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tape backup recommendations?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mushky, 20 Jun 2006.

  1. mushky

    mushky gimme snails

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    Hi,

    I need a new tape drive to back up my server. The old one died and it's obsolete now so I can't just replace it. It was on a SCSI ultra2 64bit controller.

    Can anyone recommend me a new one? It doesn't have to go on the SCSI controller necessarily. I have spare PCI slots.

    Needs to be at least 20GB capacity, preferably more for future expansion. I have loads of DDS4 tapes that I could use but it's probably time to replace those anyway.

    Cheers!
     
  2. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    A DDS4 drive?

    :p

    Ebay is your best bet. I picked up a DDS4 with cable, SCSI 39160 card, drive and 5 tapes for £100 not too long ago.
     
  3. TheoGeo

    TheoGeo What are these goddamn animals?!

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  4. mushky

    mushky gimme snails

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    Cheers guys. Need new unfortunately (for work).
     
  5. Sp!

    Sp! Minimodder

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    DAT 72 will probably be your best bet, it's one up from DDS4 and gives yu 36Gb uncompressed space (allegedly 72GB compressed but you won't get more than 40 in the real world)

    If you can (and your running windows) get Backup exec it really is the best backup software money can buy.
     
  6. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    DDS4/DAT72, new, you're looking at upwards of half a ton.

    Check froogle or Dell/HP. I think mine is an ex-Dell jobbie.
     
  7. lord nicon21

    lord nicon21 sexy *******

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  8. webchimp

    webchimp What's a Dremel?

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    Given the price of tape drives and blank tapes, not to mention the generally slow speed and and poor reliability of tapes and drives I've often wondered why people don't use a bunch of removable hard drives either in caddies or USB/Firewire enclosures. Once the hard drives are in caddies or external enclosures you can take them off-site and store them just as easily as tapes.

    In a caddy or an enclosure, hard drives are at least as robust as a tape, will last much longer, are probably much more reliable when you actually need to restore something and are likely to be at least twice the speed.
     
  9. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    No
    no no no
    just... no. Hard drives != backup
    Do me a favour, take the main drive out of your system, hell take all of the drives out of your system. Hold them up, around head height, make sure you're standing on a hard surface. Ok, ready? Count down from three... two... one... drop them.

    As for your point abour drives being faster. LTO3 is one of the daddies when it comes to tape. 400/800GB tapes are around £40-50 each or getting down towards £25-30 each buying in bulk. They can sustain writes of 70/140MB per sec, across the entire capacity. More 'exotic' drives (eg, StorageTek T10000) can hold 1TB and up with 120/240MB per sec write speeds.

    Mushky: What is your budget? How much are you backing up? Tape drives/autoloaders/libraries can cost anywhere from hundreds to millions...

    I'll take a stab and guess that you're looking at the former end of the scale, but that still leaves quite a few different options. SDLT 320 is a good price/cost ratio at the moment, and gives a good wodge of space and speed. Alternatively you can get a DLT or DDS autoloader, which wouldn't be as high capacity per ta[e but it means that all the tape swapping is done for you, depending on the autoloader you can add extra drives as well to speed up the process.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jun 2006
  10. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Cause harddisks suck balls and they are prone to dropping and static. They are nowhere near as robust as a tape in a tape case. If you're talking LTO then they do chew tapes from what Ive heard but not DAT drives.
     
  11. webchimp

    webchimp What's a Dremel?

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    OK, so you can't play football with hard drives. When I say robust, I was thinking more in terms of being able to retrieve the stored data reliably.

    I'm just a little anti-tape, having had bad experiences where the backup seems to go OK, but when you come to restore something, the damn file you want is corrupt, effectively making the whole time consuming process a complete waste of time. Perhaps some of the latest tape based solutions are better than the ones I used 5 or so years ago. You would dutifully carry out your daily, weekly, monthly backup jobs with the niggling thought that if you actually needed to restore anything it was at best 50:50 that it would go without a hitch - shudder.

    Possibly the best solution these days is to backup over a high speed network to an off-site location.
     
  12. Glider

    Glider /dev/null

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    And this proves what Mister_Tad? That, like webchimp said, you can't play football with your HD's, well, actually, do you kick your PC? Well I sure as hell don't...

    Saying that HD's aren't backup is only partially true. HD's surely are backup, not ideal for off site storage, or playing football with, but very good for capturing data. And if you take good caution about how you place your backup server, I can't see any reason why it would be less secure then backup tapes, except for the off site storage (which nowadays is handled throug fast internet connections).
     
  13. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    Proper backup should be offsite backup. Hard drives do not handle being transported well. What I posted was in direct response to:
    drop a drive from only a few feet and chances of survival are slim. Fill a case full of drives and hand it over to an offsite data storage company, who throws (and I mean throws) the case into the back of a van (hell knows what happens on the other end when you're not looking) and the chances are even slimmer. Tapes, on the other hand, take it in their stride.

    We exchange over 100,000 tapes with offsite data storage yearly, and regularly perform disaster recovery exercises. In the last year, I can only recall problems on 3 occasions. One was due to a DLT drive eating the tape, another due to one of the library robots being a bit heavy handed and the other due to a clumsy media librarian.

    Not all offsite storage can be easily handled by a fast internet connection. It all depends on the amount of data you need to back up and the window in which you can perform the backups. For example, an 8 hour window to back up around 20TB of data. Do the math and you find that its quite a bit more than a fast internet connection required to do that (a 10gbit pipe to be precise)

    Back on topic: mushky, what kind of data are you backing up? In your first post you say "my server" which makes it sound like its at home but then you say its for work...
     
    Last edited: 21 Jun 2006
  14. mushky

    mushky gimme snails

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    Thanks for the help guys. I really don't want to mess about with hard drives. I can slip a backup tape in my jeans pocket and forget about it.

    It is for work but it's a small operation with small storage needs and small budget. There's 18GB I need to back up at the moment. I can see the need to increase the storage space in the near future, but at most up to 36GB.

    I need 10 tapes.

    Thanks for the help :)
     
  15. Sp!

    Sp! Minimodder

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    Tape drives all the way....

    other than the points mentioned already, If your a small organiseation you can probably get a full backup on 1 tape, if that's the case I'd generally recommend you had 10 tapes, mon, tu, wed, thu, and 4 fridays so you can keep 4 weeks backup and then 2 spares just in case. then at least 1 tape a week should be stored offsite generally recommend that some one just take one home with them. all the others need to be stored in a locked fire proof box.

    now if you were to do that with hard drives....

    thats 10 hard drives 10 caddies... a very big fireproof box (and a fireproof boxes by there nature are big on the outside small on the inside and rather expensive). Compare the cost of all that to the cost of the tape drive and you'll probably find there's not a big a difference as you might imagine. then whoever needs to take the drive home now has to take care not to bash the disk about and has a couple of Kg's of disk and caddy to carry around rather than a 4mm dat tape i can fit in my shirt pocket.

    Oh and just don't forget regular test restores are important as you'll never know if there's a problem with your tapes or drives untill you actually try.
     

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