Taking PHD Backups to Tape
While tape usage is declining, there are still a lot of environments that depend on it heavily for getting backups off-site, and even for DR.
PHD can help you get backups off to tape in a couple different ways. Your requirements will largely drive which one is best for you. The below is not intended to be a comprehensive list of configurations and use cases, but some basic best practices for the typical environments that we see from a lot of our customers.
When to use Virtual Full Backups and the PHD Exporter
Virtual Full backups are great for storage efficiency and long-term retention. Because the data is written using many small files in a deduplicated block store, you cannot just copy the BDS directly to tape. Most tape solutions will choke on all those small files.
The PHD Exporter was designed to help users take these virtual full backups off to tape more easily by allowing you to export individual backups on a schedule as compressed OVF images. Therefore, you won't need PHD software to recover these exported backups. Just import them into the virtual environment.
The Exporter is best for environments that do not have a lot of data and are not going to tape very frequently. If you have a weekly or monthly need and about 2-5TB or so of data being protected, this solution is great.
While performance will vary greatly from environment to environment, one of the best ways to configure this use case is to run the Exporter on the same Windows machine that runs your tape software (most folks are running media servers on Windows). Ensure there is a good bit of local storage connected to that Windows server to house the staged OVFs. Then you can have the OVF images exported to that local storage and then use the tape software copying the OVFs from the local storage to the connected tape drives.
Refer to the Exporter Guide attached below.Â
When to use Full / Incremental Backups
If you have a lot of data to take to tape, or you need to take the data off every day, then you generally want something that allows you to take only changes off to tape, with periodic fulls. This is when our Full/Incremental mode is best implemented.
If you have a Windows media server, you can connect storage to it and present it out as a CIFS share to our VBA(s). From there, we can use FI mode to backup directly to the CIFS share. The media server can then write the data from its local storage to the tape.
You'll need to use PHD software to recover from the backups that were taken off to tape in this situation.