I decided to set up a new backup system. I don't like tapes, so I started looking at disk-based backups. I also settled on Bacula for handling the backups. I found I could buy a ReadyNAS NV+ for $380, then 2TB disks for $125... allowing for a cold spare, that means $625 for disks... total cost for one storage unit, about $1000 for 5.4TB of RAID-backed, hot-swappable storage. That's outstanding value!
Better yet, I discovered that some helpful people had compiled and packaged Bacula for the Sparc ReadyNAS units (of which the NV+ is one) so all I need do is install it. Then I can run the Director on my basic HP server, the Storage Daemon on the ReadyNAS, and the File Daemon on the clients to be backed up.
I also figured we'd get better redundancy by using a pair of ReadyNAS units, and writing alternate weeks' backups to each.. so weeks 1 3 and 5 go to nas-1, and weeks 2 and 4 go to nas-2.
After trying 3 different web UIs for controlling the backups, I settled on bweb, which seems to work pretty well (only a few broken bits).
I'm still part-way through the final implementation, but when I get the config all sorted out, I'll post a follow-up. So far, I have one of the ReadyNAS units running the Storage Daemon, and I've got my desktop computer backing up to it as I type. W00T!
At this stage, we're doing simple backups of user's network drives on a range of servers situated at 6 sites, to a central facility. If this scheme works out well, we may look at adding more storage, and expanding into doing bare-metal restore support for critical machines... could be exciting stuff ahead!