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Configuration advice for switching to fiber

Created: 21 Sep 2008 • Updated: 02 Mar 2009

I'm currently running BE 12 on a Dell PowerEdge server with an LTO-3 SCSI (U160) tape drive installed, controlled by an Adaptec 39160 HBA.  I'm running 100Mbit FastEthernet everywhere, and was starting to evaluate putting a dedicated Gigabit Ethernet network on just the critical servers and running the backup traffic over that subnet.  Before the evaluation project really got going, I inherited (not free, but the "cost" was very cheap for the gear) an LTO-3 Fiber tape drive (also a Dell PowerVault), an 16 port fiber switch and all the cables and QLogic 2340 HBA's that I'd need.  So here's what I'd like to do and would like some input about how to get there from those who have gone before me.

- currently there is only one LTO-3 fiber drive connected to the fiber switch.  If this works out, I may try and get another or a library/changer but that's a ways away, and well after I've proven the benefits of using fiber over G-ethernet.

- each server that will be backed up gets a fiber hba and connected to the fiber switch.

- I want to be able to run BE 12 from each server so that when its tape (set) is in the drive, it will be backing up directly from local storage to the tape drive, as if the tape drive were directly attached.  No more pulling backup data across the (ethernet) network wire.

- I want all instances of BE 12 to write to the same database so that there is one central repository of backup jobs, reports and tape/catalog data.

- I'd like to be able to use the existing database that i've built so far, and keep adding to it, but if i need to scrap it, i suppose i can always start from scratch and run catalogs of the exsting tapes.   This database will need to be moved from the existing BE 12 server to our dedicated SQL 2005 server.


Questions / Concerns


- Do I need to unistall the BE 12 that's currently installed and running?  if not, how would it need to be modified?

- are there any gotcha's i need to worry about when moving the database to SQL Server 2005? 

- Once the first installation of BE 12 is configured and settled, how do I go about installing (what things do i need to choose) and configuring the other BE 12 server instances?  Obviously I'd need to start by removing the BE Remote Agents.


Is there anything I might be missing or forgetting to ask that is critical?