What is the best migration path from SDLT 320 ?

Posted on 2006-07-07
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Dear all,

This has probably been asked over the years time and time again, but thats down to advancments in technology.

I have just spoken to a few of my suppliers about a SDLT320 tape drive for our DR site and i have been told they are end of life.

The requirement is to backup 300GB of data from a compaq server that is our main file server, from ArcServe in the usual over night GFS backup routines. However we need to restore this data in our DR site should we need to.

My question is this, should i stick with the 'DLT' track and go with the SDLTII (300GB native) or choose something else such as ultrium. What are the Pro's and cons of different technologies

Im not to bothered about previous backups as we will have the old drives around should we need to restore older tapes.

Real world views appreciated.

Question by:Psyco_666
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Accepted Solution

Duncan Meyers earned 500 total points
ID: 17057753
Check out the new DTL-S4 drives. They handle 800GB native...

According to the manual (, they'll read your existing SDLT 320 tapes, but you'll need to buy new media to write to.

Ultriums and DLTs offer similar features, but LTO-3 tape drives have a *major* drawback. Both SDLT and LTO drives feature variable speed tape transports so that the drive can match the tape speed to the rate of incoming data during write operations. The big difference lies in the minimum tape speed - the LTO-3 drive's minimum speed is much higher than a DLT-S4 or LTO-2, meaning that the drive spends a lot of time waiting for data to write - it then writes the data out to tape, repositions the tape and waits for its data buffers to fill before it writes out the next block - this process is referred to as "shoe-shining". A DLT-4S or LTO-2 can slow the tape speed down so that it matches the incoming data rate, so the data is streamed directly out to tape. The upshot of all this is that if you have LTO-3 and your backup software cannot provide multiple streams to your tape drive, you will get shoeshing, which affects both perormance and tape drive reliability. Enterprise level backup software that can handle multiple streams includes Symantec NetBackup, EMC Networker and Commvault Galaxy. If you have a product like Arcserve or BackupExec which handle single data streams, then you're much better off with DLT-S4 or LTO-2.

To conclude, I'd recommend DLT-S4 for performance and teh convenience of read compatibility with your existing tapes.

Expert Comment

ID: 17060832
External USB HDD - once a week.

Good Luck,

Author Comment

ID: 17071682
dooleydog, once a week is not going to cut it im afraid. We have 2 tapes at the moment on a nightly basis. On stays onsite and one goes offsite for DR reasons.

Author Comment

ID: 17091425
Thanks for the concise awnser meyersd!
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 17095751
My pleasure!

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