I've just posted this here too: https://forums.netapp.com/message/187767 (I'm not sure where to post! )
Wondering if anyone would like to share information on how they are coping with increased user data requirements. I'm interested in learning how people might break down the user data into manageable chunks and how they are presented to the users and importantly, how it's backed up!
To get an understanding on where I'm coming from, I'll describe the situation I'm in with our user data:
It's all working reasonably well. The Filers (6240's) hosting these 10 volumes are maintaining quite impressive CIFS latencies. Usually under 5ms, even when Filers are heavily loaded with other workloads (Entire Exchange/VMware environments). These low latencies make the Desktop team quite happy, especially with majority of the desktop folders redirected
My only concern currently is we don't have an efficient archiving solution (That's another project altogether!), large portions of the user data we have is rarely accessed by users and with new user data coming in, the user volumes are forever increasing. This is becoming a bit of a concern for the Full Backups to tape we have run once a month, because we are wasting resources backing up the same files again and again… We are still managing to complete the runs to tape over a weekend period, but management are pushing to double user quotas and this current backup solution worries me. I don't want full backups running during business hours on these Tier 1 devices.
Fortunately we have a couple of 2240's which we could setup as a SnapVault destinations for these user home folder qtrees. So instead of running NDMP tape backups from the 6240's, we will instead snapvault replicate the user shares (10 qtrees) to the 2240's (maybe 5 qtree's per 2240's). We can then run NDMP tape backups from the 2240's. And if the Full Backups run into business hours then so be it, these 2240's don't host any data for core services so it is not a concern. Plus having snapvaulted user data on these 2240's, it will allow us to retain snapshot copies for longer, saving us time from having to retrieve data from tape more often).
Does this seem like a pretty sensible thing to do? Seem to me like it is
I'd be interested to hear how other storage admins organise all their user's data.. How many users per qtree, how big are the volumes getting, how do you back them up?
Feel free to ask me any questions too, happy to share experiences