If you haven't already, read Part I first. So, what am I considering for hardware? I'm considering several options, here is my homegrown solution, if I couldn't afford a Filer/NAS device:
Homegrown student storage system:
I planned on filling that MD3000i with 15 1TB disks, and when you get to that level of storage, you seriously need to consider how you're going to back it up. Right now, we protect a little over 15TB with our current backup systems on campus, so I'd nearly be doubling the size if I fed this data into our existing system. Doing full backups over the network each week would take far too long, so I'd need to utilize synthetic backups in order to reduce the amount of network traffic and the size of the backup window required. To do that, I looked at the DL2000 system, with two shelves of disk storage attached to it. This is essentially a 2U Dell Server, with Windows and Backup Exec (or CommVault) installed, and shelves of disk attached to the back of the server to use for storing the backups. While we typically use NetBackup, I've fairly familiar with BackupExec, and knew that it could perform synthetics necessary to reduce network traffic. Purchasing a dedicated backup system for this project also made some sense because I could predict the annual cost of the backups quite easily. Our NetBackup system is run on a charge-back basis, based upon how many GB each "customer" on campus is protecting with the system, as that number would fluctuate wildly, so would backup charges. Using our NetBackup system would be cost-effective if the student storage system stayed small, say under 2 TB, but if it hit 10TB, it would be extremely expensive to feed into our other backup boxes.
Now, if I go back to my list of possible protocols that would be useful in this project, which can I provide with this solution?
So what are the pros & cons of this approach?
Stay tuned for Part III next week.