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Using NAS to decrease backup times

I have the following:

1. 100mb Backbone

2. 15 servers totaling 550gb data

3. All servers connected to one Cisco 2900 switch

4. Two tape libraries connected to one backup server using Veritas' BackupExec 8.6 current tape backups are taking upwards of 16 hours

The goal is to use a NAS device as the first backup device for all my servers to get the data off the servers as quickly as possible and to use DLT drives to backup the NAS. I also do not want to modify current server hardware (i.e. adding Gig NICs).

My question is, do you think a NAS device connected to the existing Cisco switch and used as the backup device is reasonable and an effective way to decrease my backup times? Also do you have a recommendation of a NAS device that would fit this need?

Thank you for your time and comments.


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I think that's a great idea! We're doing it with a number of large clients today. In order for it to work though, you need to be able to automate moving the data from the NAS filer to tape once it has been backed up. I'm not sure if BackupExec is going to do that for you. I know NetBackup's Vault will do it just fine. Once migrated to tape, you can let the disk images expire or you can have them automatically deleted.

As to which device to use, NetApps' R150 is a great choice but it's a little big for what you're looking for (15+ TBs?). Barring that, I would look at any of the other NAS-based filer companies.

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This was first published in May 2003

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