Q

Perfect backup solution?

Disaster recovery expert Pierre Dorion offers advice to reader who asked: What is a perfect backup/archival solution?

What is a perfect backup/archival solution?

I currently have RAID 5 servers with a tape backup of approx. 80 gigabytes (GB). We want to start keeping more items available to users, so this would mean upgrading data requirements to between 500 GB and 1 terabyte (TB) over the next couple of years.

I have been looking at NAS and SAN solutions, but I am not sure how to proceed. We are a LAN of about 50 users, but many are creative and work with large graphic files that they would like to have access to instead of archiving to CD or DVD.

Any help would be appreciated.

The perfect backup solution is one you would never have to restore from. Unfortunately, reality has a tendency to get in the way. That said, there are many data protection options available to you; none are perfect but many will work well.

If you are thinking of growing your disk storage capacity to offer users the ability to have quick access to their data, deploying a central storage solution is definitely the right approach. The type of data in use would work well with a NAS solution, many of which can grow to multi-terabyte capacity.

From a backup perspective, many tape solutions can interface directly with NAS appliances. However, if faster recovery capabilities are required and your IT budget allows it, a combination of backup or replication to lower cost disk and long term tape backup offers superior results.

This was first published in April 2005

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