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About LAN-Based backup, LAN-Free backup and SAN Server-Free backup

Maybe you've heard of the three backup strategies, LAN-based backup, LAN-Free backup and SAN Server-Free backup for so many times, but do you know the differences between them? Which one should you choose when you need to back up your data? Well, the two major problems will be solved after you read this blog.

First, let's start with knowing how each backup strategy works.

LAN-Based Backup

LAN-based backup can be used for all storage types. When the amount of data is not very large, you can use LAN-based backup to back up data centrally. All production systems need to install a backup client, which is connected to the backup server through the network. The main control server controls the backup of the entire system, and the data backup is responsible for transmitting data to the backup medium through the network.

The LAN backup method provides a centralized and easy-to-manage backup solution with low cost. However, this kind of backup solution relies on network transmission resources and backup server resources, which will easily cause network congestion and cannot transfer a large amount of data at a time.

LAN-Free Backup

LAN-Free backup can only be used for SAN (Storage Area Network) architecture storage. Related backup clients and backup media management software installed in the production system are respectively responsible for communicating with backup server and managing backup media. If a backup job is needed, the production system will automatically transfer the data to the backup medium as long as the main control server sends instructions to it.

Compared with LAN-based backup, LAN-free backup relies on an independent network that not only transfers LAN traffics, but also greatly reduces the CPU resources required for its operation. You can simply manage shared storage devices and backups for searching and restoring data via one single host, effectively improving backup efficiency.

SAN Server-Free Backup

SAN Server-Free backup can only be used for SAN architecture storage, and it is generally used in conjunction with the snapshot function of the array. When processing backup with SAN Server-Free strategy, snapshots of production data will be mapped to the backup server, and the backup server will mount the snapshots and finally copy the data to the backup medium.

The backup window of SAN Server-Free backup is near-zero. The transmission of a large amount of data does not pass through the server, thus cause no effect on the production system. However, compared with LAN-based backup and LAN-Free backup, it is the most restricted by the hardware environment and the deployment cost is rather high.

Then what's the best strategy for me, you might ask? Well, comparison can be made from these aspects below:

  • LAN-based backup: Least backup data volume, highest server resources consumption, lowest deployment cost.
  • LAN-Free backup: Moderate backup data volume, server resources consumption and deployment cost.
  • SAN Server-Free Backup: Large-size backup data volume, least resources consumption, expensive deployment cost.

It's obvious that both pros and cons exist in the three backup strategies, and you can make your own decision by comprehensively evaluating the data size you want to back up, the daily workloads of production environment and the budget for data protection. Vinchin Backup & Recovery provides multiple backup strategies including LAN-based backup, separated backup network and LAN-Free backup to meet different backup requirements from different users.

With today's SAN technology rapidly developing, LAN-Free structure has become quite mature compared with Server-Free structure, and gains more popularity among user group due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of centralized management. You can build your own scale-out backup infrastructure with the LAN-Free backup strategy Vinchin Backup & Recovery provides, and keep all your critical data safe in an efficient way without affecting the production network.

Published Friday, December 17, 2021 7:45 AM by David Marshall
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