Backup Server

Brent Wiese brently at
Tue Nov 18 16:14:53 PST 2003

> Greetings,
> I have an NT 4 server 

Sorry to hear that. I'm sure you realize MS no longer officially supports
NT4 right? Well, no matter, on to the real questions...

> that I wish to back its data up to a
> FreeBSD box running Samba.  The thought being that
> since I cannot back all the NT 4 data up to one tape
> (24GB compressed), that I could back it up every other night.
> The nights it didn't go to tape, it would go to the Freebsd box.

Why bother with tape at all? The speed is abysmal. If you need the ability
to move the media, buy 5 USB 2.0 or Firewire external 100+GB drives. Oh,
that's right, you're running NT 4. ;)

> Should I use Freebsd 4.x or 5.x ?  The disk drives in the to
> be installed FreeBSD box are SCSI.  Should I use Vinum ?

I don't know about 4 vs 5. I only use 4.x. Your limiting factor here is
going to be network speed. You could remove a possible disk bottleneck using
vinum, but you'd want to stripe the disks and then you double (or x # of
drives) your risk of a drive failure.

If you have all night to run the backups, then staying at 100bt is probably
fine, but you may want to consider gig-e. If you do that, you can run jumbo
frames and get much better perf. Even if you stick to 100bt, you should
probably tune things some. I can't remember if NT4 supports changing
tcpwindow sizes, but its probably worth looking into, even if they're very
close to each other (< 2ms).

> Just curious about others thoughts before I start setting it up.

You should look into this software:

Do you already have the hardware for this box? If you don't, instead of
spending money on scsi, you may want to consider using serial ATA and
3Ware's RAID cards. Put 4 or 5 SATA drives on a 3Ware in RAID5 and you have
a cheap speedy fault-tolerant system. SATA drives are only like $10 more
than their parallel ancestors. I've given up scsi in favor of this config. I
just built a 6TB system using 24 SATA drives and 2 3Ware 12 port controllers
and its *very* fast. I haven't speed tested it yet, but I also have a 2TB
system using 12 ata133 drives and a single 3ware 12 port card and I can
write at over 110mb/s over gig-E (reads are somewhere around 170mb/s). I
expect the new sata one will be limited more by nic now.

Good luck! If you decide you might want to go the 3ware route, let me know
and I can put you in touch with the vendor I have build these for me. Great
pricing and excellent service.


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