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Using removable disk as a target for remote or small office backup/DR

Independent backup expert Brien Posey discusses using removable disk for small office backups and suggests some possible alternatives.

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Are there any good options for creating remote site backups to a removable hard drive of some kind? With hard drives in the multiple-terabyte range, it seems like this might be a valid option for small office backup or backups for remote offices.

There are a number of ways a smaller organization might capitalize on the use of an external hard disk as a backup medium in a remote site. One option for small office backup might be to make the external disk accessible as iSCSI storage. After doing so, local backups could be replicated to the external drive, which could then be taken off-site nightly.

Another option for small office backup might be to take advantage of Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V replication capabilities. The latest version of Hyper-V allows for two-way replication, thereby making it possible to create replicas on a removable drive. Microsoft doesn’t support running virtual machines from external hard disks, but there is no reason why a small organization with modest update-related I/O could not maintain VM replicas on external disks in a remote site.

RDX cartridges are another option for taking data offsite. RDX is a disk-based removable storage format which was designed as a replacement of tape storage. The ruggedized cartridges contain a 2.5 inch SATA drive with capacity of up to 2 TB (at the time of this writing). The cartridges are manufactured by a variety of vendors including Tandberg Data, Imation, and others. An RDX system consists of a dock -- sometimes with slots for multiple cartridges -- and the removable media.

Alternately, many small businesses and remote offices use cloud storage as a target for off-site storage. Many backup software products today offer the ability to choose cloud storage as a target. It is possible that the software you are using offers this capability. There are also a variety of relatively inexpensive physical and virtual backup appliances that allow users to create an on-site copy of data for fast restores and a secondary copy in the cloud for DR. This process can be automated, which reduces the chance that data may go unprotected.

More on this topic:

Tandberg Data products now compatible with Veeam Backup and Replication v7
Tandberg Data announced that its removable disk, NAS and tape storage products work with Veeam Backup and Replication v7 software.

Tandberg Data set to release 1.5 terabyte RDX cartridge
Tandberg Data announced that its 1.5-terabyte RDX cartridges would be available in September through Tandberg Data's channel partners.

Axcient adds virtual appliance for cloud DR
Cloud DR provider Axcient adds virtual appliance to store data locally and move it off to the cloud.

This was first published in April 2014

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Essential Guide

Conquer the unique challenges of remote and mobile backups

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  3. Video

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