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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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  • Xor? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yppasswd ( 538509 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @09:46AM (#11942591)
    If he says "Tape and HD backup are not an option", well,
    I'd think he has considered all the other solutions.
    There are cases where CD archiving is the only solution.
    For example:
    - Legal requirements of read-only media. My case.
    - If archives must be guaranteed readable by common
    hardware (and I mean COMMON, try buying a tape reader
    in your favorite supermarket...)

    Sure, backup on CD is a pain, but this was not
    his question.
  • Ack Thpt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binaryspiral ( 784263 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @11:07AM (#11943139)
    Burned DVDs and CDrs have piss poor shelf life for archival material. RAID arrays can disappear at the snap of a raid card's whim (yes - it happened to me last week).

    Please - re-evaluate your solution before you actually need to recover data or get (gasp) audited and need every single file to work 100% for the auditors.

    Recordable optical media sold retail are not up to the standards of archival requirements of most governing bodies (like the SEC). There are optical WORM drives that are used by medical data centers and hold only 30GB on a huge platter. And most of those are getting retired for other methods.

    (this is not a plug, it's just what works best for us)
    There are many tape solutions like Exabyte's VXA-3 with 160GB native storage space on an $80 tape. Granted $/GB is higher than a DVD-R - the tape will not let you down. The tape is equal to ~35 DVDs and writes at 500MB+/minute.

    We have an Exabyte autoloader with 10 tapes on a weekly rotation - and it was as close to heaven when we needed to restore a server. We also backup >400GB of data weekly from a few of our database servers - and need it to be there when something fails.

    The entire rig will set you back about $3000 including tapes. This will give you over a TB of backup space. And the tapes are archival ready.

    For your use - 1-2CDs/Day each tape will last you about 3-4 months. But it will also allow you to rotate your backups off site and give you much better utilization of space and much higher chances of recovering this data years down the road.

    Please reconsider your backup solutions... if it's worth saving at all - it's worth being able to get it back later.
  • Re:Xor? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bluGill ( 862 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @12:06PM (#11943645)

    Several companies make write-once tape drives. We use Sony AIT drives at work, but there is no reason to assume the others won't work. (I know DLT has a write-once mode)

    Tape drives are common hardware for enterprize backup, more common that CD/DVDs. CD/DVD is consumer media, I it easy to show in court that they are not up to the other standards that anyone who must save data must maintain.

  • by seigniory ( 89942 ) <bigfriggin@m[ ]om ['e.c' in gap]> on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @12:26PM (#11943860)
    RAID isn't going to help you if your building goes up in flames.

    RAID isn't going to help you if a file is deleted accidentally.

    RAID isn't going to help you when someone comes in and steals your boxen.

    In 15 years I have never, ever, EVER recommended that someone back up to optical media as their only recovery method. DAT drives can be had in the sub-$200 range, and the $/MB cost is cheaper than DVD media - and much more reliable.

    I realize that this doesn't really answer your question, but it's an important point that shouldn't be overlooked.
  • Re:Xor? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Tuesday March 15, 2005 @01:17PM (#11944441)
    The only reason why tape drives are still common for enterprise backups, is because disk backup solutions were not affordable before.

    Writing 40GB at 5MB a second is how tape manufacturers market to you. What they never tell you is how long it takes you to restore.

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