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Automatic offsite backup replication

Created: 17 Jan 2013 • Updated: 17 Jan 2013 | 9 comments
Bas Lips's picture
6 Agree
1 Disagree
+5 7 Votes
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Currently the only option to get a backup offsite without physically carrying the disk out the building is copying.
I dont consider this efficient, as all data is copied (instead of the delta) and it's not suited for the WAN/Internet. And SFTP copy? Really?

Replication techniques are widely available (even within Symantec portfolio) to efficiently replicate changed data over a WAN link.

Replication of the backup using techniques

  • optimized for WAN usage, efficient use of lower bandwidth/higher latency
  • resume/retry after downtime of the connection
  • seperate scheduling for offsite copying
  • scheduled throttling for bandwidth
  • giving insight in replication process
  • seeding option to get the bulk data offsite
  • cloud connectors for main suppliers (ie. Amazon/Azure)

Or just take a look at what the competitors offer in this respect.

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gmradiator's picture

I agree that SSR has very simplistic options for creating an off-site "copy", however there are many very cheap applications designed to do the job of replicating changes between sites. SSR is never going to excel at this function, and why should it.

I for one, do not want to see the price of SSR go up simply because they are spending more time trying to integrate better off-site replication code into an application that is already good at its primary purpose - imaging.

Why not use (for example) AllwaySync to do your replication:

$20 USD

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davidkillingsworth's picture
You are totally missing the point.
The fact is that there should be some way of getting data offsite using a network.  Nobody backs up to tape and has a 3rd party security company come to pickup the tapes every day anymore.
With the expansion of broadband networks, this is totally feasible and built into many other competitor products.
FTP as the only way to get a backup offsite is so 1995.
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davidkillingsworth's picture

Not to mention, SSR 2013 only has FTP, they don't even offer secure transmission via SFTP!

FTP passes clear text username and password across the network during the handshake.

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gmradiator's picture

I'm not sure whether you did not read my post before replying, but I think you may be missing my point.

1. SSR does offer a way to backup offsite. Granted the options are very limited, but offsite backup is not the purpose of SSR.

2. SSR's purpose it to image and restore a server, which it does very well.

3. Further developing off-site backup technology into an imaging software can only be considered 'nice to have', and not necessary.

4. There are already existing applications available to do what you ask, at very low cost. Even if SSR built this in, it could never compete.

Applications should concentrate on a primary purpose. That is how they excel.

Can you explain why you want these features built into SSR, instead of using another application designed specifically for the task?

Are you trying to cut costs?

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PDM-RED's picture

Hi Guys, this is a fantastic argument please keep it going as it will lead to good things.

I am considering keeping SSR as local imaging product and combining it with a real cheapo online backup product like Novastor £27.00 for 100GB per month to achieve offsite backup. (exchange is a bugger but we combine email continuity to ease the stress of local Exchange server failure.

The point is that SSR was supposed to be a Backupsolution as well as an imaging solution if not why dont they remove the Offsite function. it simply does not work unless you are lucky enough to have a 10mb connection to a secure FTP server which i tested over 2 years ago and it was fine, but none of my sites have 10MB upstream.

To play devils advocate towards gmradiator,

from a training aspect it is difficult to educate my engineering staff on 2 products.

from a reporting aspect, if I have 2 products running I have just doubled the "check the backups" task which is already fairly extensive.

lets keep this argument going its good stuff, well done.

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gmradiator's picture

I'm not posting to create an argument.

I just want people to know that there are solutions available to this problem which are low cost, easy to implement, and provide better functionality than the basic options built into SSR.

We use SSR to image servers, and AllwaySync to keep base point files and incrementals "sync'd" to an offsite NAS. It also propogates deletions, so after consolidating incrementals periodically, everything is tidied up off-site automatically.

I've been using this setup for about 2 years, it is bullet proof, easy to use, and requires minimal maintenance and training.

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Andrew Madsen's picture

So I am a bit confused. Is this a plea for help, a rant, or a sales pitch for some other product?

There a a multitude of ways for backups to be safely sent off-site as a job completes. AIR from Symantec is very dependable and can be throttled to not take all of your bandwidth. It does incur a licensing cost but the good stuff is never free.

You can use other replication technologies like Exagrid or Data Domain but again replication is "extra".

So are you asking for help or are you just griping?

The above comments are not to be construed as an official stance of the company I work for; hell half the time they are not even an official stance for me.

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gmradiator's picture

I think all the options have been highlighted already.

Either SSR gets more off-site backup functionality, or it doesn't. Either way, there are still options available for off-site backup in conjunction with SSR.

Previous poster adds nothing to the conversation.

Slightly concerned by the "good stuff is never free" comment. I'd like to see you stand up and shout that at a Linux convention.

Personally I'm happy to pay for good software, but not if a cheaper or free better alternative solution exists. I have tried many replicaion solutions, and the one I'm currently using has been the best for my environment which I why I originally recommended it's use here.

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Bas Lips's picture

Thanks for all your replies.

If your concern is that the price will increase, they could include it as an option. Getting a backup offsite should be part of the backup solution, otherwise it's not a backup in my point of view. Now options are very limited.

An example of features:

CA Arcserve has this setup. D2D for your diskbased backup solution, and Replication to replicate the data offsite, block based and suited for WAN links. 

Unfortunatly Arcserve support, troubleshooting and community is lacking. And their replication product is overpriced.

And besides, we already have a Symantec partnership, so it would make sense to keep using their products from a strategic point of view.

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