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Thread: Looking to get a weekly tape backup solution for my 600GB server

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    Looking to get a weekly tape backup solution for my 600GB server

    Hi, I'm running a server for my home. It's not a "critical" office environment, but it's still critical to me.

    Right now, I have two arrays of hard drives: main slave array consists of three 300GB drives in RAID-5 (600GB total).

    That backs-up nightly to an array of two more 300GB drives in RAID-0 (600GB total).

    I'm looking for a weekly tape solution that can be put off-site in a firebox. I know NOTHING of tape backup, other than it's some sort of device that stores my stuff on digital tape cartridges of various sizes, and it is slow, but safer against mechanical failure than hard disks.

    Would somebody please help me pick out a good solution for my needs? Also, what sizes do the tape cartridges come in, and if one cartridge cannot hold all 600GB, can I span it over several cartridges?

    Thanks

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    600GB is quite small amount of data to utilise tape drives. You're looking at 1000 quids for a tape drive which use 200GB tapes. May be 400 quids for those using 80GB tapes.

    For just 600GB you would be better off using another sets of HDDs or just use DVDs for backup storage.

    Of course you can span it over several cartridges

    The tape drives aren't cheap, the cartridges are expensive, different formats are not compatible to each other, and you need to get a SCSI card for the tape drive. If you buy small tape drives (i.e. 40G/cart) you need to change tape 15 times to backup 600G, which is not much better than using DVD.

    Unless you have 10+TB of data tape doesn't fit into the formula
    Last edited by arthurleung; 22-05-2006 at 08:15 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung
    ...Unless you have 10+TB of data tape doesn't fit into the formula...
    Whilst I agree with you on the costing front, I would disagree and argue that tape backup is still a viable option. I would not discount it so easily.

    S.

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    Yep... I agree ... you would need something like the following:

    http://www.morecomputers.co.uk/textr...ferer=dealtime

    But its not cheap. Need Backup device, Scsi card, cables, software eg Netbackup.

    Not so sure about using DVD... 9gb a pop thats a lot to swap (also £2 a dvd as well).
    Last edited by farooqm; 22-05-2006 at 09:00 AM.
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    Hey thanks for all the input guys. I appreciate all the various viewpoints, and I will have to take them all into consideration before I decide what I should do.

    Just a question? Why aren't tape drives USB? I would definitly think that USB2.0 would far surpass the read/write rate of the tape, so there would be no bottleneck there...

    Also, what are the various kinds of tape (4mm, 8mm, etc)? Which is the best one, and/or does it matter?

    Thanks
    Last edited by latrosicarius; 23-05-2006 at 05:04 AM.

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    The new Seagate 750GB HDD is about £300 and an external enclosure maybe £20... shocked you could buy 3-4 of these for the price of a tape setup.

    I use a raid setup at work and a raid setup at home and a portable external HDD for transfer. The software I am happy with is 2nd copy from centred systems which by a process of synchronisation is easy to have an exact copy at home. I run daily sync onto the transfer drive and weekly sync onto the home PC. I will always upgrade the size of the drives than have a solution with requires manual intervention and swapping of media. One failure on my transfer drive to date which was replaced the following day and a full backup later I was back to normal.

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    USB Tape Drive ?

    they do exist , but they are not very common.

    http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/s...usb/index.html

    You are looking at about £350 or so for one of those. , but you'll need lots of tapes as they will only take 40Gb....
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed^chigliak
    The new Seagate 750GB HDD is about £300 and an external enclosure maybe £20... shocked you could buy 3-4 of these for the price of a tape setup.
    Yes, I am drooling over those. I'm going to try to wait until the 1TB drives come out. Then those 750s will come down in price!!! (hopefully)

    Quote Originally Posted by Moby-Dick
    USB Tape Drive ?

    they do exist , but they are not very common.

    http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/s...usb/index.html

    You are looking at about £350 or so for one of those. , but you'll need lots of tapes as they will only take 40Gb....
    Wow, I'm curious why tape drives are so non-standardized.... they use SCSI (who uses scsi for external components!?), they don't have standard formats, and they can't even take multiple sized cartridges. They seem so backwards!
    Last edited by latrosicarius; 24-05-2006 at 01:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by latrosicarius
    Yes, I am drooling over those. I'm going to try to wait until the 1TB drives come out. Then those 750s will come down in price!!! (hopefully)



    Wow, I'm curious why tape drives are so non-standardized.... they use SCSI (who uses scsi for external components!?), they don't have standard formats, and they can't even take multiple sized cartridges. They seem so backwards!
    Because people still use old drives, they CAN'T phase out the old format (or else if they're broken they'll be stuck with tapes that they can't read). And there is always people looking for cheap tape drive and not get the latest generation. You don't expect a 40GB drive to read 200GB tapes. Companies (usually) don't expect you to use 40GB tapes in 200GB drives too. Support less formats = less production cost = less maintainance cost = more reliable.

    They use SCSI because its less CPU-intensive compared to USB/IDE, and also the transfer speed is more steady. Back in the age where they don't have buffer underrun protection for CDRW a slight glitch with an IDE burner will produce a coaster. This didn't happen in SCSI. Tapes are meant to run at fixed speed. You can't say "stop for a second". That will damage the read/write head and also the tape. If its an audio cassette tape you wouldn't care (may be a slight glitch) but if its ultra-high density data the glitch could cause bitshift/data loss.

    And see how unstable USB and IDE drivers / controllers could be, and also many old server doesn't have USB2.0, most companies wouldn't bother with a USB tape drive.
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    Well, what you say does make a lot of sense. I understand ty

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