Best recommendation about replacing DLT tape-based storage

I currently have a Benchmark  DLT1/ VS80 internal tape drive and i'm looking to upgrade.  I would like a disk-based solution that would not cost the company a lot of money. i'm storing a little over 50 gigs every day.  my dell tower host the tape drive.  Please give me your best recommendation       
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We have an LT1 drive, and it is remarkabley fast, and storage is 200GB, 400GB compressed.
How much in total storage?

My recommendation would be a small(ish) NAS box to receive and store the backup sets without hazzle.

Many good NAS vendors bundle their systems with basic backup software
Couple different ways to go with this.  What's the host operating system?  What backup software are you using now? Single server, multiple servers?  Tape backup is a pain for smaller organizations, but tapes can be taken off-site.  Do you need to worry about safeguarding that backed-up data somewhere else?  How much of the data changes every day?  What kinds of files?
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d01970gAuthor Commented:
host OS:  windows 2000 small business servers (multiple servers)
Backup soft:   Veritas 10.0
data changes everyday/ financial files
is backed up to offsite but i'm looking for a better solution.  any recommendations?
Iomega's ever innovative brainlab has emerged with the "REV" drive which are sealed, self contained 35GB (90GB compressed) removable hard drives.

HDD based so you have random access to your data, unlike a tape...much faster.
Available in the following interfaces
FireWire External  
SATA Internal  
SCSI Internal  
SCSI External  
Atapi Backup Kit
Relative low cost-- For example: USB drive and 6 disks are under $600.

relative newcomer...not time-tested.
It comes with Yosemite Tapeware or a proprietary Iomega BU software, neither of which dazzle me. I am a DANTZ Retrospect believer.

All in all pretty darn smooth. The disks are only like $60 a piece and can be formatted by windows as standard 'removeable media' so you can copy and paste within Windows Explorer making archiving a snap. (with this method you lose out on most of your compression capabilities).

I have even read about setting up the REV to be bootable, making a 0 downtime back up of your OS a reality.

Find more at
(no I am in no way affiliated with IO...just use these in my business and reccomend them as often as I can to my clients)
Duncan MeyersCommented:
Your best bet is to stick with tapes (go with the latest DLT drives - they'll read the older tapes) or three of four USB HDDs. They're easy to take off site and store which is a *must*.

A new DLT drive can also read and write to WORM tapes, which is good for archiving...
Sorry I disagree with most of this.  Tapes are outdated technology, and the software you use (veritas) is some of the buggiest software ever written.  They were bought out last month by Symantec to sink them.

The new trend is remote storage drive on the NETWORK (no, not USB, they fail every time a new user tries to access the data).  Symantec is commited to total disk backup storage, that is the way of the present and future.  SO plan to backup everything to a remote network backup drive.  You only think you have 50GB per day, if you used a reference set, the changed files will probably be only 50 MB daily, a far cry from 50 GB, 1000 times less, yes?   SO find out what is really changing in your data, and plan a new backup strategy now that works 2-5 years from now.
Disk-based backups are compelling for a number of reasons, but cost and difficulty in offsite retention aren't two of them.  Disk really is cheap these days- I saw a 300gb drive for $90.....but a SDLT tape holds 450-600gb for the same price, and it's far easier to pop a tape out of a drive and take it offsite than it is to crack open the case and pull a HD.  External enclosures are an option, too, but they add cost and their own sets of issues.

Storing the only backup copy of your data on-site is risky, and that's often the case with disk-based backups.  Make sure you consider that in your design as you go forward.  Not saying disk is better or worse than tape, but these are your backups, so make sure you think through whatever your final design is.

Alternatively, there are remote backup organizations (ie which provide an offsite incremental backup on whatever schedule you determine.  For about $100/month, they'll backup up to 30gb.  First backup takes a while, every subsequent is incremental.  No open file agent but it really takes a lot of the admin out of the backups.  I've used them before and it's worked well for me.  They've got a 30 day trial you can download from their website.
Duncan MeyersCommented:
As bconrey says, the chief advantages of tape are cost and portability. The physical robustness of the tapes themselves is also important.

Furthermore, compliance with US legislation, such as Sarbanes - Oxley, must be considered if it applies to you. Tape (including WORM tapes) offers a better permanent storage solution than disc.
d01970gAuthor Commented:
I'm looking for a Disk-based solution that would replace these tapes...  something that is very reliable...    i plan to amortalize it for a 3 year period...    
d01970gAuthor Commented:
bconrey i called remote data backups.  they don't support SQL, Exchange databases.   I need a solution that can support everything.  I started looking into the new Sonicwall CDP.....  what can you tell me..  i'm looking to save over 50 GB of space and problaby 10 GB a year with future growth......   it can be costly but the information has to be archived. but the offsite storage gets to be expensive.  any suggestions?
When they say they 'don't support' Exchange and SQL, what they probably mean is they have no way to back up those applications while running, but if you were to shut them down, you're just backing up files.  Not the best way to protect those types of applications, but it is one of the ways you can do it.

I wasn't aware that Sonicwall had a CDP product; I'm going to catch up on my reading after I post this.  Thanks for the info.

I'm going to assume your Veritas has the Exchange and SQL agents already; if that's the case I'd suggest you look at solutions to leverage the investment you've already made in the software.  If, on the other hand, you don't have those agents for Veritas then you already have this problem and aren't getting a good backup of Exchange or SQL while they're running currently...something to consider, anyway.

FYI, remotedatabackups is based on technology from Connected (purchased by Iron Mountain, last year I think).  Connected now offers their own hosted solution ( which accomodates SQL and other database types, but I imagine the subscription is expensive.

Disk is great but again, it ain't terribly portable.  The other risk we haven't yet discussed is changing technology.  Tape is recogignized as an archive medium, so backwards-compatibility is one of the primary considerations in design.  Disk, however, is not.  To put it another way, if you needed to recover data from a backup you made 10 years ago, your chances are higher that you'd have a tape drive which supported the tape format and lower that you had a PC around which supported the disk format (original IDE? MFM? RLL?)

Not sure if it's a valid option or not, but maybe you could use a bank's safe deposit box as another offsite storage option?

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d01970gAuthor Commented:
A friend of mine recomended me to get and LTO1 device to replace the DLT.... any comments?
Not a bad recommendation, if you're looking for a bit more flexibility.  The one real drawback with DLT the simple fact that Quantum owns the DLT technology and won't let anyone else manufacture the drives.  If they have a problem (whether manufacturing, engineering, supplier-related), you're sunk; you can't pursue this technology from another manufacturer.  LTO is a standard which exists across multiple manufacturers, so you wouldn't be faced with the same issue going that route.
Duncan MeyersCommented:
Good call.
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