Just wanting to leverage off some of you backup gurus out there. We've been using backup directly to tape for some time now and we're in the process of purchasing a new backup server, disk enclosure & tape drives so we can carry out D2D2T. The details are below:
Dell PE2950 with MD1000 disk enclosure (8 x 750GB SATA disks) plus two LTO4 external tape drives. We'll install Backup Exec 11d on the backup server. We'll probably use Windows Server 2003 64 bit standard as the OS.
We'll backup to disk overnight and then write to tape once that has finished ending with the tapes being taken off site.
I'm looking to get some advice on how to partition & format the array that we'll be backing up to. Can anyone give me some advice on what cluster size to use? What about one big partition versus a few smaller ones? Anything else I should consider with our hardware setup that relates to backing up using BE11d?
I suggest you read the problems that people are having with B2D before you commit to using Backup Exec 11d for anything involving backup to disk. My (very limited ... but growing) experience with 11d makes me think that several smaller partitions are better targets for B2D because of the limitations and problems currently encountered with 11d.
Most of our issues seem to revolve around the Dell RD1000 (removable SATA) drives in PowerEdge servers. You might not have the same problems with a huge MD1000 disk enclosure (8 x 750GB SATA disks).
If you can get some performance guarantees from Dell before purchase, that would be good.
I want to second JBA479's comment. It would be best if you could thoroughly test your design before you commit to a big time hardware purchase. I think you'll be surprised at some of the outstanding bugs.
On our media server, we originally used 3 drives in a RAID 5 750 GB SATA 7200 rpm drives. The performance was pitiful. We changed the configuration as follows;
Added two mirrored 80 gb drives for O/S then we added another 750 and created a RAID 10. We added a battery to the RAID controller and turned on write back, read ahead, and cached I/O. The speed difference is incredible. we've gotten as much as 3.5 Gb/min average on a B2D job.
Hardware and the configuration has a huge impact on performance.