We're running Windows Server 2003 SBS and another machine with Server 2003 Standard on it. The SBS server is about 7 years old running pretty much 24/7 - a HP server of some description. We have an Ultrium 448 cycling LTO2 400GB tapes daily and incrementally backing up approximately 100gb worth of data (20gb C:\ and system state, 40gb exchange, 40gb database for some crap marketing software) on BackupExec 10D. As of 5 months ago, the backups have been consistently failing with IO errors, bad reads and some write errors.
When I say consistent, I mean every time and we haven't had a proper backup for the entire 5 months - So if the server explodes tomorrow, 7 years worth of data will just cease to exist. I've only just recently rejoined the company and am looking at rectifying the more concerning problems, so the first thing I did was try a backup to an USB2.0 external drive. It was excruciatingly slow. In fact it was so slow it took 40 hours and it still wasn't finished. I ended up cancelling it and reconfiguring the selections again to reduce file size. This, however, isn't a permanent solution.
I concluded that the IO error was either from a faulty tape drive (which has a tape stuck in there right now and not coming out) or from a dying SCSI controller. Neither of them are good news and both are extremely expensive to fix. I'm operating on an extremely low budget so have been looking at outsourcing the backups.
A company in Sydney (where I'm located) offer incremental online backups via a NAS. It costs almost double a new tape drive but offers monthly repayments which will let us get through times when cash flow is minimal. It seems like a sweet deal but it is still a little bit pricey. So I'm looking for a cheaper, yet reliable solution. Maybe some in-house NAS or something offsite? The idea is to avoid using tapes.
Are there any recommendations for rectifying my current situation? Or are tapes the only way to go? I'm concerned that the server will die one day in the near future and I must be able to restore it to another server with different hardware.