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Choose a good Tape drive

Posted on 2002-06-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Dear all,

I am going to buy a Tape Drive but I don't know what kind of it is better than the others. I need it for backup from operating system and data(full backup). It's very kind of you If you tell me anything(software view) you know is useful for making backup of softwares and whole system settings. Your advices will be appreciate.

Abrisham

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Question by:abrisham
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22 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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jhance earned 50 total points
ID: 7118246
Please answer some basic questions:

1) What capacity do you need? (i.e. how many GB?)
2) What interface is needed (SCSI, IDE, USB, other?)
3) Any speed requirements?
4) What about operating system?
5) Cost requirements?
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7118326
I believe tape drives are on their way out for home use.  Get a CDRW instead and back up to CD.  Even better, get a DVDRW and back up to 4G DVD drives.
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by:jhance
ID: 7118336
Well, I think the demise of the tape drive is greatly exaggerated....  Still nothing comes close for $$/MB of storage...
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7118360
It is also not as reliable as CD/DVD.  I remember when the story about CDs was that it was indestructible.  You could run over it with a truck and it would survive.  They never mentioned scratches from tossing it on your desktop.
All-in-all, though, CDs and DVDs are more rugged than tape and the data is more secure as long as you treat them nicely.
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Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 7118468
I second slink9 on the cdrw/dvdrw.  You can get a decent cd burner that can burn a cd-rw in about 5 minutes for about $100.  And if you use a program like Norton Ghost to backup your system, it will make an image of your drive and burn it to a set of bootable cd's.

Depending on how much you are willing to spend a dvd-ram drive probabbly would be a nice investment.  The DVD-RW discs they're selling now can hold up to 4.7GB, but the drives have a potential to store up to like 20GB on a double-sided DVD.  Although, I'm not sure about the speed of the drives, but I'd imagine it would be faster than a tape drive.
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Expert Comment

by:ITsheresomewhere
ID: 7118966
I'm going to stand with jhance on this one for the time being.  The points made regarding CD and DVD can be valid but without the answers to the configuration/needs questions jhance posed they could well be premature or become invalid.  

Listening...

ITsy

 
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Expert Comment

by:Smokintbird
ID: 7119340
here's something...  

If you're going to look at backup, why not a spare hard drive?

tape drive and 100Gigs worth of tapes - rough cost=$400US
CDRW drive and 150 700MB CDs - rough cost=$200US
DVDRAM drive and 22 4.7Gig DVDRs - rough cost=$450US
100Gig IDE Hard drive and PCI-IDE controller(in case it's a SCSI machine) - rough cost=$200US

Now the cheapest options are CDRW drive and hard drive, but would you want to change CDs 120 times??? If you need more space, you can up that to 2 100Gig hard drives and still be paying about as much as the tape drive or DVDRAM dive. You could get really fancy (for about $20 more) and buy a removeable hard drive kit to go with them, making changing backup drives a lot more hassle free.

In my opinion, I'd just go with a 5400RPM 100Gig hard drive and controller if needed. Besides, I've had a couple tapes break during use, and how many people ever heard of a hard drive going bad sitting on the shelf?

just a thought,
Smokintbird!
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Expert Comment

by:Smokintbird
ID: 7119444
I almost forgot, as far as the software point of view...

PowerQuest's Drive Image 2002
http://www.powerquest.com/driveimage/

I own one of their earlier versions, and it's wonderfull.

With it, you can boot from a floppy (included) and make a COMPLETE image of any hard drive in your system.  The options on where to save the information to are:

Hard drive (not the one you're making an image of)
CDRW drive
DVDRAM drive
floppies (YUCK!)
Zip or jazz drives
Network drives
Tape Drives

So if you're in need of a piece of software with more options than the basic backup software that comes with your operating system, then I think this is it.

Smokintbird!
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 7120451
I recommend you get an LTO format tape drive from IBM:
http://www.storage.ibm.com/hardsoft/tape/3584/index.html

These things are excellent!  I personally guarantee it can handle a full backup of your operating system and all your data.
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Expert Comment

by:ITsheresomewhere
ID: 7120504
yep 56TB should just about cover it, probably wouldn't have to worry much about ever changing tapes either. ;-)

ITsy
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by:slink9
ID: 7120821
That works well if you have unlimited funds.  I sure don't.  That would be why I only have a 4x CDRW.
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 7120833
Not all tape drives are expensive.  I have a Seagate Scorpion DDS-3 DAT drive that holds 24GB compressed.  The tapes are quite inexpensive and the backups are fast.
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7120861
How much was the drive?  How much are the tapes?  Is it XP compatible?
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 7120943
I paid about US$200 for the drive, new on EBay.  I got 2 boxes of 5 tapes ea. for a total of US$25.

Sure, these drives are XP compatible and run with Verital BackupExec.

The drive is like this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2035117020

I like the DDS/DAT drives as the media is much less expensive than the QIC/TRAVAN types.  They're a lot quieter also.

Another good possibility are the Exabyte 8mm family of drives.  While a bit more expensive the capacity (if you need it) is much higher.

At the top end of tapes are the DLT technologies.  I think these are way overpriced for what they offer.  I prefer a DDS tape library/auto-changer for a lot less money.
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 7122326
For the sarcasm impaired, my point was to emphasize the fact we know nothing of the requirments other than a tape drive is needed.  It is therefore impossible to recommend anything other than the worst case - a scalable system that can handle up to 500TB.
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by:jhance
ID: 7122333
magarity, you're 100% right.  Refer back to my initial comment.  But no clarification from abrisham has been forthcoming.
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by:slink9
ID: 7122752
And I thought I was the one usually throwing the sarcasm out there!!
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by:magarity
ID: 7123327
jhance and slink9 can automatically exclude themselves from comments addressed 'for the sarcasm impaired'.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7123335
I don't like being excluded.  I wanna play!!  Can I, huh, can I, can I?
I have a feeling that we won't get anything back from abrisham on this one.
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Author Comment

by:abrisham
ID: 7133342
Hello Dear,
Thanks a lot for your answers to me.
My answers to your questions are:
1- about 100 GB
2- A external Device (scsi or usb port or ...)
3- high
4- Windows 2000 advance server & Windows NT &Windows x & Linux & novell netware
5- about $2000
Best Wishes
Mrs Abrisham
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Author Comment

by:abrisham
ID: 7133391
Hello Dear all
Please read the first question from Jhance and my aswer to it.
Thank you
Abrisham
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 7133641
I'm confused.  How can a response that asks more questions be the solution?
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