Removable Drive Support for Imaging:
How does Automatic Mirroring Technology (AMT) along with removable drives help you protect your Storagecraft images? First you can create “seed” drives to speed up your intitial replication offsite. Secondly you can create extra copies of all data, while still supporting continuous incremental images.
Consolidating or collapsing those incremental chains by rolling them into a single file… aka “synthetic backup” is a great way to provide recent history and reduce backup sizes. However, some technicians worry about overwriting old files or long term file corruption. AMT along with removable drives can address these key concerns:
- Protect long continuous incremental chains from corruption by retaining “snapshots” on separate physical drives than can be set on a shelf.
- Provide archive drives for long term data retention to comply with HIPAA, Sarbanes Oxley, GLB and similar laws.
- Create “seed” drives that can be physically sent to the data center to speed up initial or subsequent “full” replications.
Whether you choose Direct Attached Storage (DAS) or Network Attached Storage(NAS), mirroring works similarly. If you prefer DAS, simply plug your High-Rely device into any eSATA or USB3 port on your server. If you prefer a NAS product, use Gigabit ethernet to connect a multi-drive system such as a Netswap Plus (Linux) or BNAS (Windows). After turning on the internal mirroring the server and backup job will see one drive (not two). Setup your StorageCraft software with it’s incremental and collapsing chain magic as you would to any external storage. Since the external drive will never go offline (you always leave the the main drive in place), the job can continue to run each night.
ShadowProtect isn’t aware the drive has been swapped because the primary drive remains online. Unlike a USB drive, there will be no struggles trying to get drives to reappear after a drive swap, or convince the software this is the same drive that has incremental images on it. When the user puts in a new drive the AMT board starts a re-mirror. It takes about 6-24 hours to mirror depending on whether you use 1,2, 3, or 4TB drive sets. An LED tells the user when the mirror is sync’d. The mirrored drive can then be used for physical off-site transport. If you need more storage you can use a removable 3 drive media called a RAIDPac. RAIDpacs are installed in RAIDFrame enclosures and can be mirrored using AMT, creating “RAID51”. Click here for more details on the 2 Bay RAIDFrame AMT.
Consider an extra $225 slimline removable drive system to simplify restores (You wouldn’t want to insert a 6 month old drive with archival data into the High-Rely drive slot and accidentally over-write it when the mirror kicked in). It is not strictly necessary to use a separate device if you can remember to flip the mirroring switch off before attempting a restore from an older drive. But….for the price it’s an easier way to avoid mistakes.