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sgovind

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hey guys,

i moved from exchange to kerio mail server, i need assistance in setting the best backup strategy for my mailserver.

What is the best backup strategy and restore strategy.




KMS Version: 6.5.2
O/S : CentOS 5.2
KOFF : 12 clients
Webmail: 53 Clients
LDAP : Active Directory
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My IT Indy

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Look into rsync if you're running Linux.

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My IT Indy
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hobson@jdk.com

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If using rsync, how do you ensure the backup is coherent?
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winkelman

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sgovind wrote on Mon, 27 October 2008 02:48


What is the best backup strategy and restore strategy.



Use the built-in backup method (that ensures coherence) and manually backup some extra folders (such as the SSL folder, etc.)

Any other method would 'officially' have to include stopping KMS during backup...
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sproket90

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I always recommend using the built in Kerio backup to an external drive. Then I backup the server using NTBackup. This will give you 2 copies of the data, but I rather have 2 then zero copies.

Depending on the amount of data you are backing up, you can run run scheduled tasks for ntbackup to an external hard drive or tape drive.

this is assuming you are running windows of course.

Smile
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RoadKingRick

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Has anyone running KMS on Windows looked into a better backup scenario for a large company? I do a full (built in KMS6.6) backup to an external drive on the weekend and incrementals every day. Problem is my FULL backup takes 46 hours to complete!!! In the event of a system crash, with all of the other related rebuilding tasks I would be looking at being down for 3 days. This would cripple business that relies on email to function.
Restoring the backup daily to a failover server would work, but it would take up way too much bandwidth through my network, so it would involve physically moving the external backup drive back and forth between the live and failover servers. This is quite tedious, and Murphy's Law dictates that the one time the drive was not swapped properly would be the day the server crashes.
I will probably start using using two sets of backup drives and do a full restore to a failover server every Monday morning. (I could restore the incrementals throught the network, then switch the drives back Friday night) but that still involves the danger of that "one time" the drives weren't switched.
Any thoughts?

[Updated on: Thu, 06 November 2008 16:05]

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hobson@jdk.com

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> my FULL backup takes 46 hours

Oh my.

We need more info:

- What's the size of the mailstore?
- What technologies are used?
- How busy is the server/s and what's the hardware?

There's got to be way to get it in under 12 hours - maybe some tweaking w/o $ though I'd say, if it's important enough, there'll be some $ required too.
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RoadKingRick

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Thanks for the reply

The store is about 300 gig
The server is on a dedicated Gateway 3.2 Gz workststation with RAID, Win XP SP2, and 4 gig RAM. The backup is going to a WD External via USB 2. System info shows one (1) enhanced USB2 bus, which I am pretty certain I must not be using.
I have 160 KMS licenses. Our various divisions use email attachments to provide tech packs to factories overseas, others send and receive approvals for graphics. Our sales contracts are all done via email. In short, the server is extremely busy.

After writing last night's post I had an epiphany (which will involve $, too bad bossman)
I am a pretty big fan of external Drobo drives. They have 4 bays and work like RAID except that you can mix drive sizes (which I don't anyway) They also have a companion product called Droboshare, which provides Gigabit ethernet, to share them on a network. I can even isolate this mini "network" by using a different IP for the Drobo and a 2nd NIC in the servers, all plugged into a their own gigabit switch.

Two scenarios.
1. The bolder move would be to migrate the actual store to the Drobo. At gigabit speeds it should suffice, but it makes me a bit nervous because it has not been tested by anyone yet as far as I know.
2. The safer solution of course would be to use the Drobo for the backups. At a gigabit, it shold be pretty speedy, then after the backup finishes, I could restore it to the failover server.

Thoughts?


[Updated on: Sun, 02 November 2008 14:18]

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My IT Indy

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I would absolutely never ever ever put your mailstore on a drobo. I would certainly never do it over the LAN. Mailstores are sensitive folders that need constant high-speed access. A consumer-level Drobo won't offer this, especially on the LAN. Most low-end NAS don't have the throughput to be useful for anything other than backups.

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hobson@jdk.com

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> The store is about 300 gig The server is on a dedicated Gateway 3.2
> Gz workststation with RAID, Win XP SP2, and 4 gig RAM. The
> backup is going to a WD External via USB 2.

Ah; regardless whether it's really using USB2's speed or not, that's not very fast at all - and I've seen benchmarking that indicates USB2, in actual operation, performs significantly less than the nominal wire speed.

FireWire/IEEE1394 would be an improvement, but you need more - I'd recommend a second RAID. Or at least a single drive on a bus made for fast storage; neither FireWire nor USB, but something like SATA.

Figure out what your target window of time is, factor in some growth and do the math, to find out how fast a technology you need.

> After writing last night's post I had an epiphany (which will
> involve $, too bad bossman) I am a pretty big fan of external
> Drobo drives.

Sorry; I just finished testing and while it's an interesting idea, speedy it is not - especially as utilization increases. I wouldn't use it for backup even; not at this level. The market where it fits better is a much smaller scenario.

- Marc
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My IT Indy

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I like eSATA for cost/speed/reliability. You can get a 2TB eSATA raid for close to $1k if you want.

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My IT Indy
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RoadKingRick

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Thanks for your reply. I agree that doing the backup to a USB2 or Firewire attached Drobo would yield no increase in throughput, it’s basically what I am doing now.
I was referring to backing up to a networked attached Drobo at a gigabit. Is this what you tested?
Also, remember I want to restore the backup to the failover server daily to minimize downtime. A second RAID or single drive would require daily physical movement of at the very least cables, which is tedious and error prone.
If our mailserver is down, I get "Is it back up yet? How long will it take" calls quite literally every 2 - 7 minutes. This includes from my many bosses. I have basically NO window.
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My IT Indy

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The network port speed of the drobo may be 1Gb, but the CPU in it probably cannot handle traffic that fast. Most lower-end NAS cannot handle true gigabit speeds. They top out at around 10-15MBps.

What you want is some sort of IPFailover between servers using rsync (or some other tool) to sync the mailstores every minute or so.

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My IT Indy
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tstrand

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We've tried unsuccessfully to get the original USB and then the Firewire Drobo's working as backup devices. They have been directly attached to XServes (OS X) and then secondary machines running BRU.


Gigabit network, all brand new machines, WD 1Tb drives, latest firmware.


The Drobo randomly drops the direct connection. We haven't tried DroboShare, but expect the networking ability of the dedicated Macs would surpass the DroboShare. We're going to repurpose the Drobos as bulk media storage somewhere on the network.

--

I wouldn't put them anywhere near your mail servers.


Tom

[Updated on: Mon, 03 November 2008 04:15]

hobson@jdk.com

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> I agree that doing the backup to a USB2 or Firewire attached Drobo would yield no increase in throughput

Firewire would, though not enough.

> I was referring to backing up to a networked attached Drobo at a gigabit. Is this what you tested?

No I tested via FireWire 800; DroboShare (Gb) would almost certainly be *slower*, since it's got to go through the same contortions to make its faux-RAID config AND run a filesharing protocol on top of that. Not to mention that, even on a dedicated network, there'll be overhead.

> Also, remember I want to restore the backup to the failover server daily to minimize downtime. A second RAID or single drive would require daily physical movement of at the very least cables, which is tedious and error prone.

You could go SAN then, providing direct attach to storage, by both CPUs - instantaneously; no need for backup except for DR, recovery of deletions, etc.

> If our mailserver is down, I get "Is it back up yet? How long will it take" calls quite literally every 2 - 7 minutes. This includes from my many bosses. I have basically NO window.

Ain't it the truth - however when faced with actual data (eg a table of $ for functionality) even the most untechnical decision-maker can make an informed choice. Make sure that whatever the choice, it's documented and known to all (especially users), so everyone knows what to expect. Transparency is a *really* good thing.
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