I know that generaly tapes are used for backing up server data, but anyway...
We have to buy a new tape drive with aprox. 350GB capacity / tape. Our backup strategy is full backup with weekly tape rotation where each Thursday rotates per 4 weeks. Thursday backup tapes are stored at remote location.
Based on fact that hdd these days are preaty good, quite stable and error free (my personal experience), I started to play in my head with an idea of disk to disk backup solution:
- powered 2.0 usb hub with 5 usb powered 2.5" 320GB hard disks (for example)
- weekly rotation setup (Mo - Fr)
- thursday for example rotates per 2 (or 4) weeks and is stored at remote location
- also as an extra, online remote backup can be a nice addition
We do not realy need archiving, just weekly rotated backup with some extra backup features (different thursday rotation (stored outside of the office) and remote online backup).
If I limit my self to hw costs only, I think such solution can accomplish same level of safety with much less cost. I can purchase 2.5" usb powered hdd for less the 100¬ with 3year (or more) warranty. If I need 8 disks this is aprox. 800¬. Performance of disk based backup is also very high.
Cost of a tape drive with similar tape capacity is much higher (as far as I can see - 1.500¬ + ). Tapes are also not that cheap and they need to be changed regulary (yearly or so). Tape library (compared to usb hub) also greatly influences tape drive price.
Googling around for similar solutions, debates, I usually read comments that such ideas are stupid and tapes are THE ONLY way to go if you mean serious backup. One of reasons they state is that tapes are here for so many years and they are far less sensitive to damage, etc etc. ... well I must say that I have seen more tapes fail then hard drives and hard drives are here just as long and they evolved also. Hard disks are truly more sensitive to damage, but will I realy throw it, drop it, shake it (although, shit happenes :-)
Maybe I just have too little experience with backups, but I realy don't see why this couldn't be a real alternative these days.
I would appreciate if someone can open my eyes here.