Backup Procedures Although the REO Series R2000 is cost-efficient, eWEEK Labs tests showed it is not an elegant backup solution. Unlike the FalconStor VTL (virtual tape library) appliance or Alacritus Software Inc.s Securitus software solution, both of which present hard drive storage as virtual tapes in a manner that allows them to work well with the media management in backup software packages, the REO Series R2000 just looks like a plain disk at which backup jobs can be targeted.The REO Series R2000 can present data to as many as eight targets, so a single appliance can be used to simultaneously back up eight small and midsize servers. We recommend that IT managers take payload and backup window requirements into consideration when deploying this product because servers that handle large amounts of data and are performance-sensitive will eat up most of the appliances storage and bandwidth. To move the backup data from the REO Series R2000 disks onto tapes (for long-term or off-site storage), the backup server mounts the backup disks in the REO Series R2000 and writes that data to tape. The REO Series R2000s restore-from-tape process is more difficult than VTL solutions because the REO appliance doesnt create virtual tapes. To restore test data from tape, we first had to restore data from tape onto the REO Series R2000, then run a second restore job from the REO disks to our application server. In contrast, VTL solutions create numbered virtual tapes. The media management capabilities that come with these applications track what data is on which tape. Using a VTL system, we simply located the virtual tape number that corresponded to our data and had that tapes data restored to our servera one-step procedure. Disk-to-disk backup at a glance Benefits
To enable disk-to-disk backup on our Veritas Software Corp. Backup Exec test platform, we had to install a backup engine on our application server and configure our backup software to use the REO Series R2000 as a backup target. Although this was an inconvenience, it was not a major headache. During initial backup, data goes from the application servers to the REO Series R2000 over an iSCSI link. Because this is a disk-to-disk trip, the process is quick.
- Speedy backups are well-suited to IT shops with short backup windows
- Quick data retrieval and restores
- Hard drives are quite reliable (thanks to RAID), while tape failure is an occasional headache for many IT managers
- Hard drives are not a proven medium for long-term data archiving
- Hard drives are generally more expensive than tapes
- Hard drives are not designed to be a removable storage medium