The Circle of Strife

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  • David 2007-10-11 12:20
    Don't these tapes have a limited number of uses? I hope not :P
    Well, I think there have been worse errors in the history of mankind, but it still is funny.
  • FredSaw 2007-10-11 12:22
    There's a new, high-tech thing they've come up with now to help prevent that. It's called a label.
  • SenorLapiz 2007-10-11 12:57
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.
  • dan284 2007-10-11 13:01
    This is ultimately Marcel's fault because two important rules of sytems have been violated:

    1.) Test backups with practice restores periodically. How else can anyone be confident in the backups?

    2.) And never, NEVER underestimate the stupidity of users, or in this case, operators.
  • Robert Hanson 2007-10-11 13:05
    Regardless of the backup media of choice, it's important to test that the backups work. That means restoring the data onto a (hopefully identical) system and turning it on. And making sure that all the data you want backed up is actually on the backup media.

    The company I used to work at employed a person who's job it was to make the backups (and do other systems work, but mostly backups). I don't know how many tens of thousands of dollars we paid him to MAKE the backups. Apparently we never paid him to actually CHECK the backups.

    When it came time to restore an important system (the one that had our source code control repository!) it turned out that that system was not backed up. It would have taken maybe 2 minutes of time somewhere to check that the machines supposedly backed up were actually being backed up.

  • Theo 2007-10-11 13:08
    And Chris said:
    "Well, on Tuesday mornings I grab the WTF entry from the top of the SQL query in the 3rd floor table, make a backup, and put it in the daily homepage for the site."

    captcha: riaa - I almost had a heart attack
  • Bob 2007-10-11 13:10
    SenorLapiz:
    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?


    You would be surprised at the number of tape backups that are in place. My company recently decided to backup some servers "at long last" and they are done with a tape based system. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
  • jkupski 2007-10-11 13:10
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.


    You're kidding, right?

    Who in their right mind would use DVDs for backup? External hard drives? Better, but "moving parts" in your backup media isn't the best solution.

    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.
  • IHaveNoName:-( 2007-10-11 13:10
    dan284:
    This is ultimately Marcel's fault because two important rules of sytems have been violated:

    1.) Test backups with practice restores periodically. How else can anyone be confident in the backups?

    2.) And never, NEVER underestimate the stupidity of users, or in this case, operators.

    Obviously he didn't install the system, including their backup policy, if he did he would knew about their way of doing the backups.
    So you can't blame him, you have to blame the company which installed this system and showed them how to do the backups.
  • Da' Man 2007-10-11 13:18
    This could be called the "Ping-Pong Backup Strategy".

    It is the recommended backup strategy for personal data like dialled telephone numbers on a network operator's mainframe, or requested IP-numbers at ISP computers.

    'tis for privacy reasons, in case anyone wonders :-)
  • Mcoder 2007-10-11 13:24
    David:
    Don't these tapes have a limited number of uses? I hope not :P


    Why do you think it got an error?
    Tapes are often limited to 200 - 50000 writes. What lasts an eternity if you cycle them, but may last only 6 months if you use the same tape every day ;)
  • jimlangrunner 2007-10-11 13:31
    First, tapes have a long history, are (relatively) cheep, and have high capacity. We pay $15 for a 200 GByte tape (compressed, 100 GByte uncompressed). Where do you get a hard drive that cheap? Or DVDs that convenient? It's the right tool, sometimes, some places. Especially if you have to have 100 on the shelf. (Don't ask!)

    But it hasn't always been that way. When I started, the rule on the dev box was to leave the tape in the drive. If it ejected, it was because the backup failed. !!!! The production server ejected no matter what so the backup guy could pull it out & put a note on it. The two servers, with different tape drives, had no formal plan. The main production server had post-it notes for monday-friday. Recovery mostly didn't work.

    Sucked.

    Now, a plan. Even testing. We were lucky, though. Since then, because we test & use a plan, we've been able to recover a lot of data and saved at least a couple of jobs.
  • SenorLapiz 2007-10-11 14:08
    jkupski:
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.


    You're kidding, right?

    Who in their right mind would use DVDs for backup? External hard drives? Better, but "moving parts" in your backup media isn't the best solution.

    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.


    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life. And they are dirt cheap. And they have no moving parts, unlike tape cartridges. Tapes are probably one of the worst storage media choices these days.
  • Carnildo 2007-10-11 14:16
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?


    Anyone backing up large volumes of data. Last time I checked, the tradeoff point between tape and hard drives was at 5 TB of data: once you need to keep more than five terabytes of data in your backup set (which typically corresponds to 1 TB of data on the computer), it's cheaper to use tape than to use hard drives.

    DVDs are almost never worth using. They're cheap per gigabyte, but they just don't hold enough data.
  • hachu 2007-10-11 14:22
    Right, but who's got an autoburner for 100 DVDRDLs spindles?

    You can either use a single DLT-S4 with 800GB per cartridge at 60MB/sec..... or you can use a 100 DVD+R-DLs spindle at....how fast do these burn now? 16x? (that's like what? 22MB/sec?)

    SenorLapiz:
    jkupski:
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.


    You're kidding, right?

    Who in their right mind would use DVDs for backup? External hard drives? Better, but "moving parts" in your backup media isn't the best solution.

    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.


    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life. And they are dirt cheap. And they have no moving parts, unlike tape cartridges. Tapes are probably one of the worst storage media choices these days.
  • Mr Ascii 2007-10-11 14:27
    SenorLapiz:
    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?


    Well, I do.

    DVDs are slow, single use (yes, I know about DVD-RAM, costlier and I don't trust them) and don't hold much. I put 180 GB onto a single DLT tape every week. That would be 40 DVDs! So, to use DVDs, I would need a DVD library device and deal with unloading, labeling and loading 40 DVDs every Monday. No thanks!

    Hard disks are good, my daily backup rotation goes to disk, but I need to send backups off site. I transfer crucial data to the DR site over the wire nightly but sending everything would take too long. I don't want to be plugging and unplugging devices to send them to storage.

    Also, I want to keep a rotation so that I can restore data from 2 weeks or 6 months ago. That's hard to do with hard disks and gets pretty expensive if you want to keep a full rotation going.

    I'll keep using my tapes with restore checks.

    By the way, most backup software can be set so that it won't overwrite a tape until its turn in the rotation. That simple setting would have helped with this WTF too. The bottom line is that not testing your backups turns them into a WOM (Write Only Memory) process. They will not be readable when you need them.
  • el jaybird 2007-10-11 14:31
    So the only reason they had a backup, the six-month-old one, was because six months ago, one of them was away and forgot to do their job?
  • GrandmasterB 2007-10-11 14:34
    jkupski:
    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.


    It doesnt sound like shelf life is an issue. A two year old record of who has what books checked out probably isnt all that useful. If they need to restore from backup, they'll need a recent backup.

    Tapes might be good for long term archiving of data that you no longer need immediate access to, but DVDs are what you want for short term backups. Plus they take up a heck of a lot less space.
  • GrandmasterB 2007-10-11 14:36
    dan284:

    1.) Test backups with practice restores periodically. How else can anyone be confident in the backups?


    Or at least look at the dang things to be sure they are up to date!
  • misha 2007-10-11 14:56
    GrandmasterB:
    jkupski:
    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.


    It doesnt sound like shelf life is an issue. A two year old record of who has what books checked out probably isnt all that useful. If they need to restore from backup, they'll need a recent backup.

    Tapes might be good for long term archiving of data that you no longer need immediate access to, but DVDs are what you want for short term backups. Plus they take up a heck of a lot less space.


    Possible compromise: Use tapes for your full backups, say once a week, and DVDs for daily incremental backups. 1 Tape + 7 DVDs is prolly cheaper than 7 tapes. Although if you only have about say 21 tapes and cycle them every 3 weeks that wouldn't matter much. Downside: pain in the arse to restore from incremental backups.

    Hmm, no fsck it, tapes are just better.
  • Mr Ascii 2007-10-11 14:59
    SenorLapiz:

    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life. And they are dirt cheap. And they have no moving parts, unlike tape cartridges. Tapes are probably one of the worst storage media choices these days.


    Besides their unsuitability for large amounts of backup, DVDs require controlled environment, careful handling and good quality media to achieve long storage life. Ref

    Frankly they haven't been around long enough to say with certainty how long their life will be.
  • Mischief 2007-10-11 15:18
    Ok, maybe i'm retarded, or don't understand what exactly they are backing up, but how would that scenario result in a backup of more than a day old?

    Ex.

    Monday 10/8/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.
    Tuesday 10/9/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.
    Monday 10/15/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.

    Would that not just overwrite with the current day's backup each time? or does it not perform the back up if the tape is used?
  • vt_mruhlin 2007-10-11 15:18
    Would have been a decent enough process if they had used a queue instead of a stack.
  • vt_mruhlin 2007-10-11 15:21
    Mischief:
    Ok, maybe i'm retarded, or don't understand what exactly they are backing up, but how would that scenario result in a backup of more than a day old?

    Ex.

    Monday 10/8/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.
    Tuesday 10/9/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.
    Monday 10/15/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.

    Would that not just overwrite with the current day's backup each time? or does it not perform the back up if the tape is used?


    I'm assuming Chris was hired the day after that 6 month old backup. From that point forward, they were writing to the same tape. All that wear and tear is why that tape crapped out after 10%, so the second tape on the stack was 6 months old.
  • whicker 2007-10-11 15:31
    el jaybird:
    So the only reason they had a backup, the six-month-old one, was because six months ago, one of them was away and forgot to do their job?
    I think that's the only logical explanation.

    Now to see who forgot to back it up (to reward that person, not punish), was the functioning tape from the basement or the third floor safe? Sounds like a good logic puzzle.
  • NiceWTF 2007-10-11 15:34
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?


    Someone who cares whether his data will still be readable in 10 years.
  • None 2007-10-11 15:44
    GrandmasterB:
    jkupski:
    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.


    It doesnt sound like shelf life is an issue. A two year old record of who has what books checked out probably isnt all that useful. If they need to restore from backup, they'll need a recent backup.

    Tapes might be good for long term archiving of data that you no longer need immediate access to, but DVDs are what you want for short term backups. Plus they take up a heck of a lot less space.


    40Gb worth of content would use about 9 DVDs or so, which is about the thickness of a 400Gb tape (and tapes are square, unlike DVDs, which means they can be packed more easily. Plus, they don't need jewel cases to keep them from getting scratched.)
  • Stupidumb 2007-10-11 15:46
    dan284:
    This is ultimately Marcel's fault


    Why not Jan's?
  • SnarfQuest 2007-10-11 16:02
    Mischief:
    Ok, maybe i'm retarded, or don't understand what exactly they are backing up, but how would that scenario result in a backup of more than a day old?

    Ex.

    Monday 10/8/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.
    Tuesday 10/9/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.
    Monday 10/15/2007 Backed up to Tape 1.

    Would that not just overwrite with the current day's backup each time? or does it not perform the back up if the tape is used?


    Somebody must have missed a day, some six months ago, which caused the other one to go one step deeper into the backup tape stack.
  • Freddy Bob 2007-10-11 16:04
    SenorLapiz:

    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.

    What's relative infinity?
  • LTO_Moe 2007-10-11 16:06
    Tape rocks over DVD. I mean seriously, 4.7GB vs up to 1.6TB, yes that's TeraBytes per cartridge. Even Magneto-Optical drives and libraries are starting to fall out of the market, because they simply don't have the storage capacity or transfer rate of tape.

    Burnable CD's/DVD's have a shelf life of about 10-15 years in an ideal environment. Linear tape media (DLT, SDLT, LTO) about 30 to 50 years. The newer media, SDLT600 and LTO-3, are extremely hard to degauss. Degaussers that are rated for those type cost many many wampum. Which is why the boss hasn't ordered ours, yet.

    Also, an LTO-3 runs at a sustained 70-75MB/sec (real-world). The new LTO-4's are probably close to 160MB/sec. HDD's can't pull that kind of sustained transfer rate, which is why you should be backing up off of arrays.

    All this reminds me of "Live Free or Die Hard". You know, where the bad guys are backing up 500TB of data on to "a couple of hard drives". A couple? Try a thousand. You would need five 42U cabinets filled completely with 14 Arrays with 14 500GB hard drives each. And that doesn't even include power distribution/protection, controllers and FC switches to stitch it all together.

    See, what they needed was a STK L700. 696 slots and 20 LTO-3 drives. If my after movie calculations were correct, you could have the entire half petabyte backed up in about 10 hours. If they used LTO-4's they wouldn't need the expansion module (so you could get really cool shots of the robotics through the window) and it would take about 5 hours. Assuming they could get the raw bandwidth off the SAN.

    Trust me, tape rocks. Especially when it pays the bills. ;-P
  • Tinkerghost 2007-10-11 16:08
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.

    Um, I really have no intention of standing around @ 2AM every morning & swapping out 5 DVDs while our files get backed up to DVD.

    Size, pure unadulterated size is why people use tape. Our backup program consists of 3 sets of daily backups rotated weekly:
    Week 1 is the live set & is stored in the firesafe.
    Week 2 is last weeks & is stored offsite (MGR house in a firesafe).
    Week 3 is 2 weeks old & is stored offsite (consultants office in a firesafe).
    For us that's 15 40GB tapes - in terms of actual DVD usage, it would turn out to about 15 sets of 5-6 DVDs each. I would need a rack of DVD burners to pull it off. For people who are using the 100MB+ tapes, it's just insane to suggest that a DVD is a suitable medium.
    I suppose I could do it with hardrives, but popping them into the firesafe everynight is going to be hell on the connectors.
  • LTO_Moe 2007-10-11 16:09
    Freddy Bob:
    SenorLapiz:

    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.

    What's relative infinity?

    Well, there's Special Relativity, and then there's "Special" Relativity...
  • Marcel 2007-10-11 16:16
    vt_mruhlin:
    Mischief:

    Would that not just overwrite with the current day's backup each time? or does it not perform the back up if the tape is used?


    I'm assuming Chris was hired the day after that 6 month old backup. From that point forward, they were writing to the same tape. All that wear and tear is why that tape crapped out after 10%, so the second tape on the stack was 6 months old.


    Almost, I think someone just slipped up back then.

    Also, The whole plan with the tapes was to cylce the whole stack of 180 tapes (three months) around a few times, and throw them away after XX years. It also seems that, for some reason I can't grasp, the libarary is required, by law, to keep information five years back. Then it's more usefull to be able to dump it all on a tape. 800gb does not sit well on DVD's.

    The most horrible thing were all the angry people, who didn't really the appreciate the whole story and were very confused why they couldn't check what they have at home, or expand the period.

    You can't really tell people you've lost all records and they're totally clear to never return the books...
  • akatherder 2007-10-11 16:22
    LTO_Moe:
    Freddy Bob:
    SenorLapiz:

    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.

    What's relative infinity?

    Well, there's Special Relativity, and then there's "Special" Relativity...


    *Looks at watch*
    *Looks at DVD*
    *Looks at watch*

    Give me a little bit and I'll let you know.
  • Macxdmg 2007-10-11 16:38
    vt_mruhlin:
    Would have been a decent enough process if they had used a queue instead of a stack.


    pebkac errors are one fo the best ... but I totally agree, and as the article said they seem to have a solution that might solve their problem.
  • Macxdmg 2007-10-11 16:39
    Macxdmg:
    fo


    pebkac
  • Joe 2007-10-11 17:12
    LTO_Moe:
    Freddy Bob:
    SenorLapiz:

    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.

    What's relative infinity?

    Well, there's Special Relativity, and then there's "Special" Relativity...


    In Theory of Computer Science they teach about countably infinite sets. Maybe that's what he was thinking about? What's next, he's going to tell us DVDs > Church-Turing Thesis.

    What's his favorite theory? The Pumping Lemma? Are DVDs > Pumping Lemma?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumping_lemma
  • Joe 2007-10-11 17:13
    Macxdmg:
    Macxdmg:
    fo


    pebkac


    No. There the problem exists on the keyboard.
  • mare 2007-10-11 17:23
    And they never noticed that the stack(s) of dvds always had the same height? (I mean, if I took a dvd from one stack and put it on another stack each day, I would expect the first stack to slowly dissapear... :D)
  • operagost 2007-10-11 18:12
    SenorLapiz:
    jkupski:
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.


    You're kidding, right?

    Who in their right mind would use DVDs for backup? External hard drives? Better, but "moving parts" in your backup media isn't the best solution.

    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.


    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life. And they are dirt cheap. And they have no moving parts, unlike tape cartridges. Tapes are probably one of the worst storage media choices these days.


    SenorLapiz is the real WTF. We're not talking about backing up PHPbb on your Ubuntu "server" (an old Dell in your mom's basement).
  • Peter 2007-10-11 18:14
    SenorLapiz:
    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life. And they are dirt cheap. And they have no moving parts, unlike tape cartridges. Tapes are probably one of the worst storage media choices these days.


    Write-able discs will degrade in heat and humidity. So when I lived in South Florida, discs that I burned would last about 12-15 months before they became unreadable. Tapes won't die if you leave them in 100% humidity 80F for years. Burnable discs - even the archival ones - will anneal and slowly erase in that environment.

    If you want recordable CDs and DVDs to last decades, you need to store them in a fridge.

    Now. That being said, one company I worked for, I set up a tape rotation scheme and a simple 1-page description of how the rotation worked. The guy who did it after I quit, thought that was too complicated, so he left the tape in the drive and used it every night. Things were a mess, so they lost the back up tapes as well. When the computer needed to be restored, we discovered that the oxide layer had been worn off in many spots, leaving the tape material to look like unsticky scotch tape. When this happened, the "restore" of the production database was when I pulled a year-old development copy that I had at home - they had already reformatted my old development computer - and that year-old copy was the latest copy.
  • Franz Kafka 2007-10-11 18:25
    LTO_Moe:
    Tape rocks over DVD. I mean seriously, 4.7GB vs up to 1.6TB, yes that's TeraBytes per cartridge. Even Magneto-Optical drives and libraries are starting to fall out of the market, because they simply don't have the storage capacity or transfer rate of tape.


    Yeah, I have somewhat lower reqs, and DDS3 tapes run about $5 ea. for 12G uncompressed, which is plenty. Is $50/yr worth having your data after a crash?
  • Ryan 2007-10-11 18:39
    Marcel should have checked the next tape on the bottom floor. The chances of it containing a recent backup are the same as the next tape on the 3rd floor, which he did check.

    If Jan was off sick one day, Chris would have moved another tape from the 3rd floor onto the bottom floor and the bottom floor would then contain two recent backups. One would get overwritten when Jan comes back the next day, though.
  • eric76 2007-10-11 19:09
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.
    Yeah, sure.

    Under the best storage conditions, their shelf life may be as long as a tape. We won't really know that for years.

    I assume you are talking about DVD+R. The error detection and correction on DVD-R is laughable.

    As far as I'm concerned, DVDs as backup are useful for those organizations who either don't value their data or who have clueless management who have no idea what backups are.

    Hmmm. That describes where I work perfectly. We use DVDs for backups precisely because the president of the company would rather spend the cost of a decent backup drive and tapes on useless toys instead.
  • purge 2007-10-11 19:33
    Peter:
    Now. That being said, one company I worked for, I set up a tape rotation scheme and a simple 1-page description of how the rotation worked. The guy who did it after I quit, thought that was too complicated, so he left the tape in the drive and used it every night. Things were a mess, so they lost the back up tapes as well. When the computer needed to be restored, we discovered that the oxide layer had been worn off in many spots, leaving the tape material to look like unsticky scotch tape. When this happened, the "restore" of the production database was when I pulled a year-old development copy that I had at home - they had already reformatted my old development computer - and that year-old copy was the latest copy.


    Brillant!
  • Anthony 2007-10-11 20:05
    Errrm, less space? How? A 400GB LTO cartridge is no wider than three or four DVDs (in cases, which I assume you'd want to keep your backups in), and is neither taller nor deeper.

    400GB would take what, 90 DVDs? That's something like 6 or 7 inches of just the DVDs. If you use slim cases, those are 5.15–5.30mm, so 1.5 feet of shelf space, vs. around 1in. for the tape.

    It takes somewhere around 20 minutes to burn a full DVD, so that'd be around 1¼ days strait to write, another 1¼ days to verify. Maybe with a 16x drive and very good media (there went the cheap...), you could get that down to the write and the verify in a day and a quarter (10 minutes/disc). The tape run would take maybe 10 hours for write & verify (or less; many tape drives do both at once).

    Make sure to compare the failure rate for 90 DVDs vs. 1 tape.

    Also, when pricing it out, remember that the 1 tape is reusable, the 90 DVDs are not. Oh, and include the price of the cases in your DVD cost — tapes always come with a case, AFAIK.

    If and only if your backup set easily fits on one DVD (maybe two) should you consider using DVDs for backup.
  • Breton 2007-10-11 21:59
    He was probably thinking of VHS tapes.
  • Breton 2007-10-11 22:24
    "cross-system incompatible"

    They don't work in his beta deck.
  • Pax 2007-10-11 23:11
    Freddy Bob:
    SenorLapiz:

    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.

    What's relative infinity?


    Welcome to the wonderful world on transfinites...
  • Troy Mclure 2007-10-11 23:17
    whicker:
    el jaybird:
    So the only reason they had a backup, the six-month-old one, was because six months ago, one of them was away and forgot to do their job?
    I think that's the only logical explanation.

    Now to see who forgot to back it up (to reward that person, not punish), was the functioning tape from the basement or the third floor safe? Sounds like a good logic puzzle.


    The doctor is the mother. Is that the answer?
  • Doppel 2007-10-11 23:25
    NiceWTF:
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?


    Someone who cares whether his data will still be readable in 10 years.


    Is it OK to do 20 instead of 10? I have some 20-year-old tapes. You have a machine that can read them?
  • rro 2007-10-12 00:22
    People arguing about tape being much cheaper than disk are wrong. Tapes are $150/TB (without counting tape drives). Disks are $200/TB in the current sweet spot. But add all the inefficiencies, inconveniences and expensive hardware required by tapes, and you easily lose the 25% savings on the price of the raw media.

    Disks: can be kept permanently online, can recover data from backup in seconds, allow random access for immediate recovery, have faster throughput, do not require expensive tape drives or robotic arms to handle them, do not need to be constantly inserted/ejected (but can be hotswapped if necessary), can be put in RAID arrays (ZFS rules), have higher storage density (48 TB in 4RU with Sun x4500), etc.

    My friend's company back up their data on hundreds of servers with something like 8-9000 SATA disks total. They migrated from tape 3 years ago and save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in operating costs.
  • rro 2007-10-12 00:27
    Tape is only usefully in some very specific scenarios. But basically it is 95% dead ;-)

    The only reason you should stay with tape is if you have an existing tape-based backup strategy that works relatively well and if the migration costs to disk are too high and cannot be amortized in less than 3-4 years.
  • Raw 2007-10-12 02:08
    If you want to have off-site backups, tape is the king. Data loss due to ordinary hardware failure or stupid users is easy to restore from a disk, but for other problems such as fire, theft, lightning strikes, flooding and so on, you need off-site backups.
  • LTO_Moe 2007-10-12 02:12
    Joe:
    LTO_Moe:
    Freddy Bob:
    SenorLapiz:

    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.

    What's relative infinity?

    Well, there's Special Relativity, and then there's "Special" Relativity...


    In Theory of Computer Science they teach about countably infinite sets. Maybe that's what he was thinking about? What's next, he's going to tell us DVDs > Church-Turing Thesis.

    What's his favorite theory? The Pumping Lemma? Are DVDs > Pumping Lemma?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumping_lemma


    Hmm. Um, I was thinking more of like stinky(captcha), drooling, helmet-wearing special relativity. Even after reading the WP entry, I still can't figure out how pumping lemmings relates to clubbing seals.
  • rro 2007-10-12 02:50
    Raw:

    If you want to have off-site backups, tape is the king.


    People have this idea that disks are so fragile that they cannot be transported off-site... How silly.

    Yes, precaution should be taken and good packaging is required, but so it is for tapes. Do you drop boxes containing tapes on the floor ? No. So take the same precaution with disks and no accident will happen.

    Beside, with disks you can do something you cannot do with tape: you can ship "RAID arrays" to your off-site location: ship N disks par of a RAID array with 1 or 2 parity disks (RAID 5 or 6). It means if 1 or 2 disks fail during transport or are lost, stolen, etc, you lose no data.

    This is exactly what I designed for the small company I am working for: a 2 x 5.0 TB disk-based off-site backup strategy. We have 2 sets of 12 x 500-GB hotswappable SATA disks assembled in 2 independent raidz2 ZFS pools (5.0 TB of usable space on each pool). Every week someone remove the 12 disks from the backup server (1st set), put them in 2 Pelican boxes and take them home. We rotate the 2 sets of disks so at any time there is always 1 set of disk that is off-site.
  • LTO_Moe 2007-10-12 02:59
    Franz Kafka:
    LTO_Moe:
    Tape rocks over DVD. I mean seriously, 4.7GB vs up to 1.6TB, yes that's TeraBytes per cartridge. Even Magneto-Optical drives and libraries are starting to fall out of the market, because they simply don't have the storage capacity or transfer rate of tape.


    Yeah, I have somewhat lower reqs, and DDS3 tapes run about $5 ea. for 12G uncompressed, which is plenty. Is $50/yr worth having your data after a crash?


    DDS3? Ack! Run away! At the very least, get your hands on a used DLT7000 (like there's any other kind these days). You can pick them up for less than $150 and used DLT media is also cheap. DDS/DAT (all of it) is junk. You'll cut your backup time in half and get significantly more reliable backups. And more importantly, more reliable restores.

    If you want 12-15MB/sec (5 to 7 times faster than DDS), pick up an LTO-1 drive (<$400). Media is more expensive, but an order of magnitude more reliable than DLT.
  • Not a Robot 2007-10-12 03:23

    My company used to have one of those tape backup things a number of years ago - a NT based cabinet server with lots of blinkenlights and an expensive DLT tape changer robot and a couple additional boxes that needed to be backed up as well.

    It never worked. We tested a number of different backup software that were expensive as well (it's appalling about how much they charge for software that just copies files from one place to another and doesn't even work) as well as a number of updates and I think the robot was sent out to be double-checked for brokenness as well. But nothing helped. The backup software makers blamed it on the robot and the robot makers blamed the backup software. And of course the only way to know whether it worked or not was to check the backup software's log which would just state that some hexadecimal error code happened and the program just gave up. And yes, the backup software was advertised as one working very well with the robot.

    Later we ditched the whole thing - the server and the tape robot - and went to a linux-based raid array file server and external-HD backup solution. There's a number of disks in rotation, one on a shelf waiting, one plugged in, and the rest off-site. So far it has worked well enough without anyone having to touch the system apart from swapping disks.
  • Marcel 2007-10-12 03:34
    Ryan:
    Marcel should have checked the next tape on the bottom floor. The chances of it containing a recent backup are the same as the next tape on the 3rd floor, which he did check.


    Hi, I'm the Marcel from the story
    I did check it, the newest one was 6 months old, wich is equally useless as a backup from a week ago. You have to chuck out all the data anyway. after a certain number of transactions, the database becomes to "old" to legally restore, and that number is hit somewhere halfway T +2 days.

    Also, with the intire database, which constitutes about 80gb (customer/book pictures are hell), it's not very economic to backup to DVD every day. Not to mention they'd have to hire someone to change the DVD's every time.
  • LuCarD 2007-10-12 03:48
    Shelf life of a burned CD is approx. 5 year. I think a dvd is about the same.

    http://computerworld.com/hardwaretopics/storage/story/0,10801,107607,00.html

    So infinite equals 5 ???

    SenorLapiz:
    jkupski:
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.


    You're kidding, right?

    Who in their right mind would use DVDs for backup? External hard drives? Better, but "moving parts" in your backup media isn't the best solution.

    Tapes are still the best option in terms of cost, speed, capacity, and shelf life. Even in a big "disk to disk" backup system, the data is probably going to end up on a tape eventually.


    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life. And they are dirt cheap. And they have no moving parts, unlike tape cartridges. Tapes are probably one of the worst storage media choices these days.
  • Synonymous Awkward 2007-10-12 03:58
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Pretty much anyone who doesn't work for the companies behind these "TAPE IS DEAD" adverts that seem to crop up every few years (at least, I am assuming they use their own products).

    Marcel:
    Not to mention they'd have to hire someone to change the DVDs every time.

    I can only imagine how well that would have worked out. Probably they would have used the same disc repeatedly in the same backup session.

    Also, for someone who works at a library, your spelling and grammar could use some work.
  • Anonymous Coward 2007-10-12 04:08
    If you want to use tapes for backups, fine. Personally I've seen them fail too many times (and this story is no exception).
  • brazzy 2007-10-12 05:22
    SenorLapiz:

    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.


    Good one. Heh-heh.

    You WERE joking, right?

    A mass-production *pressed* DVD *may* have a shelf life of decades (the media hasn't been around that long, so it's all extrapolation). If you keep it in ideal conditions. A burnt DVD? 5 years if you're lucky, 10 if you're *very* lucky.
  • James 2007-10-12 06:50
    Tapes are more resilient to moving around than hard disks, therefore better for offsite backup. DVDs are slow and dont have near the capacity required.

    He should have been checking those backups at least monthly! Plus most backup software should be set to verify upon backup completion.
  • James 2007-10-12 06:57
    Good luck to the guy carrying 12 hard disks off site each week! :)

    I back up that amount of data to LTO3 tapes every week onto 8 small tapes. Then do a daily incremental every day onto 1 tape. Much easier for our tape collection guy to handle.

    I've had tapes fail now and again but I've had far more portable hard disk failures in my experience.
  • RichGK 2007-10-12 08:15
    Ah, the accidents never happen approach, excellent!
  • RichGK 2007-10-12 08:17
    That was in answer to

    "People have this idea that disks are so fragile that they cannot be transported off-site... How silly.

    Yes, precaution should be taken and good packaging is required, but so it is for tapes. Do you drop boxes containing tapes on the floor ? No. So take the same precaution with disks and no accident will happen. "

    BTW!
  • Pingmaster 2007-10-12 08:55
    Bob:
    SenorLapiz:
    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?


    You would be surprised at the number of tape backups that are in place. My company recently decided to backup some servers "at long last" and they are done with a tape based system. If it ain't broke don't fix it.


    which is the reason that so many companies still use (and new companies still adopt the usage of) tapes. they just don't break. ever.

    I worked in a Radio Shack store (just before Circuit City bought them out). nightly backups were done on tape. tape that was over 10 years old. the server that was being backed up was replaced several times, but the tape drive just kept going. The place I'm at now uses RAID, plus an external HDD, plus tapes. guess which one hasn't had any hardware failures yet..you got it..the tape drive. We used to use DVDs but they broke too often, and didn't store enough data (we need about 75GB, which is something around 16 DVDs, or one tape)
  • Azd 2007-10-12 09:06
    I find this story hard to believe. The restore failed at 10%? I've never seen a restore fail before 99%, or as soon as you've left for the weekend.
  • Sgt. Preston 2007-10-12 09:27
    This isn't my area of expertise, but I'm curious. Rather than physically schlep tapes, DVDs, hard disks, wax tablets, or whatever home with you and rotate them back in to work, wouldn't it be easier to achieve off-site back-up by piping the data over the network to an off-site storage system? What's the down side? Maybe once you reach a certain volume of data this solution would be too slow. Would a regional library need to back up that much data? In some cases, I suppose there would also be security issues. Any thoughts?

  • Paul 2007-10-12 09:37
    A lot of the 'arguments' about tape/disk/dvd depend essentially on how much data you need to backup, and *possibly* how long you want to keep it.

    If your typical backup is 10GB or less, and you only want to keep backups for a year or so, then DVD seems an ideal medium. It's certainly a winner over tape IMHO.

    If your typical backup is of the order of hundreds of GB, then a decent hard disk backup is probably best - especially if it supports D2D - you backup to disk, then it copies that disk to another disk. The one we use supports copying to a remote disk over our VPN, so we have two sites, each with an offsite backup at the other site. You could alternatively have the backup copy to a local portable drive that you take offsite. The problem with this is the period covered by the backups. The software we use keeps 25 versions of files before they get overwritten - not a specific time. For us that's fine, but for other people it might be an issue.

    If your typical backup is in the order of a few TB or more, and/or you have strict requirements for length of storage then I think it generally has to be tape. HDD still has advantages, but becomes less convenient. However, here you're talking about autoloaders with multiple drives so BIG money - for the person with 10GB to backup it's a bit of an overkill..

    As well as our HDD backup which is done every night, and nicely does the offsite backup for us with zero effort (yes we do test it periodically - but you need less tests with HDD backup than with tape), we generally do a backup to a 200GB LTO tape every few months for our 'archive' store. The tapes aren't that much cheaper than a HDD, but are smaller, so are easier to store long term.
  • ender 2007-10-12 10:26
    Sgt. Preston:
    This isn't my area of expertise, but I'm curious. Rather than physically schlep tapes, DVDs, hard disks, wax tablets, or whatever home with you and rotate them back in to work, wouldn't it be easier to achieve off-site back-up by piping the data over the network to an off-site storage system? What's the down side? Maybe once you reach a certain volume of data this solution would be too slow. Would a regional library need to back up that much data? In some cases, I suppose there would also be security issues. Any thoughts?
    There are providers that do this - we use one. They have a backup agent that's installed on the server (Windows only, but we backup the Linux fileserver through filesharing) we need to backup off-site, and the backup runs nightly. The software does automatic differential backups, so each night we only upload about 100-500MB (the total amount of data backed up is ~23GB currently; the backup is done in ~20 minutes, though most of this time is used to scan for the changed files). Daily backups for the last 2 weeks are kept at the remote facility, and with compression this amounts to 14GB currently (we pay the space used on the backup servers).
  • el jaybird 2007-10-12 11:36
    Joe:
    Pumping Lemma


    Is that legal in your state?
  • seymore15074 2007-10-12 12:00
    Anonymous Coward:
    If you want to use tapes for backups, fine. Personally I've seen them fail too many times (and this story is no exception).


    Go rent a DVD from the video store so you can see how many times they fail...
  • Morgan 2007-10-12 12:40
    Just backup to gmail.
  • Chris 2007-10-12 13:35
    When you're trying to backup many terabytes of data on a daily basis and store the data offsite DVDs and external hard drives just aren't practical. Tapes are the easiest way to backup that much data on a daily basis and be able to store them offsite.
  • Ian 2007-10-12 15:18
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?

    Well... kudos for attempting to backup at least.


    Because one tape can store 1TB of data, and when you're dealing with hard drive clusters of 8+TB, you're glad you're not backing up 5000 DVDs every night.

    Tape loaders and a backup schedule make short work of this.
  • Dana 2007-10-12 16:38
    "Who in this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?"

    Are you familiar with the local library? They have neither the budget nor the technical expertise to do anything complicated.

    Step out of your narrow little tech world and rejoin reality.

    Captcha: digdug
  • smxlong 2007-10-12 18:23
    Hmm. For some reason I read that as "Circle of Strafe."

    Mmmm, Doom.
  • John 2007-10-12 18:53
    When it comes to the final storage location... Tape.. All the way.

    I do 10TB each weekend. First it hits a 24TB disk staging unit. Then we destage it to tape. Then we make another copy to go offsite. The offsite copy fits on 19 LTO-3 Tapes and takes about 24 hours to duplicate from disk. (after 4 weeks, the offsite copy comes back onsite and we throw them into the scratch pool to be used again)

    Now, if we went with DVD's rather than tape, we would need to send about 2,400 DVD's offsite. Disk drives? 10 of them (The data is already compressed) assuming 1TB drives. Now imagine 10 of these drives being tossed into a box and handed to a delivery guy. Compared to tapes, the box would be huge if you added the correct amount of padding.

    Oh yeah, we pay $40 per tape vs a lot more for a 1TB drive.

    The final thing in favor of the tape is the fact that our onsite library holds 800 tapes and consumes practically no power. Access time for data older than 2 weeks (remember, the 24TB disk farm holds recent data) may be 2 minutes or so, but who cares.

    Yes, we are looking at data de-duplication products. But I need to see them in use before I trust them for the long term. They still dont solve the offsite issue though.
  • not Jan 2007-10-13 08:55
    Just a side note: in the region where this happened (the names give us a pretty good idea), hundreds of thousands of people are named "Jan", but only a handful of them, if any, are female. I think the "her"s in the story need a correction.
  • Kuba 2007-10-14 09:31
    SenorLapiz:
    Wow. Tapes.

    In this day and age of DVDs and external terabyte drives, who would use slow, sequential, cross-system incompatible devices like tapes for their important data backup?


    A good tape drive will stream faster than a DVD writer will.

    Tapes also have an almost infinite lifetime, compared to writable media which over time disintegrates. None of my CD-Rs from 10-12 years ago can be read anymore, most have their data layer peeling from the substrate.

    My current experience with writeable disc media (CDs, etc) indicates that it cannot be considered for archival storage, unless you define archival to mean 10 years or less.

    A tape is better protected from the elements. You'd have to work pretty hard to destroy a tape - opening its plastic housing and unreeling it is a necessity. On the other hand, with a CD/DVD, dropping it on the floor and having someone walk over it is sometimes all it takes.

    The tapes that I use have a capacity of dozens of DVDs. I don't know exactly how even I would use DVDs in my scenario, they'd imply someone sitting there at night and swapping discs. No, loader is not an option due to financial reasons - a $600 tape drive is much cheaper than a DVD loader (more reliable, too!).

    I have a good source of Dell tape drives on eBay and those end up being cheap and so far 100% reliable.

    Today's "commodity" tape technology stores about 0.5TB on a single tape, and, given a healthy drive and reasonable storage conditions, that tape is fully expected to be readable 50 years from now.

    Cheers!
  • Kuba 2007-10-14 10:09
    SenorLapiz:

    A tape has better shelf life than a DVD? Now you're the one telling jokes.

    A tape breaks, molds, erases in magnetic fields, and must be kept within relatively strict environmental parameters.
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life. And they are dirt cheap. And they have no moving parts, unlike tape cartridges. Tapes are probably one of the worst storage media choices these days.


    It's hard to erase contemporary tapes in magnetic fields, unless you put it in an MRI machine. So called "bulk tape erasers" for audio tapes hardly do anything to backup tapes (my experience so far).

    I have CD-Rs that are about 10-12 years old and none of them are fully readable. They came from multiple vendors and were written with different recorders.

    The whole "no moving parts" just made me laugh. You spin a DVD up to do anything useful with it. Same with a tape -- when it's on a shelf, it doesn't move, and nothing wears out. It's not like you need to keep the tape a spinnin' on the shelf.

    As for tapes breaking, well, I don't think that contemporary tape drives break tapes. Has never happened for me.

    As for mold: well, if a tape molds, it's only the outside that will. Leader, maybe a turn or two under it. An LTO tape I've opened up recently is wound pretty much air-tight between the layers, and you'd be hard pressed to completely destroy it just by letting mold grow on it. I don't think that whatever the tapes and their housing are made of are good mold food.

    Recordable optical disc media in general don't have infinite shelf life. Contemporary tapes, devoid of the substrate-adhesion problems common in say 70s, are meant to last forever. I'd fully expect one to be readable 100-200 years from now, given a PC & a tape drive preserved somewhere in a safe. Even if the tape itself were to be stored say in the glovebox of your car. I've made a test with an LTO-2 tape -- drove it around in the glovebox for a year, no problems. I'm pretty sure it experienced temperatures between -10F and 120F.

    Recordable CDs I keep in my car for too long (in their cases, not used in the car) start exhibiting higher error rates (correctable errors, but still).

    I'm no big fan of tapes, but for now they are the only sane thing around to store data for long periods of time. That, and internet storage (where they just copy it over to newer hardware for ya).

    Cheers!
  • Rhialto 2007-10-15 07:26
    SenorLapiz:
    On the other hand, a dormant DVD has a relatively infinite shelf life.

    I bet you have never read a proper test of dvd burning quality. Many burners create dvds that start with so many errors already that they are unacceptable. And have personal experience with a supposedly good burner and brand-name cd-rs which go bad in a couple of years.
  • Kilwch 2007-10-15 08:52
    It remembers me the day I took an half-day off to visit my ophthalmologist. I was forced to take an half-day off because it was impossible to get an appointment outside work hours.
    Because ophtalmologists are often overbooked in France, I got the appointment 4 monthes ago.
    The morning I went to the doctors's practice, I seat in the waiting room and... wait for the ophtalmologist to call me. One, two people passed... 45min later people arrived after me started to pass !
    Strange.. a women was speaking sharply with the secretary drew my attention. She had the same problem, so I went to the secretary's desktop to get some info.
    It was it : about 4 monthes ago, a friday evening, the ophtalmologist RESTORED it's database with tuesday data instead of BACKUP it. I got my appointment a wednesday.
    Guess what happened ?
    The secretary was soooo sorry, but not me. I put half a day off only to wait 1h for noting.
    Then I got a new appointedment, but never returned to this ophtalmologist. The day of my appointment, the secretary called me
    "Mr -censored-, you had an appointment today and didn't come..."
    "Oups, sooo sorry, I restored the DB of my PDA instead of backup it, so I lost this agenda entry. Asta la vista !".

  • DavidTC 2007-10-15 14:08
    Has anyone noticed this doesn't make any sense anyway? Even assuming the plan was actually for both of them to go in the same direction, it makes no sense at all.

    Why would you keep fresh tapes in a fireproof safe? Especially since it either required a four floor walk to get the tape out, or a four floor walk to store it, or some combination thereof. You put a new stack of tapes next to the server, back up on one of them, and then put it in the closest safe, not wander up and down four floors with tapes.

    And why did neither operators notice they didn't appear to be filling their safe? Doesn't that seem somewhat absurd? At some point it must have twigged that the 'stack of tapes' was merely a shelf, and every single day they were putting a tape in exactly the same place.

    And why didn't anyone notice they never need to buy more tapes? As their backup plan apparently wasn't ever supposed to reuse tapes, they'd need two a week.

    I mean, this story not only requires one stupid mistake (One of them getting it backwards.) but a fairly stupid design in the first place, two very unobservant operators, and no one that ever looks at the plan that says 'two backup tapes a week', and the purchase orders for backup tapes.
  • manicsquirrel 2007-10-16 17:04
    Maybe I'm just uninformed. Tape maybe okay, but how do you restore a Windows server or Windows domain controller operating system and all its data from a tape? All the tape backup software I've seen is garbage. It saves the system files, sure, but you have to install the oeprating system from scratch and then reload the system state and data.

    For the small businesses I service, we put in a NAS with redundant drives and removeable drive cartridges. The employees rotate out a cartridge each day and take one offsite. We then use Acronis True Image server to image the server. Compression and transfer rate are very good.

    It takes about 15 minutes to bring a server back from the dead with this combination.

    Of course, I'm always wanting to find a better way and I do listen to advice from those who know better. So let me have it...
  • Melchior 2007-10-16 22:48
    Tape is certainly NOT irrelevant. It's still unrivaled when dealing with enterprise or even large corporate level data.

    That said, in the lower Soho/SMB end of the market there are some major new players no one seems to have mentioned yet;

    Serial Attached Scsi (or SAS) hard drives. As far as i'm aware Dell is the only vendor currently offering these, but they have both an external and internal unit availble with SAS "cartridges" up to 320gb (compressed, 160 uncompressed) at $1/GB. Not as cheap if you scale it, but you're looking at under $1000 to get yourself all the benefits of hard drive backups, plus the form-factor, durability and portability of tape and that includes the storage media.

    http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/pvaul_rd1000?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04


    I currently use one of these in my backup schema. Daily backups go to an external drive, twice a week there is a backup to a storage array and then once a week the SAS is used to backup all critical files.
    My current backup scheme goes like this:
  • SuperWasabiDave 2007-10-17 08:35
    I can only say one thing to you guys:
    IDIOTS.
    I also assume that your parents Durex 'backup' failed ;-)
  • Bob Belloff 2008-07-21 15:21
    Interesting thread. I use Quantum DLT-S4, which for about $90 a pop gets me 1.6TB of data compressed. I can't touch that with disk.

    I also use a D2D2T setup and the backups are taken to disk and then destaged to the tapes.

    I have had very few tape failures over the years, and I can not recall ever bringing a tape back from storage to find it has failed.

    That said, I think a combination of disk technologies and tape is probably best, especially where data might need to be archived, yet readily available.

    As for the guy who said DVDs were better than tape, what are you backing up? A couple of Excel files at the 2-person office you work in? Get real.