Meta: IIS and Kerberos Part 6 is coming (for anyone interested in IIS still reading this blog)

The Windows Server 2008 backup feature no longer supports direct backup to disk (you'll need third party backup software to do that). You can backup to disk though - either to a SAN (or network share). Or to disk based backup media like the Dell RD1000.

Previously I've been backing up my server to an external enclosure via eSATA - which works, but doesn't provide the scalability of tape. The RD1000 gives you catridges similar to tape, but they appear as removable disk media to Windows Server 2008.

The RD1000 - next to two stacked 3.5" hard disks.

The RD1000 (also available from Imation in their RDX series) is available both internally (as 3.5" or 5.25" connected via SATA) or externally (connected via USB 2.0). The actual enclosure isn't much bigger than two 3.5" hard disks.

RD1000 seen from the front

The power supply is pretty small as well:

RD1000 Review - power supply

and catridges are about the same size as LTO / Ultrium tapes:

RD1000 catridges compared to LTO tapes
RD1000 catridge -vs- LTO tape

Internally, the RD1000 catridges appear to contain 2.5" 7200 RPM SATA disks. The SATA connector is visible by peering into the catridge.

The backup performance of the external USB-connected RD1000 is approximately 1GB/minute. The following screenshot shows a test run backing up both the system partition (with Windows Server 2008 running) as well as a second partition hosting Hyper-V virtual machines. At the time of the backup, two Hyper-V machines were running (an Active Directory domain controller, and second machine running SQL Server 2005).

RD1000 backup performance

Note: I paid for my RD1000 and backup disks. I didn't receive this from Dell - i.e. no conflict of interest etc.

In Australia the internal RD1000 device costs approximately A$400 (external A$700), and a 300GB cartridge costs approximately A$550 (at time of writing)