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Best storage solution

I have a data in a few folders that amount to apprx 4 GB and this data is ever growing at 5% every month.

It becomes very time consuming for me to zip this data and then write it to a CD.

I am looking for a hardware storage solution where I can simply copy this data on a daily basis. A secondary harddisk is one of the solutions provided, but it standands the same risk of crashing in case something happens to my machine.

Please advise.
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Sethi
Asked:
Sethi
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1 Solution
 
mattisflonesCommented:
Id say, get Veritasbackup and a tapedrive with HW compression...

http://veritas.com/Products/www?c=category&refId=148
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SethiAuthor Commented:
I think you misunderstood what I wanted. I am looking for an advise for best backup peropheral solution like Tape Drive, USB drive, DVD Writer or anything that is the best. I also have a budget limitation within a range of $200 to $300.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I usually recommend a Wiebetech.com ComboDock - it connects via USB OR Firewire to the computer and connects to just about "internal" IDE drive.  With the cost of such drives at as little as $35 (if you look hard and generally around $50+, depending on size) you can treat these drives almost like a cartridge or CD system.  For example:

$175 ComboDock
$120 TWO 80GB Excel Stor Hard Drives
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$295 TOTAL

Hard dRive link:
http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-162-002&depa=1

Then you swap drives each night and take the other one home.  In the event of a disaster, you have a backup that's no more than 48 hours old.

Besides that, you can use the ComboDock for tech purposes as well - if someone's computer has problems, connect it's drive to the dock and retrieve data (obviously the drive itself has to work).
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SethiAuthor Commented:
This looks very interesting. I will explore this further. Infact I want to have a solution wherein before sleeping I take the backup and use the storage as catridge and use another one for the other day.
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mattisflonesCommented:
>I think you misunderstood what I wanted.
Well, since you did not specify a economic limit i gave yau what you asked for.. Precisely what you stated: "I am looking for an advise for best backup peropheral solution like Tape Drive"

You could spend your money on a Tape drive, and then use the built in backuptool in windows.. That would be a quite good solution.
USB/CD/Moveable HD solutions are not something i would advice on, They tend to be subject to errors and are slow.
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SethiAuthor Commented:
mattisflones, so you say that tapeDrive is the best? Can I have one within $200 to $300 range or even slightly higher?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I use a custom made batch script that backs up via NT backup to a hard drive like this, using 3 160 GB drives in a rotation connecting to the DriveDock.  
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I'm truly surprised at the comments by mattisflones.  A firewire2 connection has a throughput speeds maxing at 800 Mbits (100 MB) per second.  Tape drives, at best, have throughput of 1/3 that.  Further, hard drives, while a little more delicate than tape, are not nearly as prone to errors.

For small volumes of data, hard drives are best.  Tape drives have a nasty habit of breaking down and further still, if the head gets out of alignment, it may still backup and even restore, but if you eventually replace the tape drive, you may have extreme difficulty in restoring the data.  
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mattisflonesCommented:
Yes, i would advice on a tape drive.. But good drives cost $$..
As a cheaper alternative i can recommend Iomegas REV drives. I`ve used those with good results, and to an affordable price.. Should match your limit..

They come in every standard from SCSI to Firewire..
http://www.iomega-europe.com/eu/en/products/rev/rev_family_en.aspx
http://www.iomega-europe.com/eu/products.aspx?productid=rev_35_atapi $319
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Tape is great for a large enterprise... you can get tape libraries with potential capicity of multiple TB and that use multiple tape heads.  But with the cost of ATA hard drives (per GB) where it is now (as little as $.53/GB, uncompressed), for small backup jobs of 100 GB or less (and in some cases, larger if the data doesn't change frequently), I believe a disk based system offers better reliability and easier access.

Another point - if your tape drive breaks down, how do you recover the data?  What if this happens at a crucial time and you NEED the data NOW and the drive is dead?  What then?

If the ComboDock breaks (unlikely with no moving parts), you can always open a PC and hang the drive off that.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Rev drives have the same problem - and besides that are out of his budget.  And NEVER NEVER NEVER believe the compression ratios quoted by vendors.  NO WAY are you getting 90 GB on a 35 GB disk unless you are backing up Databases.  MOST data compresses at about 1.25:1, maybe 1.33:1 and the REV drives transfer rates are awful as compared to firewire or firewire2.  And the disks cost WAY too much - $50-60 each.  80 GB uncompressed capacity in a FAST, well tested and established technology, flexible (in terms of attaching to PC) ATA hard drive for $62 or 35 GB uncompressed REV disk with only one way to read it - the REV drive - from a company not known for high quality products (remember the Zip drive click of death - I do - I saw 15 drives in my last company have this problem)?  Sorry, to me, this seems like a no brainer.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Similar question with similar analysis by me:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_21370919.html#13670573
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mattisflonesCommented:
Sure, you will be subject to the same problems whatever drive type you choose..more or less.
But anyway i feel that tape is the ultimate medium... Well tested and low faultrate.

Sorry to hear that you have had problems with REVs leew, I havent.. The compression rates doesnt matter in this case anyway, as this is a 4-> lets say 30GB issue..

To use a HD solution it would have to be removable, and thats not cheap if you want quality either, and the fault risk is way higher than tape..
For that kind of money you simply can not get a great solution in my mind, so youll have to compromize in some way..

If there is no point in removing the data for safe storage out-of-office i`d say that adding more HDs or converting a old computer to a server with a RAID solution would be just as good.
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mattisflonesCommented:
>the REV drives transfer rates are awful as compared to firewire or firewire2
Well, you can run REVs on Firewire.. So its not that awfull.. :-)
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
mattisflones,
> Sure, you will be subject to the same problems whatever drive type you
> choose..more or less.

Every drive type has a failure rate.  I've had extensive experience with DDS and DLT/SDLT technology.  And drive heads fail.  TOO often.  I used to backup 2 TB of storage on a regular basis and we REQUIRED that we had at least 2 heads in any library as we had to deal with failures seemingly every 6 months on one of our 4 tape libraries.

I contend that a backup to disk solution is subject to less risk as hard drives, while they certainly do fail, don't fail that often and with a proper rotation scheme, the odds of the the drive with your data to be recovered failing when you need it most are quite low.

> But anyway i feel that tape is the ultimate medium... Well tested and
> low faultrate.

Firmware on tape drives can create incompatibilities in media, even ruin media.  We had to get an overland and quantum engineer on site for two days before they managed to narrow down the problem and declare two dozen tapes effectively garbage.

> To use a HD solution it would have to be removable, and thats not cheap
> if you want quality either, and the fault risk is way higher than tape..

Removable?  The wiebetech solution IS removable, without screws, a mounting kit or anything like that.  Browse the web site and see the pictures.

How do you figure the fault risk is higher?  I see you've got lots of experience and not necessarily in tiny environments.  I worked managing a Windows network with various drive solutions for 5+ years and in that time, I saw more tape drive failures and corrupted/broken tapes than I saw failed hard drives.

> Sorry to hear that you have had problems with REVs leew, I havent..
> The compression rates doesnt matter in this case anyway, as this is a
> 4-> lets say 30GB issue..

Compression rates matter because the frequency of backups and the total number of media needed over time.

I've never even seen a Rev drive in person.  My comments are based on logic:
*The drives are proprietary
*The drives are expensive
*The disks (in cost/GB) are expensive
*The throughput is advertised at 25 MB/sec.  An ATA drive is capable of 100 MB/sec, or up to 133 MB/Sec.  The Firewire ComboDock runs on Firewire, Firewire2, and USB2 and has theoretical throughput 4x faster than the REV drive
*Iomega has a history of stubbornness, poor customer service, and poor quality, at least in my experience.


The above factors combine so that I would NOT recommend using one.  I'm rather surprised Iomega is still pushing proprietary cartridge drive systems AND charging high prices for the media.  If the media were $10, it would be worth looking into.  But with DVD burners now handling 8 GB per disk and USB/Firewire enclosures costing $20 and allowing you to use up to 400 GB drives, it's just not logical to me.  I view IOMEGA as a dying company.  They came out with 750 MB Zip drives... I hardly heard of them except by stumbling on them in a computer store.  If IOMEGA wants to live, they need to reinvent themselves and/or their pricing scheme.

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mattisflonesCommented:
leew, point taken.. You dont like REVs and i do.. No point in arguing.
I have stated my preferences and what i would advice, and will leave it at that.
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SethiAuthor Commented:
"If there is no point in removing the data for safe storage out-of-office i`d say that adding more HDs or converting a old computer to a server with a RAID solution would be just as good." --> Let me brief you a little further. I am in freelancing software solutions and would want to backup the day's job before I sleep everyday.

The best solution that I initially thought was to get two 80GB harddisks and attach them as secondary storage to:
1. My development machine
2. The machine on the network.

Now the only fear is that what will happen if one day there is a spark in the electricity line and all my computers get short. All the harddisks containing my data will go with that.

From your discussion above this is what I have analyzed:
1. Tape is out of question due to budget constraints as well as problems highlighted.
2. Same goes with I-Omega as the hardware guy in India says, it has a very high fault rate. So no point getting into its pros and cons.
3. leew, the solution mentioned by you is not available in India, so although it looked very handy, I cant buy it here (sad).

Now based upon what we have discussed above, I have just segregated my data and I can divide it into two main types:
1. That changes almost everyday. (Max 300 MB)
2. That changes almost once a month. (Apprx 4 GB)

So just giving this question a little twist:
1. So can we have a solution in DVD Writers or similar devices?
2. Is my fear of all harddisks going for a blast valid?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
With a jolt of electricity, anything is possible.  HOWEVER, I will say drives can be more reliable than you might expect.  For example, I've been working on computers for 10 years and most people, including my colleagues think I REALLY know my stuff.  That said, for the first time recently I fried a computer.  NOTICEABLY.  It was a client's PC and I was trying to upgrade it.  I think I cracked the motherboard trying to install a second DIMM (Yes, it was the right kind, but the slot for some reason that never made itself apparent would not let the chip sit right).  Anyway, I finally thought I got it in, turned on the system, and after a few LEDs lit briefly, the thing let out a loud bzzzzt sound and a spark flashed over the inside of the case.  I'm not sure WHAT exactly happened, but I ended up replacing the motherboard, Memory, CPU, Power Supply, and CD-ROM drive.  The hard drive was still working and is still working 6 months later.  But again ANYTHING could happen.  Personally, I'd suggest based on your newly presented information, two external hard drives (USB2 most likely).  ONLY CONNECT ONE AT A TIME.  Yes, you could easily have both connected, but that would defeat the purpose.  Backup to each one every other night, then disconnect it (from Power lines too) and reconnect the other drive.

Otherwise, you could get a dual layer DVD drive and backup the monthly data to a dual layer DVD (DVD-RW probably be best), and the daily data to CD (CDRW).  This gives the most cost effective solution as CDs are typically $.15-.25 each and blank DVDs are between $.33 and I THINK $5 each (single layer, vs dual layer).  Of course, prices are what I'd expect to pay in the USA.
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mattisflonesCommented:
Ok, then i would go for your initial tought.

A IDE or SATA RAID card, a RAID 1. http://www.acnc.com/04_01_01.html (2 HDs) and a power surge protector ($15) will meet your demands as i understand them, and will give you the benefit of live backup as the data is stored on two disks, and this your worst fear (#2) is taken care of.
Dont know the HD prices in your country, but it could be within your limits

If you want to carry the data out, a suplement with CD/DVD would be a good solution.
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SethiAuthor Commented:
Perfect. Thank you both for the help. I have decided the solutions:
1. I am going for a DVD Writer.
2. I am also buying One 120GB Hraddisk where I will either mirror my work or store data directly based upon the time comfort I have.

In case you can tell me the best name, company or model with DVD-RW and best harddisks for this purpose, I will be greatful. In case you can't then I will explore it later.

Now as both of you gave me excellent solutions, instead of splitting the points, I will give 500 points each to both of you.
I will open another thread for "mattisflones" and give you the points there.
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mattisflonesCommented:
Glad we could help! Dont mind the points.. I dont need them. ;-) As long as you got your solution, i`m happy..

I use a NEC DVD/CD-RW 1300A writer whitch i am quite satisfied with, but i could not say if its better or worse than others of good quality.
I have heard many good comments about the NEC2500A,whitch have good scores on tests.
http://www.nec.co.uk/DVDRW_ND2500.aspx

The "best" will be highly subjective and a subject to HW compatiblity.. but thats one i can suggest.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I concur - the best is HIGHLY subjective.  I generally recommend people read reviews, giving more credit to products with more reviews.  (2 positive isn't as good as 7 positive and one negative).  As for DVD Writers, I'd suggest looking over the top rated ones here:
http://www.videohelp.com/dvdwriters.php?&orderby=Rating

Personally, I like having DVD RAM ability, but that's not a terribly popular feature nowadays...
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SethiAuthor Commented:
Thanks a ton guys. mattisflones, I am opening a new question for you. Please accept that.
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mattisflonesCommented:
Whatever pleases you! :-)
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