Backup and Snapshotting Questions

I’m in the market for a SAN for a SMB and have some questions about the Drobo. The feature set looks good and it’s appears as though it will meet my needs as far as hosting VM’s, capacity, and expandability, however, I need a solution that will allow me to take snapshots of the storage periodically for disaster recover/backup purposes. My organization currently utilizes tape backups which a) don’t allow me to take snapshots and b) are being backed up in a drive which is beginning to show it’s age. What are my options for snapshotting (or any bare metal restoration) with the Drobo?

You’ll have to forgive me if I seem uneducated in the matter as I’m new to the position (I have a psychology degree and transferred to IT in the same company as an IT specialist) and shortly thereafter the director (and only other IT employee) recently left to take a position at another company and now I’m in charge of the whole network.

Hello, you might want to look at Veeam or Acronis as the utilities for what you’re asking about, a Drobo can be attached to the backup server and either one of those programs can backup into the Drobo. Each of those programs do all of what you’re asking about except backing up to tape. I only added that in there mainly if you’re looking for one utility that does all backup function and features.

I might recommend looking into Veeam. Below is the how to guide to setup Veeam backups on the B1200i and B800i.

http://www.drobo.com/downloads/how-to/HT-0044-01_drobo_iscsi_san_with_veeam.pdf

Drobo Support

We own a B1200i in a medium business running a VMware environment with Veeam. What I can recommend is before you unbox the Drobo read very carefully the performance guidelines as making changes after its in place is a bit of a longer task.

Ensure you are happy with only using ESX 5.0 or ESX 5.1u1.
Follow the performance guide as much as possible, yes that means you have a massive amount of space but only a few LUNs.

Before you even format a drive, get its firmware up to 1.1.5 or 1.20 (if you are feeling brave, its only a couple of weeks old)

It is good and easy to use kit but has had a few serious wobbles in the past as the firmware we had ours shipped with had a ‘undocumented feature’ that lead to it randomly rebooting when it was fully populated with 4TB drives and three teiring SSDs! (later the 1.1.5 firmware sorted this issue)

Every month its a good idea to check manualy the Drobo site for an update, the automatic updater didn’t mention the 1.1.5 firmware was available, only a support call sent out to both Drobo and VMware found the issue.

TL:DR. Its good and easy to use kit, just keep your eyes on the Drobo forums for updates and read the patch notes. Read the instructions and plan its deployment, don’t just scream ‘YOLO’ and toss it on the network.