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Backup Tapes: Alive And Kicking 409

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the please-be-kind-and-rewind dept.
yootje writes "The Register runs an article about the future of backup tapes, which looks pretty good. Although some people say backup tapes are dead, tape systems continue to evolve. To prove that, The Register intoduces some new products that are about to come, like the SL8500."
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Backup Tapes: Alive And Kicking

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  • by DarthBart (640519) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:01PM (#9644693)
    I should stop using the tape jukebox system I have on my NetBSD box?
  • If it ain't broke... (Score:5, Informative)

    by GuyinVA (707456) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:01PM (#9644698)
    We're still using tape back up, and will continue to do so. It works.
    • by Jhon (241832) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:07PM (#9644770) Homepage Journal
      Yup. When I can get 10 or 15 2in x 3in sized doo-hickey that can store 80+ gigs at under $20-$30 per doo-hickey, I may change.

      Although, we *do* also use live HD backups as part of our backup procedure -- just for a single nights backup. Sometimes you need to go back 5 or more days...
      • by sczimme (603413) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:40PM (#9645220)

        Yup. When I can get 10 or 15 2in x 3in sized doo-hickey that can store 80+ gigs at under $20-$30 per doo-hickey, I may change.

        you cannot get those features in the Doo-Hickey(tm) line of products. You will need to upgrade to the Widget(tm) line or - in the enterprise arena - to the Super-Widget(tm) family.

        We look forward to assisting you with all your thingamabob needs.

        Sincerely,

        Bob Gadget, Marketing Weenie
        Amalgamated Whatzit-Whozit-Howzit Industries
    • by malia8888 (646496) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:47PM (#9645322)
      We're still using tape back up, and will continue to do so. It works.

      Glad that tapes work for you in Virginia. I live in the tropics where the air is balmy and airconditioning is at a premium. Tape media of any kind rots here. It is nothing to pick up a stored VHS tape and find it coated in a thick frosting of white mold.

      This is why I record everything neatly on coconut husks:P

  • We still use them (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thedillybar (677116) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:02PM (#9644709)
    We still use tapes for backup, and have no intention on killing them anytime soon. It's a good system that is proven to work. Companies need more than a well-dressed salesperson to convince us otherwise.
    • Re:We still use them (Score:3, Informative)

      by jlechem (613317)
      Ditto several places I used to work for had huge automated 30 tape backup systems that would back up the entire server drives every 24 hours. They had to pay a monkey to go in and fill the tape resevoir once in a while when it ran out.
      • >Ditto several places I used to work for had huge automated 30 tape backup systems that would back up the entire server drives every 24 hours. They had to pay a monkey to go in and fill the tape resevoir once in a while when it ran out.

        Yes, our automated systems tend to cost much less than the monkeys :)

  • by maxphunk (222449) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:02PM (#9644710) Journal
    I just inherited aN HP 3000 running MPe/iX, nasty. Went to retrieve some files from tape, both tape drives were shot. Ate the tapes, with years of work. The last other full backup was 9/03... Ouch. Our vendor is coming to fix the drives, but I'm looking elsewhere long term. (Especially killing the HP 3k!)
    • Sorry to hear about your experience - my first 6 years of IS work was in HP3000 environments, and I loved those machines. They were rock-solid reliable, and I found MPe/IX very powerful and easy to learn. Since then I've worked on AS400's, and still feel like a fish out of water after 5 years...
  • by Shoeler (180797) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:04PM (#9644728)
    The pundits of backup-to-disk always neglect to mention the fact that though disk costs continue to decrease and storage capacity continues to increase, so do the capacities of tape storage mechanisms. Even at $50 US a tape, they would still have a lower cost-per-gigabyte (or is it now cost-per-terabyte?). Especially with organizations with SANs, backup-to-disk is TOO expensive and too wasteful for prescious SAN resources.
    • by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:08PM (#9644778) Journal
      We tried backup to disk in house to see how it would behave - backing up big SQL Server clusters.

      The problem that killed it for us is when you're transfering to an 80 gig drive over firewire, you completely hog the hell out of the system, making it all but unavailable during the meantime. I don't know of any way to "throttle" the backup, there's probably some obscure tweak though.

      Tape transfer rates are comparitively slow, which leave plenty of room for the computer to carry on it's tasks. Sure it might take all night to do a full back up, but the servers available during that time.
    • Plus, since they should be taking backups offsite, backup-to-disk requires either a) easily removable disks, that can be reliably catalogued (so that you know what's on what disk), or b) a high-speed link to an offsite storage system (which can be muy expensivo).
    • Yes backup to disk is more expensive, always will be. However the reliability of backup to disk is so much higher as to make the two almost incomparable. If having a reliable backup is important then tape is not the way to go.
    • We are currently using AIT-3 media, at a cost of about $43 a tape, with a 100 Gbyte native capacity (200 Gbyte comressed). With 200 Gbyte of data on a 8mm form factor, its hard to see that tapes are going out anytime soon. AIT-4 is coming out this year and will have double the capacity of AIT-3. I don't follow LTO much, but I'm sure their capacity is increasing all the time too.

      Also imagine trying to do disk drive rotation for off-site storage versus the same thing for tapes. I'd prefer tapes any

    • by miked50 (466948) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:22PM (#9644986)
      They also forget to mention that you can't just disconnect a disk array, send it off site for 30 days, and expect to easily restore it when it comes back. With tapes, even if the OS it was originally backed up on is Windows, and the new OS was Linux, it will work (seemlessly if the backup software allows). The other thing that most people ignore besides the above mentioned sneaker quality is the larger cost associated with rack space, power, and cooling when using disk. I can stack a hell of a lot more TB/sq ft. with tapes than even some of the highest density hard drives, and I won't have to pay as much for power. Also disk systems produce considerably more heat than a tape library.

      None of this really matters to small installations, but to enterprise installations these things are a lot more important.
  • by Power Everywhere (778645) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:04PM (#9644730) Homepage
    And now the medium is still being used well into 2004 and shows no signs of fading away. That's over 20 years the medium has been around for, relatively unchanged. Geez.
    • You ever try to SELL that old C64 tape drive!?

      I couldn't give mine away! (though it served me well for several years)
    • 20 years ?

      Wikipedia says... [wikipedia.org]

      Magnetic tape was first used to record data in 1951 on the Mauchly-Eckert UNIVAC I. The recording medium was a thin band of solid steel. Recording density was 128 characters per inch at a linear speed of 100 ips, yielding a data rate of 12800 characters per second.

      CC.
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:04PM (#9644731) Journal
    Until optical media surpasses them in storage capacity, ease of use, and reliability, I don't see tape technology going anywhere. They serve a specific purpose and serve it well.

    • Until optical media surpasses them in storage capacity, ease of use, and reliability, I don't see tape technology going anywhere.

      A very good point, especially for archival purposes. Even the most expensive CDs still do not age well, yet tapes 30 years old still have readable data with few errors. Now, the machines/software to read those tapes may not be around...

  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:05PM (#9644742)
    We have an ADIC Scalar 1000 with 12 tape drives and something like 200 terabytes of storage space. I doubt tapes are going to die any time soon.
  • by grunt107 (739510) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:07PM (#9644759)
    Since prior stories have illuminated optical (laser) retention problems, tape does not seem as outdated as it once was. Tape's biggest problem now seems mainly cost. I had a 5GB Travan in a system and the per-tape cost was around $40. DVD blanks are around $1 for about the same amount of storage.
  • I do bi-weekly tape backups. Hard drives aren't reliable/durable enough, and their shelf life isn't good enough for backups. Optical media have the same problems, but worse. I can't imagine tape going away for a good long time.
    • I do bi-weekly tape backups. Hard drives aren't reliable/durable enough, and their shelf life isn't good enough for backups. Optical media have the same problems, but worse. I can't imagine tape going away for a good long time.

      True, but I've had tapes go bad on me and become unreadable too. Others have posted about having tape drives eat tapes and destroy them. Any real numbers out there on the reliability of tapes on the shelf versus drives on the shelf?

      I have been casually looking into using an offsi

    • Don't forget that you still need to have the hardware (tape drive) and software (backup program) by the time you need to do the restore.
      Backup equipment gets replaced because more and more capacity is needed all the time, and the QIC-250 cartridges created using an archaic backup program may still be in the cellar, but who will be able to read them in 10 years?
  • by lxt (724570) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:08PM (#9644784) Journal
    A couple of weeks ago I went to a careers conference at which the product manager for HP tape drives (based in HP, Bristol, UK) waxed lyrical about tape drives...it appears that HP are still actively researching tape drives, and have devoted significant resources towards future development.
  • Tapes are nice.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cK-Gunslinger (443452) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:09PM (#9644795) Journal
    ..but what about recovery plans for catastrophic events? Those backup tapes sitting in a filing cabinet next to the server are useless when the building burns down or is flooded. I suppose you could just ship the tapes to another location, but then restoration becomes and even longer ordeal.
    • by emgeemg (182902) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:15PM (#9644888) Homepage
      Which is why any good backup strategy includes moving tapes beyond a certain age off-site. Even so, I don't see your point--are harddrives suddenly impervious to flame?

      • No, I was suggesting some sort of networked, distributed alternative. Like a P2P service. The server would have all the files, but there would exist multiple copies of the image distributed and shared among several clients. If the server goes down, you could rebuild it from the nodes.

        You'd obviously need a high-speed connection to pull this off.
    • That's all part of a good backup plan.

      You have to figure out just how important your data is to you. The most common solution is to take one backup tape (a complete backup, not just a delta) home with you each week. You buy a couple of extra tapes and you can always have one month's worth of weekly backups at home. If you want you can become more anal you can take each nights tape home with you the next night, but most small companies can live with being able to recover from one week old data. The bigge
      • The usual problem is that when you use only one method of backup, the case of restoring a single file deleted by a user requires the tape that is offsite and needs to be fetched first.
        So you should use different methods and/or different schedules for quick file restoration and for disaster recovery.
    • by Zapman (2662) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:29PM (#9645071)
      This is what off site storage is for. There are 2 companies currently begging for our business offering us just these services.

      Remember, there are several main things that backups cover. It's important to remember which you're doing, and which are importante:

      1) Disaster recovery. Full system restoration at a remote site (if the building collapses, will you be back up and functionional in $NUMBER hours?) This usually involves full system backups, using the most tapes. You can get away with weekly incrimentals, but beyond that you're doing too much tape shuffling at the restoration facility. This means a nightly backup, this means a LOT of tapes, and some largish libraries doing some serious throughput. Thankfully, your retention window is really short. 2 runs through that 'week' interval is usually all you'd need.

      2) File recovery. This is long term storage, of mostly user data. "I deleted this file by accident, can I get it back?" "We dropped this table because it wasn't useful anymore, but we just discovered that this important monthly process actually does use it... can we get the data back?", etc. This doesn't take as much throughput or tapes per night as DR does (since you don't need the full OS image anymore), but the killer is the retention window. 6 months? A year? This is usually a policy decision for the people wearing suits.

      3) Archival. This the data that 3 letter government agencies require you to keep for $BIGNUM years (usually 7 or so). Financial data, some customer data, etc. Thankfully, it's usually a thin subset of your normal data lode, and doesn't require much throughput to deal with. However, the storage requirements suck, and the media requirements are evil too. Just how do you restore a tape from a manufacturer who went out of business 3 years ago? CD's work well for this, as do some mainstream tape venders. Stay close to standards, since interoperability will save your bacon.

      This is a huge problem. Backup to Disk is nifty, and makes lots of money for companies like EMC, but it isn't a good solution for anything other than DR. If you need long term file recovery, or worse data archiving, it's not going to work, and TAPE (or sometimes CD/DVDs) are the only game in town.

      And many people forget the biggest thing of all: TEST YOUR BACKUP STRATAGY. Go offsite and try to restore some servers. How long does it take? How long can your enterprise survive? I work at a gas company, and parts of our enterprise are government mandatated to be back up and running in 12 hours. This is not easy.
    • That is why we backup to disks in another server over the network (daily) and backup to tapes sent to another location (weekly).
      The usual "user deleted or damaged a file" case is quickly handled using the disks. No need to walk to the computerroom to insert a tape, and wait for it to load and seek.
      The offsite weekly backup is for disaster recovery.
  • Tape let me down.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    We use 4TB of SCSI Disks, and removable 250GB firewire drives for backup. Tape has let me down way to many times. Plus, I can restore from a catalog with in seconds. I would love to see tape do that.
  • I don't think tapes are dead. We have 10 tapes for every server in our company (5 for M-F, 5 for each Saturday of the month). At around 400+ servers, that racks up in numbers pretty quick. Plus, we have to cross ship the tapes to offsite storage every day.

    Also, 270 some of our servers are on WAN links, between 56k and 256k circuits. Not exactly speedy when you think of backing up over the network. Also, the bulk of our data is done in our data centers - two of them. We have to have the data offsite.
  • Old saying (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nick of NSTime (597712) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:10PM (#9644806)
    Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with backup tapes.
  • Wow (Score:3, Funny)

    by arieswind (789699) * on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:11PM (#9644816) Homepage
    Some of those backup drives can hold up to 90PB of data.. holy crap.. think of what you could do with 90,000,000 GB of space... it hurts to even think about it..

    The only thing that hurts worse is trying to find a space to put an 8ft x 30ft x 200ft storage device that weighs 310k pounds (140.9 metric tons(2200lbs))
    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Funny)

      Me, 1989:


      Some of those hard drives can hold up to 80MB of data.. holy crap.. think of what you could do with 80,000,000 bytes of space... it hurts to even think about it...

    • I noticed the price isn't displayed on their site, you have to call to get a price. My guess is the price includes a plot of land, a new building with a good foundation, and a power substation.

      A northern climate would be best it seems, as it dissapates 1.4M BTU of heat per hour.

  • by why-is-it (318134) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:13PM (#9644857) Homepage Journal

    We still use some 8mm tapes to back up some RS/6000 systems. We use 4mm tapes for the Sun and HP servers.

    I would like to migrate everything to one format, but red tape has thus far prevented me from doing anything about it. I have a proposal for converting to sDLT, but corporate policy forbids anyone except the purchasing department from speaking to vendors about pricing, and purchasing won't speak to vendors at all unless they have an authorized capital expense form. I can't build the business case to get a capital expense form until I get pricing information from the vendors. It's a bitter cycle

    So, I sincerely hope my 4mm and 8mm jukeboxes stay alive and functional for the forseeable future, since I can't get approval to evergreen those systems with something cheaper and better!

  • by nbvb (32836) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:14PM (#9644868) Journal
    We use TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) to backup our systems.

    We backup from the systems via gigabit Ethernet, to the TSM server, where the data is stored in a disk pool.

    That disk pool gets flushed out to an IBM 3584 tape library. LTO2 tape drives. Great stuff.

    TSM then duplicates those LTO2 tapes, and ejects
    the copies from the library, for offsite storage.

    Tape's going to be here for a LONG, LONG time.

    Requisite links:

    TSM - http://www-306.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/st orage-mgr/

    IBM 3584 -
    http://www.storage.ibm.com/tape/lto/index.html
  • ...then all we need is a revival of the big station wagons!

    • If anything, the last twenty years have brought not only higher density storage media, but larger consumer vehicles with which to transport them. Imagine the bandwidth of a Ford Excursion full of LTO2s... Too bad the cost/GB/mile is fairly high.
    • For those of you who find this comment obtuse... Its referring to a quote I first heard in relation to how the SETI project transferred all its data from the main telescope to its main processing facilities...

      "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of backup tapes."
  • I don't ever recall anyone I work with speculating on the future of nearline storage. Anyone who works in a real environment will tell you tape is not only alive and well, but a critical component of datacenter infrastructure.

    They'd also probably laugh you out of the room if you proposed backing stuff up to anything but tape...

    - A.P.
  • by Gavin Scott (15916) * on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:16PM (#9644906)
    The Register intoduces some new products that are about to come,[...]

    The problem with all of these endless new tape technologies is that after they come they (or their vendors) tend to become lethargic and lose interest in the whole process so that six months later they're trying to sell you yet another replacement technology.

    That's fine for something like a computer that can run the same software each generation, but for tape devices the need to change media is like having to re-code your application in a new language every time you upgrade the computer. People don't want to do it.

    Most customers want a backup media that will still be viable in at least seven years because of legal requirements. That can mean needing to be able to buy a drive that can read their tapes 5-12 years from now. How many of these new tape technologies will have that kind of staying power?

    The standard 9-track 2400 foot open reel tape served the computer industry for about 30 years, providing a standard storage and interchange mechanism for pretty much every computer larger than a PC. The Internet has rendered the need for an interchange mechanism less critical, but the instability in the archival storage formats is now giving people serious headaches.

    G.
    • Funny DLT tape has been backwards compatable since day 1 and same goes for ultrum (cant talk about AIT or Travan never used them) You might bnot be able to write to the tapes but you can read from them.

      As for disk how many PC's can still use an RLL controler or ESDI PC's dont even have ISA slots anymore to house them. These were common hard drives only 15 years ago. SCSI has endured but IDE is allready on it's way out the door do you think in 7 years you will still be able to fine an IDE controler that w
  • who said tapes were dying? I'm happy to at last be migrating into a tape system, myself.

    btw, that SL8500 has what appears to be a max capacity of 90 Petabytes (!!!) so i'm wondering .. who would have that much data to backup? I can think of lots of businesses with large amounts of data .. but 90,000,000,000,000,000 is a huge number. Anyone I can think of who would have data that size would probably over write much of it quickly. Like google is always updating their databases, fFor example. And i beli
    • In the context of products such as video servers, where terabytes are common, and the rate of change surprisingly high, a really big fast, inexpensive and reliable tape system would be a boon. Unfortunately, it's a case of the old adage: Good, fast, cheap -- pick any two.

      So far, I haven't seen any tape scenario that is as cost-effective as a redundant server, with both using RAID. Next best is to simply back up each file to optical, as it is recorded. That's easy to do, cheap, and much of the content is h

    • btw, that SL8500 has what appears to be a max capacity of 90 Petabytes (!!!) so i'm wondering .. who would have that much data to backup? I can think of lots of businesses with large amounts of data .. but 90,000,000,000,000,000 is a huge number. Anyone I can think of who would have data that size would probably over write much of it quickly. Like google is always updating their databases, fFor example. And i believe the government prefers dead-trees.

      For one I think CERN expects to generate on the order o

  • An important property of a reliable backup device IMHO is a good/clean separation of the actual recording medium and the read/write mechanism.

    Normal Harddrives fail pitifully on this point. The drive electronics, read write heads, etc is so tied in with the physical disks that it makes it difficult to remove the disks and pop them into a working device with the ease of tapes, CDs etc.

    Tapes, CDs, floppies are very clean and hassle free from this standpoint. The cartridge/media is of a standard size and c

  • I have always found optical backup to be far more reliable than tape.

    Sincerely,
    Erik Lehnsherr
  • by sheddd (592499) <jmeadlock@perdidobeac h r e sort.com> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:22PM (#9644975)
    Only need to backup 160GB (do not forsee that growing in 5 years). Gonna just buy two 160GB IDE HDD's & 2 firewire enclosures.

    ~$340 for both. Keep one plugged in for daily backup, keep the other in a safe place... swap them every month.

    Pretty cheap, plenty fast, and won't take up much space!
  • Yeah, I've been around long enough to have backed-up data on drums, TK50's, QIC DC 600A and DAT ... the burninating question though is: what about the hardware?

    Yeah, I've got all my data stored from 20 years ago on big old 1/2" Open Reel Nine Track Tape, so what? Without working hardware that can be read and scaled on a system I currently have, then I'll need to convert it.

    Note the emphasis on "working hardware" ... let's not forget, we're talking about hardware with movable parts, which means they break.
  • by nlinecomputers (602059) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:23PM (#9644996)
    I sell servers to small SOHO type businesses, doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. There is never large amounts of data but it does exceed the CD-ROM limits and DVD are just to unreliable. It is too easy to burn a coaster and they have poor shelf life. And even at 9gb they are often too small to put all the data on one disk.

    And getting the office receptionist(often the person who will do the job of managing the media) to swap disks is often asking too much. It has to fit on one tape/disk/whatever or it isn't going to get done.

    Tape especially DAT drives give most bang for the buck.
    • Tape especially DAT drives give most bang for the buck.

      For SOHO businesses, I'd agree -- DAT all the way. The tapes are pretty damn cheap, and widely available. The only possible sticking point could be the cost of the drive, but when you contrast the price of under $2K (for the drive/autoloader) with the cost of a server crash/storage loss, it looks like a good investment real quick.
  • Backup tapes (Score:3, Interesting)

    by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:24PM (#9645008) Journal
    I always wondered why they don't use off the shelf VHS tapes for data backup. You could probably build an inexpensive, yet reasonably reliable backup unit from the mechanism+record/playback heads of a low end VCR.
    • Re:Backup tapes (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rjstanford (69735)
      I always wondered why they don't use off the shelf VHS tapes for data backup. You could probably build an inexpensive, yet reasonably reliable backup unit from the mechanism+record/playback heads of a low end VCR.

      You said it yourself. "Reasonably reliable." For the vast majority of us in the business world, the whole reason that we make backups is because disks themselves are only "Reasonably reliable." I'm paying for "highly reliable" or greater. Without it, I'll take my chances on a nice RAID array
      • Re:Backup tapes (Score:3, Informative)

        by earthforce_1 (454968)

        > You said it yourself. "Reasonably reliable."

        Actually, it is perfectly possible to achieve reliable data transfer (or storage) through an unreliable medium, using error correction codes.

        Even with a crappy chewed up tape, it is possible to pefectly recover the data, as long as the data is properly interleaved and a robust error correction code is used.
    • Re:Backup tapes (Score:3, Informative)

      by boskone (234014)
      as of a few years ago, i think ADIC and storagetek both offered VHS as an option in their enterprise libraries. Not sure if they are still offered but.... doing a quick look, it seems like ADIC still offers these and that they hold about 14.5GB each which is VERY low capacity for the size of the cartridge, and you won't be buying the cartridges at Target, so you wont' save money.
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:25PM (#9645027) Homepage Journal
    I have yet to see these new fangled, so-called 'floppy disks' prove themselves in any sort of meaningful way. I have been using my TRS-80 with it's casset tape storage since 1980, and I have no intention of switching horses in mid-stream!

    Harumph!
  • These new robotic tape libraries are nifty, and 58TB nearline storage sounds great. But how much do they cost? Per GB? Because some DVD-R jukeboxes, with minimal human intervention, are pretty cheap [slashdot.org]. Which is cheaper, with lower entry cost?
  • The tape market and hard drive markets have diverged dramatically since the introduction of the hard drive into personal computers in (what 1985?), for a variety of reasons:

    (1) There are far more hard drives produced each year than there are tape drives and so there's much more of an incentive to increase the capacity of hard drives.

    Back in the day, 86-88ish, I was a part-time computer operator at Carnegie Mellon. We ran nightly incremental and weekly full backups onto 1/2 inch (I think it was 1/2 inch)
  • by gelfling (6534) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:50PM (#9645396) Homepage Journal
    If nothing else this makes the case for implementing remote backup on a massive scale to the Great Big Tape Drive in the Sky. These Ginormous Silos are great for huge service providers that actually have a need to manage a few PetaBytes but they only make sense if you can connect huge numbers of backup clients to them (via a storage network SAN/NAS with lots of intermedia staging servers of course).

    We've used these beasts on site and some of them are so large they need their own fire code certification.
  • by FJ (18034) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:51PM (#9645399)
    ...TAPE is a four letter word.

    For home use, get a ancient PC, put a good hard drive in it, install Linux with Bacula (www.bacula.org) & only backup your data (not the entire OS) directly to disk. In the long run you'll be much farther ahead on cost & performance. If you ever have a crash, re-install the OS then restore the data.

    I salvaged an 11 year old 486-66DX with 24mb ram. Put a 120GB HD in it, an ethernet card, and installed Debian with Bacula. All together it cost me less than $100 to provide a backup solution for three PCs. Everything is scheduled to backup automatically & I get emails if something doesn't work.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02. Businesses obviously have different priorities.
  • by dogsbreath (730413) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @03:02PM (#9645536)
    FWIW: I was told by someone who should know that the tape manufacturers have set a common goal to keep the cost of data on tape at 1/10 of data on disk.

    Anyone else heard this?

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