Backup to tape

    There is a very large network of stores in Russia. Each store is backed up to a tape library (below the photo is a ZIP). Then they take the tapes and take them to the archive by car.

    Mechanical devices: they break, fail, we go to repair. Then they go with an extended warranty, and it infuriates everyone.

    At some point they are outdated. But the budget was exactly the new version of the tape library. At this point, the customer came to us on the threshold of the nth sum and asked if it was possible to come up with something within its framework.

    We thought about the central installation of one large piece of iron, but the situation was complicated by the fact that the channels from the stores are limited to 5 Mbit / s (from the farthest).

    Found Data Domain

    When studying the infrastructure, it turned out that Dell EMC Data Domain was already installed in the central office. True for their office tasks. And in the office a toy for a long time and successfully used. They know how to work with it, it is compatible with their backup software and is firmly embedded in the infrastructure. Now - clarification of the problem: there are shops, ribbons, money. Locally, they should be stored in the store for up to three months, then the data in the store should not be available for up to 10 years for a number of indicators. This is necessary according to the requirements of the regulator and internal policies.

    There are wishes not to bother with ribbons. There are no special speed requirements. But I would very much like to minimize the number of admin's manual operations and reduce the chance of non-recovery. With tape this, alas, happens. One tape broke - copies of Khan, because there is no redundancy.

    Our option

    We decided to propose to consider alternatives to tapes: transfer backups to S3-compatible storage. Understandably, you can get up in the Amazon, MS-cloud, to us in a public cloud - anywhere, where there are object storages with certain SLA. And you can take and mount a small private cloud right in the office. This is exactly the solution that Dell EMC has: you can bring the hardware to the office and get the installation of the cloud. And Dell EMC is already a familiar vendor, so integration issues are much easier than in all other cases.

    Plus there is already a data domain that can do deduplication. And the transfer of deduplicated data to it allows you to greatly reduce traffic.

    At the request of the customer, a comparative cost analysis was performed: Dell EMC at the site, our cloud, CRIC and MS.

    Dell EMC ECS is a big purchase, it is necessary to extend support there, place it in the server and data center. We considered 10 years in the horizon, and it turned out to be more expensive due to the fact that the minimum configuration is very redundant and therefore costs like a wing from an airplane, and you have to pay immediately plus then extend support (for dollars that are not clear how much will cost in 3-5 –7 years) and keep in mind the dates of end of sale and end of support. MS storage with the same backup ratio is more expensive. A feature of our S3 is to automatically scatter data into three geographically separated sites. At MS the tariff for geodistribution is higher.

    As a result, the customer looked and asked the pilot in our S3. Let's say, see if it works. Because vendors say: we have the support of Amazon, Azhura and Google.klaud, and no one knows whether this solution will work with us.

    The point is to put the “hot” data on the storage, and then download the old copies from the storage to the cloud in the same format as they are on the storage.

    We did the Dell EMC Data Domain testing. They have stated that they can shift their copies from themselves to S3. Dell EMC DD has earned, their support helped us with great enthusiasm, because the engineer on the other side was really happy about this task, said: cool story with Veeam!

    Further, we are faced with the fact that Dell EMC has a peculiarity: this is done so that the data first stack for 14 days on a piece of metal and only then can be uploaded to the cloud. Engineers say it is deeply sewn up, and this is the logic of the developers: these two storage cycles are written almost in hardcode. More - it is possible, less - no way. It is believed that two weeks is the storage time when the user wants to recover.

    If the data has already been transferred to the cloud - we returned it back, recovered from it, and they again lie for 14 days before leaving.

    We would like to put the week, but all the royal army and all the cavalry could not help us.


    • Veeam collects backups from all objects of the store and gives it to Data Domain, as usual. He doesn't know anything about S3.
    • Data Domain instances deduplicate traffic on the ground and, if necessary, can send replicas to the central office.
    • Cloud Tier is built into the data domain, it automatically transfers data to S3 in our data centers.
    • When the user needs to pull something out of the backup, he knocks on Veeam. Veeam knocks on his recording system, the recording system knocks on his “disk” (physical or S3) and takes a copy. Everything is pretty nicely integrated.

    The result is that they fit into a given budget without tapes, took into account all the costs of support works and implemented a more reliable solution with geo-distribution. Well, we were pleased with one engineer on the vendor's side, who was happy that there are people in this world who know how to think: this is me now about the team of administrators of a chain of stores.


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