Tape Backup Overruns DAT72

Posted on 2008-11-19
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I back up Small Business Server to tape daily and we've reached the point where data volumes are exceeding the tape capacity.  I run our system but am not expert, and would appreciate a few pointers as to what to do. In particular
1. The tape is supposed to be 72GB (tapes are HPDAT72 C8010A), yet our data is around 37GB. So why does it fail when it should only be half fulll?
2. At the moment we backup up the whole of the C:\ drive. Is there anything we could probably safety exclude from the backup ?
3. If we were to upgrade our backup storage capacity, what are the best options ? Are there tapes with greater capacity ? what about hard drives (what about need for removal offsite ??) Online backups (is this practical for 37 Gbytes ?)    
Question by:hycomfg
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    1. DAT72 drives are only 'nominally' rated at 72 GB. The guaranteed capacity is around 36Gb. The 72 assumes the data can be compressed at a ratio of 2:1. If you're only getting 37Gb (and if the media is not excessively old and the drive heads are regularly cleaned - ie, it's not because of write errors) then it suggests the data is not compressible. Are you backing up a lot of jpegs or video files?

    If the current block size is something small - like 512 or 1024 bytes - you can sometimes eke out more storage on a tape by increasing the block size, but I don't recall if this works on DDS drives, which are a strange technical fudge overlaid on top of the original DAT (an audio) format.

    2. Are there some files that aren't getting updated regularly? Then back these up separately, and don't back them up daily.

    3. If you're on a budget and you want to maintain instantaneous backwards compatibility then move up to DAT160. Or, if you're happy to swap drives (or leave the old drive still connected in tandem with a new drive) move up to LTO2 or 3.

    Author Comment

    Is a DAT160 tape compatible with a DAT72 tape drive, so I just buy some new DAT160 tapes and its problem solved ?  

    Author Comment

    or i need a new tape drive ?
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment


    Please find your answers bellow:

    1)  Your data are not compressed which software you are using to backup your data? On maximum compression the tape will support 73 Gb of data.

    2) You can exclude the whole Windows folder and program files folder provided you do not have any database applications like MS SQL and while taking back up you are taking current system state. If you have some other partition like d: or e: dives ask your users to keep sensitive data inside of them. Or you can create a share folder to keep such data.

    3) Before suggesting a suitable backup device for your organization I must know at what growth in terns of percentage you are having like 1 GB per day 10% per day.

    Yes certainly HP have 400 / 200 or 400 / 800 GB Ultrium tape option and so on but before you decide you must thing of a cost effective solution.

    Well hard drives are not industry proven solution as they can crash any time.

    If you use a 200 / 400 Gb tape you can easily take it with you while going home.

    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    To use DAT160 you need a DAT160 drive.

    Expert Comment

    I thought that DAT technology was designed to be backwards compatible ? So shouldn't a DAT160 tape work in a DAT72 drive?
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    It is BACKWARDS compatible - ie, a DAT72 will work in DAT160, but not the other way around.

    To help get the extra data onto the newer generation tapes, they've doubled the tape width from 4mm to 8mm. Earlier generation drives can't deal with this, but DAT160 has a dual loading mechanism that can handle either.

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