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Optical backup

Posted on 2006-06-27
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Please explain optical backup and what are the advantage over tape back ups.
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Question by:mputnam31
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by:rindi
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Pro optical drives:

Tape drives are more expensive than CD/DVD Drives, you can't read the data from the tapes directly.

Con optical drives:

CD's/DVD's have, compared to todays's standard tapes, room for only very little data amounts. You can only use them once (provided you don't use RW media, but RW media is very unreliable and should therefore not be used for archiving/backups of importance).
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by:ded9
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by:VortexAdmin
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Optical backup is generally to a CD or DVD.  The biggest advantages are costs, although those aren't as huge when you consider the capacity.  Standard DVDs hold 4.7GB, dual layer's around 9GB.  Optical drives and media are not susceptible to magnetic interference (you can erase tape with magnets) and "less" susceptible to heat and the shelf life is a little longer.  For accessing you're data, they are much easier since you don't have to rewind and fast forward (which is done automatically by your drive).  Cost per MB and capacity considerations, nothing beats hard drives but you need to use multiples (RAID) to insure the integrity of your backup.
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Beyond the fact that optical media isn't susceptible to magnetic corruption, I don't any real advantages is the backup world. (home use excepted)

Optical (assuming CD/DVD):
Not susceptible to magnetics
nice and thin for storage
Random access
Limited to around 10MB/s transfer rate
Limited to 30GB (being kind and assuming availability of blu-ray etc)
Cost per MB:  0.010c (assumes 4.5GB DVD's bought for about 50c each Australian)
Purchase price of drive very low

Tape:
Susceptible to magnetics
bit bulkier than CD/DVD
Sequential access - can be slow to find the file you want at restore time
Extremely high throughput - 60MB/s native for LTO3 with faster drives due soon.  To put this into perspective, you'll hit the throughput limit of NTFS before a tape holds you up
Extremely high density - 400GB native for LTO3 (reckon on storing 600GB per tape in practice).  higher capacities due soon.
Cost per MB:  0.011c (assumes LTO3 tape @$70 Australian and 1.5:1 compression - ie 600GB per tape)
Purchase price of drive can be high
Proven a trusted media for long term storage
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by:mputnam31
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I will stick with my taped backup, only disadvantage I see is cost of tapes (which I already own) and magnetic strip (which I can chance).  Thanks
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