What are common approaches to backup solutions in remote data centers?

I am already familiar with general backup principals and have a very good backup strategy for our local data center but am having great difficulty extending it to a remote data center. We currently do a full backup on Friday, differential Mon - Thu, rotate offsite Friday morning ...rinse and repeat week after week. BTW, we use disks and have been very happy with this approach.

  • We could buy a large storage server and backup everything to it, but this solution doesn't give you offsite.
  • We could encrypt and upload to Amazon or some other online storage but that would take a large amount of time given the data and would be rather expensive paying for the bandwidth leaving the data center and receiving at amazon.
  • We could drive to the data center every Friday and continue to rotate disks as we do now. But that just seems old fashion.

What am I missing, are there better options?


If you are currently using tape backups and driving to site to rotate I might recommend getting someone on site to rotate the tapes rather then driving there. Most Datacenters will provide this service. Then you just need a company to pick up the tapes and take them offsite (IronMountain and Command Services does this in Canada)

  • +1 for datacenter remote hands, or a service like Iron Mountain. Or the DC could mail the tapes to OPs main office. – Jesper Mortensen Oct 14 '09 at 17:05

You should try to perform rsync backups as much as possible. The first upload will be expensive but keeping them in sync should use much less space, though this depends on how you backup.

There are also alternatives to companies which won't charge per inbound traffic (uploaded to the backup server) which will be cheaper than Amazon, and most likely more redundant, as I doubt AWS is running RAID-10 or RAID-6, but I'm not sure.

  • Amazon doesn't specify how they implement their redundancy for the S3 service, but they mention storing objects on multiple devices in multiple facilities. They also claim an object durability of 99.999999999% over a given year. – Martijn Heemels Jul 22 '12 at 20:20

If you have more than one data center why not just copy the data over the network to a different data center each night? If bandwidth is expensive, look into a private link between all of your facilities. Or use the area under your 95th percentile in your trough. :)


If you DATA is just a backup from a windows environment, you can use BAKBONE NetVault Fast Recover, they have a built in replication tool which only does incremental transfer other site via internet. Much easier to deploy and manage in my opinion.

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