Choosing Backup Methods
There are various accepted methods of performing backups. Nowadays, rarely does one size fit all. You can combine each of these methods, or apply different methods to different classes of data, to achieve the best overall solution.
Perhaps some data is ideal for offsite into-the-cloud backup, while other data requires tape as a destination. It’s important to categorize the data being stored by your company, and match appropriate backup policies to each type.
Using Traditional Backup to Tape
Storing files on disk and backing up to tape on a nightly basis is a traditional method of backing up data. Tape is a well-established, time-tested technology, and has the advantage of being more portable and durable than other technologies. While tape still gives the best cost-per-megabyte ratio, disk-based backup is approaching that ratio. However, tape is relatively slow compared to today’s disk and network speeds. As a mature technology, many backup applications are built with transferring data to tape in mind. Some currently available backup solutions that work with tape units are:
– Retrospect by EMC
– BRU by Tolis Group
– Time Navigator by A-Tempo
– NetVault by BakBone
As of this writing, BRU, Time Navigator, and NetVault also support the Xsan file system, which has special backup and restore needs. See the Apple Knowledge Base article “Xsan: Best Practices for Data Integrity” at http://docs.info.apple.com/article. html?artnum=303371.