backup-to-disk performance tuning

Everett, Craig
July 2005
Storage Magazine;Jul2005, Vol. 4 Issue 5, p34
This article presents a narrative of the author's experience in redesigning a backup system. A company asked me to help redesign its backup system. What prompted the request was a corrupt file system that took more than 36 hours to restore from its four-year-old tape backup system. The company wanted to look at new technology to protect its data. There was also a concern about replacing tape drives that still worked and the painful process of upgrading from one tape drive technology to another. After looking at all of the existing backup software solutions on the market, there was not much justification in displacing the firm's existing NetBackup software from Veritas Software Corp. The company had a specific goal" eliminate the need to vault tapes offsite and restore up to 1TB of data in less than 8 hours. Our proposed solution was to back up all data at the company's primary data center and thens end backup copies to a second site for disaster recovery protection. Disk-based backup offers several advantages over tape including lower cost, increased reliability and speed, reduced complexity, and scalability. Lessons learned during implementation, testing and debugging include watching out for poorly configured production storage; and dispersing input/output across the serial advanced technology attachment array with more redundant array independent disks groups and logical unit numbers.


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