft or disaster recovery is being considered, a cloud solution would be the best. Note that offsite via the cloud will be the most expensive. 70TB takes up a lot of bandwidth too.
  3. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816


    Jul 25, 2004
    Missouri, USA
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    No longer logging into MR
    This. I can tell you that unless you have a lot of money for offsite storage, possibly with deduplication equipment to save on WAN costs, I'd opt for tape.

    Then, contract with a service, such as Iron Mountain, to haul last night's tapes away.
  5. assembled macrumors regular

    Jan 12, 2009
    I wouldn't use DROBO for commercial backups unless you duplicate them at minimum

    Although you have 70TB on DROBO (presumably on iSCSI ?), I would guess that your weekly data churn is much less.

    I implemented a similar (but an order of magnitude smaller) system late last year.

    Main server with 14TB FC-AL connected SATA RAID 6 with two hot spares
    Nearline server with a 22TB FC-AL connected SATA RAID5 with 1 hot spare
    Backup server with 24TB FC-AL connected RAID5 array and FC-AL connected 60 slot LTO4 tape library

    The backup server array is a mirror of the main server, so there is an "online" copy of live data.

    The backup strategy is a rotation of four full backups, and two sets of incremental backups for Mondays to Fridays (each Monday incremental includes all of the changes from the previous Monday) as this provides a basic daily archive of all data. Incremental tape sets are rotated out (and not re-used) when they reach 60 tapes). They are already planning a move to dual LTO5 drives when the current incremental set fill up.

    When jobs are completed, they are moved onto the Nearline server (they already exist on tape full backups and tape incremental backups) where two archive backups are taken.

    So far jobs are removed from the nearline server when they are no longer required, but a second larger nearline server is planned to reduce the requirement to ever bring jobs back from tape.

    Backup to "the cloud" isn't realistic for that amount of data, you would probably have a positive ROI of under 12 months of renting rack space from your local ISP, and putting in a RAID 60 (yes I do mean RAID60) with multiple hot spares live mirror (like the backup server above but without the tape library)

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