I think I could get away with:
- Upgrading my licences to the new per-cpu capacity licencing in NBU v8 for ESX hosts
- Get two new servers (one per site, would act as master and media server). 8 or 16 cores, 32GB RAM.
- Get two cheap 30-40 TB QNAP NAS storage
Am I crazy thinking of (in terms of performance, etc) using those NAS devices as an MSDP pool, so I can benefit of in-line dedup and dedup everywhere? Do you have any real world experience with this?
Each site would have 12TB worth of data that would go to the deduplication pool. I also have 13TB worth of data in my site A that can go directly to tape as it's archived, non production data.
Another choice would be using creating a massive LUN in the QNAPs, presenting it to the NBU server (They are windows servers), using them as a staging disk and using windows deduplication, but this one is off-line deduplication so less ideal.
Last question. Is there any way I can calculate the requirements for the MSDP "database"? I guess the best practice is putting the MSDP pool and the database in different disk groups so activity in one doesn't impact the other.
I'd say you are out of luck wanting to use the QNAP's as MSDP's, as they are not supported. This is from the Deduplication Guide for NetBackup 8:
NetBackup Media Server Deduplication Pool does not support the following storage types for deduplication storage:
Network Attached Storage (that is, file based storage protocols) such as CIFS or NFS.
The ZFS file system.
The NetBackup compatibility lists are the definitive source for supported operating systems, computers, and peripherals.
You could probably use them as Basic or Advanced disk, but that is probably it. I'd also be a bit wary of throwing Windows Server inbuilt dedupe into the picture.
You can always present the storage as a iSCSI LUN and the netbackup server will treat it as local storage, which should be compatible with msdp.
This NAS seems to be quite powerful: https://www.qnap.com/en-uk/product/model.php?II=224