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I would like to backup using Windows Imaging to some kind of NAS appliance. I believe this will require the NAS to support iSCSI. I would then like the appliance to support the replication of the iSCSI LUN to an external eSATA or USB disk connected directly to the appliance.

I've found plenty of NAS appliances that can do iSCSI and replicate to an external drive, but none that I've found thus far can do both at once. That is, the devices can do iSCSI, but then the replication feature doesn't work.

The idea here is to backup to an appliance located in a secure office far away from the server room. Offsite backups to external hard drive could be managed from the appliance. The benefits of such a setup would be: 1) very unlikely that fire or random theft would affect both server-room backup and "remote" backup appliance 2) offsite backups could be managed by multiple trusted people without granting access to server room 3) Windows imaging provides poor man's deduplication, so each backup volume can contain a decent backup history.

I understand why this would be a non-trivial thing to implement, but I'm wondering if such a thing exists? Preferably a tabletop, low to medium cost device.

Alternative solutions welcome. NOTE: I'm backing up very few but very large files, so file replication is not a good option.

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closed as not constructive by Mark Henderson Jun 18 '12 at 3:56

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3 Answers

Depending on the target and initiator, you could always mount the drive on another server (at the same location as the iSCSI target) and then do the replication from that server.

This assumes that the filesystem will support this, and as there's no mention of that in your post I can't make any suggestions on whether or not it will work in your environment.

Windows Storage Server 2008 (which is neither tabletop, nor cheap) can also do this by mounting the iSCSI disk locally as well as on the remote machine, and you could then replicate (Mirror or whatnot) this way.

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Actually the Tandberg Data AccuVault DPS3005 RDX is desktop, it doesn't even have rack fittings AFAIK, and it runs Windows Storage Server 2008. Not cheap though, alternatively if the poster has MSDN licenses... –  Mark Lawrence Nov 9 '11 at 10:30
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Tandberg ship a edesktop product called Tandberg Data AccuVault DPS3005 RDX which is perfect for your scenario but perhaps not for your budget. It runs Windows Storage Server so provides you with an iSCSI target and deuplication. The unit incorporates a removable RDX cartridge, you can buy several of these and rotate them offsite. RDX cartridges are as portable as USB drives, and a bit nore robust and easier to catalogue (I've bought them cheaply on Ebay). Also Accuvault is reputedly a good backup software solution. I'm suggesting this as a 'conceptual' perfect solution rather than a practical one, because the unit is quite pricey.

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iOmega's NAS appliances can do both: iSCSI and local replication. There are models for desktop (2 to 6 drives) and for rack mounting (4 or 12 drives). Also all models supports replication via rsync.

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