Backup Solution - Recommendations



  • OK I have a site that has a single Hyper-V Server 2012R2 running 4 virtual Machines (2 Windows 2 Linux)

    I only need to backup the windows servers as the Linux servers are just Unifi and Zabbix.

    VM1 - DC - Win2012 - 600GB Provisioned - 200GB Used
    VM2 - SQL - Win2008 - 250GB Provisioned - 60GB Used

    So I want to back this up. At the moment i'm using BackupAssist + RDX but its failing more often now, so I need something more reliable.

    My end goal is to have something local, for quick file restore and VM restore if the server has issues, but also an offsite copy in case the building burns down.

    Here's the issue. I've already looked at Datto and had a quote 5K for hardware then £400per month is a bit OTT I think for the site. I know you can't really but a price on data protection and RTO PTO but I know this site will :) so I need some options. Like a NAS local uploading to cloud + Veeam running it maybe, or even Azure Backup/Site Recover (if I can work out the costs)

    In my head I want 1months worth local and then 6 months to a year on the cloud??


  • Service Provider

    The usual suspects on my short list here would be Unitrends, StorageCraft and Veeam. They all handle what you need, all in different ways.


  • Service Provider

    Unitrends is nice because it has the most flexibility and is likely free for your scenario. It will handle both Hyper-V snapshot backups as well as traditional agent-based backups depending on the licensing that you go for. You can get an appliance or just use software.


  • Service Provider

    Veeam is great and has a free option but it is pretty limited so might not do what you want.


  • Service Provider

    StorageCraft is agent based and is licensed by guest, rather than by host. But with just two guests, it might be so affordable to get all of the SC features that you end up not carrying.


  • Service Provider

    For both Veeam and SC you would get a NAS device (ReadyNAS, Synology, ioSafe, etc.) as the backups target. Unitrends if you don't have something already you would likely go for an appliance.



  • Yeah, I've tried the FREE version of unitrends with the Google Cloud but could never work out if it was working correctly. Might give it another go since it free :)

    See i'm just not sure as I see it
    Option 1) Buy Veeam/SC/Unitrends + NAS + Cloud storage = £600-1000 + £400-£500NAS (8TB) + Cloud storage
    Option 2) Buy Appliance that does Cloud too - Seems expensive - 3TB local box + Cloud £5K upfront + £400 per month
    Option 3) Azure backup or Site recovery - Not sure how to work out the pricing :)


  • Service Provider

    You'll almost certainly want local NAS storage before cloud no matter what or else recovery can take for forever, even for what would otherwise be minor things.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    You'll almost certainly want local NAS storage before cloud no matter what or else recovery can take for forever, even for what would otherwise be minor things.

    That was always my issue with these scenarios. Yeah, you can get it to the cloud, but good luck restoring.

    It makes me think more and more a "LOCAL" cloud version (either a replicated NAS in another location or an offsite target server such as which StrageCraft can do) is the way to go.

    And by local I mean offsite of the actual data location, but in a remote facility I control a certain distance away.


  • Service Provider

    @BRRABill said:

    And by local I mean offsite of the actual data location, but in a remote facility I control a certain distance away.

    If that is offsite but close enough to onsite that you will do sneakernet (stationwagon-net?) for a restore process, then yes. If not, then no.



  • @scottalanmiller

    I think sneakernet is even too close, no?


  • Service Provider

    @BRRABill said:

    @scottalanmiller

    I think sneakernet is even too close, no?

    Depends how you define it and what your needs are.



  • For big disasters you want something geographically far enough away. Taking backups home if you live near work won't help if there's a huge fire or earthquake. I'd have at least some type of online backup that's stored in another area of the country for this worst-case scenario.


  • Service Provider

    @Nic said:

    For big disasters you want something geographically far enough away. Taking backups home if you live near work won't help if there's a huge fire or earthquake. I'd have at least some type of online backup that's stored in another area of the country for this worst-case scenario.

    Although you have to gauge the business too... is there a reason to remain functional in those scenarios? If you manage an auto-garage, even a super busy one worth many millions, and a hurricane hits and the streets are underwater... is there any need to stay in operational status? Not really. It's very subjective.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Nic said:

    For big disasters you want something geographically far enough away. Taking backups home if you live near work won't help if there's a huge fire or earthquake. I'd have at least some type of online backup that's stored in another area of the country for this worst-case scenario.

    Although you have to gauge the business too... is there a reason to remain functional in those scenarios? If you manage an auto-garage, even a super busy one worth many millions, and a hurricane hits and the streets are underwater... is there any need to stay in operational status? Not really. It's very subjective.

    True, but even then you're going to want to have your customer data eventually, once you get back up and running. Not to mention tax info.


  • Service Provider

    @Nic said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Nic said:

    For big disasters you want something geographically far enough away. Taking backups home if you live near work won't help if there's a huge fire or earthquake. I'd have at least some type of online backup that's stored in another area of the country for this worst-case scenario.

    Although you have to gauge the business too... is there a reason to remain functional in those scenarios? If you manage an auto-garage, even a super busy one worth many millions, and a hurricane hits and the streets are underwater... is there any need to stay in operational status? Not really. It's very subjective.

    True, but even then you're going to want to have your customer data eventually, once you get back up and running. Not to mention tax info.

    You can go to slow cloud for "eventual tax records" though.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Although you have to gauge the business too... is there a reason to remain functional in those scenarios? If you manage an auto-garage, even a super busy one worth many millions, and a hurricane hits and the streets are underwater... is there any need to stay in operational status? Not really. It's very subjective.

    I live about 20 minutes from my office. I always feel if there was a disaster that destroyed my house and office, I'd have beigger issues to think about than data.

    Still doesn't mean I wouldn't want it protected. But that I would be doing other things. :)


  • Service Provider

    @BRRABill I once had a meeting about making a DR plan in case BOTH of our datacenters in Singapore were nuked and what would we do it that happened. And the risk was considered large enough that we built a tertiary datacenter in Hong Kong...

    because even if Singapore was nuked off of the map we were concerned about stock trading?



  • OK so I've been told by BackupAssit the reason for the failing backups is the Disk is about to die.
    Question is which disk! I have a 8x 300GB SAS in RAID10. My Dell iDRAC is showing green across the board.



  • @hobbit666 said:

    OK so I've been told by BackupAssit the reason for the failing backups is the Disk is about to die.
    Question is which disk! I have a 8x 300GB SAS in RAID10. My Dell iDRAC is showing green across the board.

    Why do they think that?

    What are they seeing that the DELL diags are not? (Are these DELL drive?)



  • @BRRABill said:

    Why do they think that?

    What are they seeing that the DELL diags are not? (Are these DELL drive?)

    There an Event ID 52 disk (on disk DR2) in the event logs for the HyperV server. But I think disk 2 is the RDX drive.



  • @hobbit666 said:

    There an Event ID 52 disk (on disk DR2) in the event logs for the HyperV server. But I think disk 2 is the RDX drive.

    Can you post the whole instance from the event log? Someone here can figure it out I am sure. Or at least see if it is indeed the RDX drive.



  • @BRRABill
    Yeah looks like RDX drive is the issue not the sever
    0_1449587956086_disk managment.png



  • @hobbit666
    Log Name: System
    Source: disk
    Date: 08/12/2015 08:34:18
    Event ID: 52
    Task Category: None
    Level: Warning
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer: WHSHYPV
    Description:
    The driver has detected that device \Device\Harddisk2\DR2 has predicted that it will fail. Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent.
    Event Xml:
    <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
    <System>
    <Provider Name="disk" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="32772">52</EventID>
    <Level>3</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2015-12-08T08:34:18.267757800Z" />
    <EventRecordID>28908</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>System</Channel>
    <Computer>WHSHYPV</Computer>
    <Security />
    </System>
    <EventData>
    <Data>\Device\Harddisk2\DR2</Data>
    <Binary>0F0080000100000000000000340004800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000007333500100000000FFFFFFFF020000005800008402000000FF200612080130100000000028000000000000000000000080838DA100E0FFFF000000000000000010D08DA100E0FFFF0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000700006000000000A000000005A0100000000000000000000</Binary>
    </EventData>
    </Event>



  • Since this is RDX, does this happen on every cartridge you use?



  • @BRRABill
    Seems to now over the last 2-3 weeks.



  • @hobbit666 said:

    @BRRABill
    Seems to now over the last 2-3 weeks.

    Might be time to try a different RDX drive, I suppose! Do you have more than 1? Thank goodness they are pretty reasonable.

    We looked at RDX, and were using it for BackupExec before we switched to our Datto device.



  • @BRRABill said:

    @hobbit666 said:

    @BRRABill
    Seems to now over the last 2-3 weeks.

    Might be time to try a different RDX drive, I suppose! Do you have more than 1? Thank goodness they are pretty reasonable.

    We looked at RDX, and were using it for BackupExec before we switched to our Datto device.

    Not to hand no. Might need to buy one and send it up. But that's why I'm considering alternatives.



  • @hobbit666

    I'm still looking through scenarios on my end for some of these very things. We have SC working on some systems, but not replicating offsite.

    We use Datto here, but agree it can be expensive for what you are looking to do, especially if you need additional MS licensing.

    We also use StorageCraft which works well. You can set up a local device to backup to, and then replicate that offsite using their software. How far offsite (whether the StorageCraft cloud, other cloud providers, or just an alternative location such as another office) is up to you and totally customizable. You could also just plug in a USB drive and offload the SC images once a week or whatever. You could even keep using your RDX drive for that. (Though I wouldn't recommend it due to the cost difference between RDX cartridges and equivalent USB drives.) Depends on how much data you have and how quickly you need it restored.

    The SC cloud also offers DR scenarios, though again that can get very pricey. (That's why Datto is so expensive, IMO.)

    Once you start looking at the options, post some specific question and people will jump right in. @scottalanmiller is the king of storage and backup answers. :)


  • Service Provider

    @hobbit666 said:

    OK so I've been told by BackupAssit the reason for the failing backups is the Disk is about to die.
    Question is which disk! I have a 8x 300GB SAS in RAID10. My Dell iDRAC is showing green across the board.

    That doesn't make sense as BackupAssist should be talking to the RAID array, not individual disks. If the RAID array shows errors to applications down the chain it means that it has already failed. A failing disk could not be detected by an application. Not even a failed disk is detectable.


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