Aug 312010

  Bill Murphy blogs about technology today.

Back-ups can be slow and can be scheduled. When it comes to back-ups, ask yourself what you want to do:


Use traditional back-up software?

Leverage VCB and a proxy server to back-up your virtual hosts to tape?

Implement an ‘in the cloud’ backup solution?

Use a disc-to-disc approach for backup (cool method)?

 Then you should also ask the following questions:

1) What is the method for corruption protection? This is key to the design and architecture of your system.

2) What is the present cost to back-up? Costs include Iron Mountain, tapes, and maintenance fees.

3) What is the cost to lose back-ups now? Costs include communications with members, and fines.

4) Do you want to plan for archiving now? Do you want to use a SAN approach of integrate with cheaper back-up discs when archiving? What about your core system?

5) Can you integrate all aspects of the company? This includes Microsoft, Imaging, and Unix. Can you integrate your core system into the back-up solution? What about the imaging system? What about your Microsoft environment? In summary, can we embrace a comprehensive solution with the back-up system? 

6) Can you truly “go tapeless”? What about the O/S tape from the core system?

Post any thoughts you have about back-ups right here on the blog!

Aug 162010

A client of mine said to me: “Bill, we have all this stuff and my staff if good. How do we pull all this software and hardware together into a comprehensive Disaster Recovery program?” Over the past two years, they had acquired:

  • Fatpipe load balancers
  • VMware
  • Backup software (Issue: tapeless versus traditional? They were partial to tapeless)
  • Doubletake
  • Platespin
  • HP NAS appliance
  • iSCSI SAN from Lefthand
  • DR Site
  • Connectivity

The executive summarized his predicament, “the products all appear to be good.” I agreed, but based on his current network problems, tight back-up windows, huge WAN latency and more, it appeared that several of these products had overlapping functionality causing them to argue and step on each other. “There is no way I can roll this out into production without being sure,” he said. The organization asked me to come up with solutions in several areas, in particular the executive wanted answers to these questions:

  • How can they repurpose the HP NAS so that the investment is not wasted?
  • What is the best way to use the iSCSI SAN from a block level replication perspective?
  • How is back-up and corruption protection going to be handled?
  • What function will Doubletake play in the new design?
  • How will the WAN network respond to the new design? They had a combined MPLS and point-to-point architecture.
  • Why are backups barely being completed overnight? This could be indicative of bigger issues that need to be solved first.

The White Paper includes a summary of questions that will help you understand Disaster Recovery as two necessary categories including 1) backup and correction protections and 2) production SAN and virtualization.  This  information will get you started on the path to implementing an IT Disaster Recovery Plan that works!