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Backup to External USB Drives on SmallBusiness Server 2008

Stylax
Level 4

Time to revisit this one perhaps ?

 

Using Microsoft Small Business Server 2008, with Exchange 2007.

 

Backup Exec 2010 to be used with five seperate external USB hard drives.

 

What is the best/recomended way to do this ?

 

Backup to Disk folders ?   or    Removable Backup to Disk Folders ?

 

Must do GRT backup of Exchange 2007.

 

 

6 REPLIES 6

Ken_Putnam
Level 6

R-B2D  are designed for thing like RDX or JAZ drive where the platter is ejected, but the drive itself stay mounted

External drives (USB, FireWire, eSATA) should use standard B2D devices

The prefered/official way to utilize multiple External drives is to assign each it's own drive letter and to always mount it on the same letter

GRT can  be written to either as long as the drive is formatted NTFS (used to be requirement that the drive be locally attached, but 2010 supports networked shares

If you don't already have the drives in hand, I'd consider something other than USB, like eSATA

Colin_Weaver
Moderator
Moderator
Employee Accredited Certified

Hi there Ken's answer is correct up to Backup Exec 2010 - however 2010 R2 has a better method of dealign with the fact that USB drives might end up on a different drive letter.

 

As 2010 R2 is a free upgrade if you have 2010 licenses the first recommendation is therefore upgrade.

 

Once you have upgraded make a different B2D on each USB drive and then add them to a device pool so that you can target your jobs to the pool instead of each B2D.

Oh and don't unplug the USB disks in the middle of a backup operation.

 

matt077
Level 5
Partner Accredited

done the same kind of thing with Backup Exec 2010 which i did Backup to Disk folders tho after reading the comment from colin with the upgrade, it be worth doing that 1st!

usb did the job but seen esata run better then usb, just got a quick heads up :)

Stylax
Level 4

I find that B2D folder on external USB had disk work just fine...

 

..until someone forgets to change a drive on the correct day.

 

Take a scenario whereby we have a 500GB drive backing up 200GB each day.

 

day#1 backup goes onto drive#1 and takes up 200GB disk space.

 

Somone forgets to unplug drive #1 on day#2

 

day#2 backup will now attempt to run on drive#1 unstead of drive#2

 

drive#1 already contains backup for day#1 and therefore can't be overwritten even if you set it to. my understanding is that backup sets can only overwrite the files that are part of their own set.

 

You then have two backup sets on drive#1, day#1 and day#2 each 200GB and now only 100GB free space on the drive.

 

What happens if it is left in there for day#3 and there now isn't enough space ?

 

It won't overwrite as it doesn't contain a backup set from day#3, these are on drive#3 from the previous week which isn't connected.

 

So it attempts to create a new set of backup files on drive#1 for day#3

 

OK so far, it starts..there is 100GB free space at the start..

 

but not enough disk space left, so it queues.

 

User comes back on day#4 and disconnects drive#1 and then connects drive#4

 

day#3 backup then continues and completes on drive#4

 

You then have drive#1 with day#1 and day#2 and half of day#3 backup.

 

The other half of day#3 backup is on day#4 drive. what a game !

 

Seems to me that having external USB backup devices is only any good if the users remember to change them without fail every day. If this happens then it seems to work OK without any hitches. If they don't then it all starts to fall down.

Doesn't seem that this is at all well suited to people who aren't IT administrators per se, ie people at small companies who only want to get involved in as far as just changing the USB drives, they get and e-mail alert, but so long as it says it worked they're happy.

I find if somone forgets to change a drive and they get out of sync then the overwrite and recovery capabilities are dismal to say the least.

 

If the above scenario happens then it seems to creat all sorts of prolems from that point onwards often resulting in needing to reset everything to get it all back on track again.

 

Unless anyone has any bright ideas and can tell me where I am going wrong ;)

 

Personally I think that the old fashioned tape drive is the way to go for a trouble free life...

 

USB drives...hmm

Ken_Putnam
Level 6

Seems to me that having external USB backup devices is only any good if the users remember to change them without fail every day. If this happens then it seems to work OK without any hitches. If they don't then it all starts to fall down.

Personally I think that the old fashioned tape drive is the way to go for a trouble free life...

If you think of the external drive as a tape volume, you can see that the same problem can occur if the tape(s) are not swapped, so no real difference there
 

my understanding is that backup sets can only overwrite the files that are part of their own set

Appends do definitely work this way, but Overwrite can replace ANY expired data.  You can set BackupExec to look first for expired media in the target media set, but if it doesn't find any, it will use any expired media it can see.

Stylax
Level 4

We still have more problems with Backup Exec when used with external USB drives than I can ever remember with anything else.

Tape drives seem to work faultlessly, USB drives are the bane of our lives.

They're much much cheaper than say an Ultrium tape drive of the equivalent capacity which is why they are so popular.

Like I said when they are changed properly then it seems to work OK. But as you can see above I seem to be running into problems.

Once it gets into a pickle as we see above I find that even clearing the drive down doesn't seem to help, the job just goes into queued mode and stays there. The only way to get it to work properly again is to do a complete reset on that particular job, delete the device and then the job. Recreate the device and recreate the job Then it'll work OK.

Ken, what do you actually use yourself ? and exactlyhow do you have it set up ? I've several test labs and am willing to give any suggestions a try.