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View Poll Results: Which media do you recommend for local backups?
Hard Drive 10 52.63%
NAS 4 21.05%
Tape Drive 4 21.05%
Other 1 5.26%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-26-2012, 04:47 PM
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Default Backup Media

Was just curious what you guys used for local backup media when backing up business servers. I myself lean towards tape drives despite the trend towards hard drives. For the sake of this discussion, this is for clients who either won't or can't do online backups.

Last edited by MotzTech; 04-26-2012 at 05:00 PM. Reason: added info to clarify
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:52 PM
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I assume this is for businesses as you mentioned tapes?
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:59 PM
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Yes, for business sever backups. I should have mentioned that.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:47 PM
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I recommend external hard drives. There's no way I'd use or recommend a tape drive nowadays. Its dated technology that had more problems than others. The tapes alone are sort of expensive. But I haven't looked at the prices for that technology since I left it behind 8-9 years ago. If your wanting a offsite backup then at minimum swapped two external hard drives back and forth. I have never had a customer disagree with my recommendations about backups and they always went with a online storage. The day comes when they need their data and the tapes won't work is the day they change how they do backup.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:58 PM
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I have seen way to many hard drive failures (especially lately, wow!) to recommend them for critical systems backups. Also I find they are not great for long term storage because of their lower durability. I have not really had problems with tape reliability, but I guess it depends on what tapes you get. I tend to go higher end. I agree with the online storage bit, I really try to get them on that. However sometimes they can't, I still have a few clients without internet!

Although I have considered a raided NAS.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:08 PM
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I usually do multiple external hard drives or NAS devices for redundancy. I typically do a weekly backup to one device, and a daily backup to the other. That way if something corrupted gets backed up and it's a few days before anyone notices a corrupted file, I can check the weekly backup. Not the best system in the world, but does good where I can't resell online backup (in addition to one external drive.)

I find tape drives as unreliable as their operators (who never remember to switch out the tapes!) Never worked on anything large enough to have a machine that automates tape switching, but if I did, that might be the route I would take

I'm also scared of NAS devices with RAID as I've seen the controllers themselves (not the HDDs) fail. Maybe it was just bad luck...

Now at my main job where I administer the network, I use Windows SBS 2011 Essentials for all the workstation file level and image backups - it's a brilliant server OS really, and I just have one external HDD where the SBS install itself, file shares, and workstation backups are all backed up to on a daily basis.

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Old 04-26-2012, 09:54 PM
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I run my software raid across 4 320 gig drives. Has always worked out for me and never a problem.

Everyone really argues over the best backup devices. I really dont I guess. Because you can have the best backup media but never bother to check your backups or actually do them. So, I guess my answer is ANYTHING as long as you actually do them.

1.Had a lady actually break down and cry when she learned her hard drive in the laptop died with all her tax info and resumes for over 5 years. She just never bothered to backup to anything.

2. Had a lady backing up her quicken to a memstick. Then when her hard drive died we found out the most current backup was back in 2010. She thought quicken would automagically do it for her.

They just never backup is the problem. If they do they never bother to check their backups to make sure they work.

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Old 04-26-2012, 11:32 PM
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Larger clients...managed, NAS for image based backups of the servers..and then I copy to external USB drives (like WD passport) for carry off. Those are encrypted.

For clients that have say 1 server and do the backup themselves, I use the removable 2.5" SATA disks....like Dell RD1000, or HP RDX (both of which are re-labled Tandberg units)...internal drives...SATA connector inside, look a lot like tapes but the cartridges are just 2.5" laptop SATA drives. Fast, durable, no cleaning needed. The internal drive unit itself is quite inexpensive (200 bucks vs say..1600 or 1800 bucks for an Ultrium tape drive) cartridges are expensive....but they last at least 5 years so you don't need to get new tapes yearly and no cleaning tapes.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:04 AM
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I use an HP DLT tape drive to do document and database backups. As I work with servers storing medical imaging data, HIPPA also requires us to have offsite storage of all image data as well, in order to restore availability of the data within 24 hours of a major malfunction or disaster (of course, Uncle Sam doesn't specify what "disasters" we're supposed to be able to recover from in 24 hours...).

As it would take days over high speed internet to download up to 12TB of data from a cloud based storage system, I opted to mirror the in office SAN to a another SAN 30 miles away via a fiber optic WAN. That way, if a fire, lighting strike, THE END OF THE WORLD should happen, I can just pickup the remote SAN, drive to office, and plug it in (if there's anything to plug it in to).
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:39 PM
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im working up a better backup solution for one of my clients. right now they have a server for quickbooks, im not sure how much data would need to be backed up yet. they have a monday through friday set of tapes, but they are just sitting on top of the server which is by a window(i know, i have some work ahead of me), and i dont think anyone is checking them to make sure the backup is valid either.

but if its lets say less than 32gb of data or even 64. wouldn't a set of high quality high capacity usb flash drives make more sense than tape?

i think ultimately a online service (leaning towards rackspace) will come into play. but when it comes to security and redundancy i am a big believer in layers, especially when each layer is fairly cheap, and has a low level of risk.
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