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Storage Does anyone still use tape backup?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mikkig, 23 Jul 2010.

  1. bigkingfun

    bigkingfun Tinkering addict

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    LEGO uses tape backup, then drives the tapes across town to a underground-concrete-bunker-safe. Their whole failsafe solution also includes a diesel engine the size of a small car.
    Interesting stuff!
     
  2. unknowngamer

    unknowngamer here

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    I use robocopy to copy to a networkshare.
    Ditched tape long ago.
    Both servers have 500GB drives.
    Both servers are on thier own UPS.
    I run a scheduled Batchfile for robocopy every night.
    I'll backup the backup to a USB drive every week, which is then put in a fire proof safe.

    While having no offsite backup is not ideal.
    If something happened to Both servers that managed to get past both UPS's I expect I'd be in some other kind of neck deep sht and restoring from backup would not be a high priority.
     
  3. sheninat0r

    sheninat0r What's a Dremel?

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    Definitely not. What kind of home user needs such an extensive backup system?
     
  4. Chimel

    Chimel New Member

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    Duck tapes

    Hard disks have reached the capacity and price of tapes: An Ultrium tape is 1.5TB for $100, 2TB HDDs are $110-200, with 3TB later this year.
    But when you need tape libraries and automatic loaders, the cost suddenly becomes prohibitive.

    On the other hand, while you can build hard disks SANs for dirt cheap, there is no integrated backup software/hardware that I know of (hopefully I'm wrong) that will do smart things like switching off real old backups, switching them on again when needed, or periodically re-reading/re-writing the data to refresh the magnetic signal, etc.

    The main advantage of tapes is that you don't need power to store them. Hard disks neither, but they are usually built into enclosures that are powered on at all times, and you still need a server for, say, every 128 disks. These areas should be improved for HDDs to fully replace tapes.
     
  5. Altron

    Altron Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why they don't just get hard drives with removable caddies - could remove and store them just like tapes.

    What's the read/write speeds like on tapes? As good as the current 500gb platter 7200rpm hard drives?
     
  6. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    The only problem with that is that hard drives are not as durable as tapes, have you seen how the offsite tape collection guys throw tape boxes around?

    Hard drives are really only meant to be installed and left alone to ensure long life, a good knock and they can be toast.

    I can see a place for large capacity SSD's being used instead of tapes but it would be cost prohibitive. I also think that technology might overtake SSD's for this purpose by the time SSD's get cheap enough to consider it.
     
  7. Chimel

    Chimel New Member

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    Enclosures with caddies exist, but it's too costly when you manage petabytes. An enclosure is already the perfect storage space for the disks, and to keep the data online. Better switch off the enclosure or move the whole enclosure to some long term storage area if you're going to use HDDs instead of tapes.

    Read/write speeds of tapes are better than hard disks. That Ultrium 5 cartridge I mentioned manages to fit 1800 tracks on the width of the tape, and is rated at 175MB/s while a SATA III hard disk tops 138MB/s. SSDs are faster at 355MB/s (read), 215MB/s (write).

    The problem with tapes is data retrieval. With hard disks, just switch on the enclosure and you have immediate direct (vs sequential) access to dozens of terabytes of data instead of having to read tape after tape.
     
  8. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Change suppliers! LTO4 (1.6TB compressed) on this side of the pond is around £25 a pop

    Compliance archiving appliances do just that, as will storage lifecycle policies within most enterprise backup suites.


    A fair bit faster. A well tuned backup server (and data pipeline) can write a single LTO4 tape at 150MB/sec+ reliably (I've seen 200MB/sec!), and you'll often have a fair few tape drives hanging off a suitably sized server. LTO5 has the potential to up this to 300MB/sec/drive, though achieving that in the real world could be easier said than done, not seen this speed as of yet.

    However, it must be said that to get these kinds of speeds to the tape, you really need to stage to disk first anyway!
     
  9. Chimel

    Chimel New Member

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    I don't even buy tapes! ^-^

    I guess you pay the price for the double density, but even in your case, that's about $80 for 1.6TB raw.
    1.5TB hard disk prices start at the same $80 on newegg.

    Yeah, I thought the big boys must be using something like that, probably unaffordable to mere mortals, though.
    You mean for hard disk drive arrays, right?
     
  10. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    What dollars are you talking? £25 is around 40 USD

    Storage lifecycle policies is one name for it, kind of a modern HSM. You have your Tier1/2 SSD/15k storage, your Tier3/4 SATA, your content addressed archive and possibly tape as well. Information moves between tiers depending on its usage profile, and gets archived/backed up to the archiving appliance and tape.

    Must note, not a consumer solution!
     
  11. Chimel

    Chimel New Member

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    I'm talking big bucks, of course. ^-^
    $40 for compressed 1.6TB = $80 for raw 1.6TB, assuming it's 2x.
    This was to compare with the raw 1.5TB of the Ultrium 5 tape or the raw 1.5TB hard disks.
     

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