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DR Backup Strategy

Level 3


We have 2 3600 R2 appliances - one at our Live site and another at DR. We have the following design:

  • The Live appliance backs up the servers each night and then duplicates the backup sets to DR (DR is the CAS)
  • The DR appliance will act as an offsite store and also duplicate the backups to tape
  • We are storing 4 weeks of backups on disk and would like to have 6 months on tape

Our current strategy is fairly standard - full backups every Friday and Incremental backups every other night. We have an issue though as our file server backup is around 1.5TB and the full backup takes days to duplicate to DR. This would chew up our WAN link each weekend. I'm investigating whether we should move to a different backup strategy that reduces the number of full backups.

The solution I'm considering is to create an initial full backup of each server and duplicate to DR, then run incrementals from that point onwards. We would retain 4 weeks worth of incrementals on disk and then create synthetic backups and duplicate to tape either each week or month.

I've read through the admin guide, various web posts and videos and am not 100% sure if this solution will work. I'm struggling to find info on the "forever incremental" scenario. Can anyone advise? Any advice appreciated.




Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified

Forever incremental is not really recommended as if you lose 1 intermittent set, you cant restore anything after that. I do understand the duplication concerns given that the Full backup is 1.5 TB+

Have you seen this white paper about Optimized Deduplication

Alternatively, what you could do is as you are planning to perform Tape Backups, you could use the same tape in the DR site and get it locally duplicated there.

Level 3

Hi Jaydeep,

Thanks for the response. I am using Optimized Dedup - currently the Managed server performs the backups and then duplicates them as soon as they're finished to the Central Admin server. This works well until the weekly full back of the file server needs to duplicate. We are looking at ways to split this backup up.

On the subject of tape backups, currently the backup job has a full and incremental backup specified with duplication of both once they complete. Is there a best practise to ensure the duplication to tape happens at the central admin side rather than the managed server side?

I'm concerned that my jobs might run like:

  • Backup incremental (on MMS)
  • Duplicate incremental to CASO
  • Duplicate incremental once more to tape - from the MMS to the tape library attached to the CASO

Or is there a way to configure the Central Admin server to duplicate its backup sets to tape?