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Data Storage Software

Automated CD/DVD Archival? 75

An anonymous reader asks: "Our department used to use a Cedar Technologies Desktop CD-R Publisher for fully automated backup of data (~2 CDs per day) controlled by a Linux PC. The publisher just broke and we are looking into a new backup solution to automatically burn and print CDs or DVDs. Solutions for CD/DVD duplication are available for Windows and Mac (for example: Primera and Rimage [which acquired Cedar in 2000]) but not for Linux. While a Mac would be OK, none of the manufacturers seems to offer scriptability or a command line interface which is essential for our task. Tape and HD backup are not an option - the data is already mirrored on RAIDs. Has anyone set up a similar archival system using Linux?"
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Automated CD/DVD Archival?

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  • One word: SCSI. (Score:2, Informative)

    by yppasswd ( 538509 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @09:32AM (#11942494)
    Just go with a SCSI jukebox; it should work fine on Linux
    with "mt", "mtx" and some shell woodoo; ours did.
    You might perhaps check if your vendor supports standard
    SCSI commands, though.
  • Google (Score:2, Informative)

    by Pan T. Hose ( 707794 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @09:42AM (#11942558) Homepage Journal
    You need some simple script driving mkisofs and cdrecord. When you Google for cdrecord mkisofs backup [], the first result is scdbackup []:
    Simplified Backup on CD or DVD for Linux

    backup large amounts of data on one or more CDs or DVDs,
    simple (therefore no excuse not to do the backup),
    no special tool needed for reading the backup
    Sounds exactly like what you need. There are many more tools like that. Good luck.
  • by everyplace ( 527571 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @09:42AM (#11942561) Homepage
    Recently at work I had to recommend an automated cd printing / burning system, and I went with the Rimage 2000i. We're a mac-only design shop in nyc, and needed the machine not for backup, but more for one-offs with automated labels, in a machine that was networkable.

    One of the things on the Rimage website that's kind-of misleading (at least it was to me) was that it NEEDS a windows pc in order to share the rimage machine with other machines, like a mac. But once it's setup, the machine works wonders.

    What's interesting about this machine though, is that despite the ridiculous setup hurdles, after it all works they provide a fairly decent way of writing your own scripts to control the machine.

    The entire device uses xml files in order to handle job requests, and the client they ship it with is actually just a beast of a java app. But the xml files are used for the imaging orders, the production reports, everything. They also have a fairly extensive sdk that allows you to do pretty much anything.

    I had an unfortunately difficult time setting this thing up, but the tech support (while their english was a little lacking) were actually incredibly knowledgeable. One of the things they told me was that almost no-one who buys this device uses the provided client. It is designed to be integrated into custom work solutions, so for you this might actually be appropriate.

    If you're looking for a solid dvd archival device / printer that has an autoloading function and is fully scriptable, the Rimage 2000i (or any of their devices higher end than that one) could work.
  • Linux/Primera (Score:3, Informative)

    by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @10:21AM (#11942841)
    I must say I have been horrified by my experience with a Primera Bravo box. Not because it's bad -- it's really great -- but because there are no linux drivers, and the Windows methods are absurdly awful.

    To burn a disk, you go into a GUI and mockup (or just load) an image to print on the disk.

    Then, you print it to file -- something.prn

    Then you go into another GUI and set up the task, picking an ISO image, and the image file you just made, click here, click there, then burn.

    That works just fine for 40 of the same disk, but if you want a different image on each (different date or different text, or the ISO filesize) you need to make each change manually (or with tags) and then print to file and then set up each task.


    In unix/linux, or with command-line tools for windows, even, that would be:

    create_postscript_with_substitutions [inputs] > printerfile.prn
    burn_image_and_print isofile printerfile.prn

    Done. You'd be able to do everything this guy wants and more with 10 seconds of typing. You'd be able to automate processes. And it's not hard. Primera's been selling this stuff for years, and yet, no Linux support, and no command-line support.

    If this had Linux support, or even DOS command-lines, I'd recommend it to everyone I meet. As is, it's an anchor.
  • Re:And? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kz ( 4332 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @10:28AM (#11942896) Homepage
    As pointed by another poster, there are situations where CD/DVD are superior to either Tape/HD.

    but the existance of RAID mirrors have nothing to do with that.

    a mirror protects you from hard disk failure, not against data corruption, for that you need a different thing.

    also, the original poster uses 'backup' and 'archive' words. these are _totally_ different things! I think he means: i need archive, i had archive with CD/DVSs, i don't want tape/HD backup. but it seems he hadn't checked up the possibility of an HD archive.

    I've recently replaced a wall full of DVDs (around 6000 discs) with a near-line HD archive system, at just 1.56$/GB total cost!

    of course, for offsite backup of the archive, it still burns DVDs
  • Microtech (Score:3, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @11:29AM (#11943314) Homepage Journal
    Check out Microtech's [] ImageAutomator line.

    It's windows-based but I've set up a few of them to pull their data from a Samba share. Think of it as an appliance. I wrote some software on the linux side to control it - they have specs available for their file formats if you want to explore writing your own. That software has probably done about >30K CD's so it's definitely workable.
  • Pioneer DRM 3000 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) * <rayanami@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @11:48AM (#11943479) Journal
    Product Brochure []

    This is probably overkill, but it is a really cool piece of equipment, and it doesn't rely on shitty windows software to do it's job. Unfortunately it costs $10000 fully loaded with 4 DVD-RW drives.
  • Re:And? (Score:2, Informative)

    by DustMagnet ( 453493 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @12:24PM (#11943840) Journal
    I think DVDs are a hell of a lot more reliable than HDs

    I find DVDs are much more reliable, once written. I have yet to find a long-term reliable DVD or CD writing solution. Yes, I can buy high quality drives and high quality disks, but I still get spindles with write problems. At home I just use cheap disks and find I'm saving money by tossing out spindles that don't work. It bothers me that sometimes I get no errors on writing, but get errors on reading.

    Anyway, I have yet to find a reliable way to write CDs and DVDs. I'd love to use them more, but still use removable hard drives and tape instead.

    BTW, IDE hard drives last a lot longer stored in proper conditions than they last during regular use. I have a set of removables that are close to 10 years old and not a single one has failed, while I have a RAID that's a few years old and half the disks have been replaced. Still, I never archive data on hard disks.

  • Re:Xor? (Score:3, Informative)

    by seigniory ( 89942 ) <bigfriggin AT me DOT com> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @12:29PM (#11943881)
    HP has a line of WORM Ultrium tapes that satisfy your read-only requirement and provide all the performance and durability of standard tape backup. wo rmdps/related.html
  • Re:amanda (Score:3, Informative)

    by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @01:35PM (#11944616) Homepage
    recommending they use tape when they have obviously thought of it and rejected the approach might not be fulfilling certain business requirements they didn't share with us.
    He didn't recommend tape. He suggested AMANDA with optical media.
    For your amanda suggestion to be complete, you need to offer a solution that also automatically labels the tape cartridges.
    AMANDA supports barcode readers. It can also automatically print labels. If you have the hardware to automatically apply the labels to the media, you're more than set.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright