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Look for hardware for terabyte/hour backups

Recent demos of very high speed data backup.

A number of vendors have now demonstrated the ability to back up large databases at rates approaching a terabyte per hour. Many of these demonstrations have been done using real-world hardware configurations of the sort that could be installed in any (well-financed) enterprise.

For example Sun's demonstration of backup rates of between 940 (online) and 1036 (raw device) megabytes per hour on an Oracle database were done with an array of standard hardware. It used a Sun Enterprise 6000 server with 17 Sun Model 112 storage arrays configured with a total of 30 2.1G Byte disk drives connected to the server by dual Fibre Channel interfaces. The arrays were configured with mirroring and striping. Basic backup devices were 24 Storage Technology SD-3 tape drives. The server was configured with 12 250 MHZ CPUs on six processor boards with a total of 2G Bytes of RAM. The remaining 10 slots on the server were populated with I/O cards and interfaces to the disk and tape drives. For the raw device demonstration an additional five Sun StorEdge DLT 7000 drives were added to the system.

Sun describes the demonstration in some detail in a white paper titled "High-Speed Database Backup on Sun Systems".


Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

Architectures and technologies for data protection and data backup will be discussed in detail at the upcoming free Storage Decisions Conference, to be held September 17 to 19 in Chicago. You can click here to register for the conference.


Dig Deeper on Data storage strategy

High-end storage array purchase considerations Depending on the disk types and capacities used, high-end arrays may start around 500 disks with 100 TB of capacity, and spiral upwards to 2,400 disk behemouths with over 1,000 TB (1 PB) of space. However, capacity and disk count are not the only characteristics of a high-end array. Large arrays typically support high-end features that enhance usability such as snapshots, replication, and tiered storage. Once deployed, the high-end disk array usually requires significant management with the support of one or more storage administrators. An enterprise can generally meet the challenges posed by large storage systems, but the actual choice of product demands careful consideration. This Buying Guide focuses on specific considerations for high-end disk array systems. You'll also find a series of specifications to help make on-the-spot product comparisons between vendors.

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