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Possible to connect a HP DAT72 external scsi tape drive via usb?

Posted on 2010-08-31
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,

We have a DAT72 tape drive connected to our main server. It is connected to the server by a SCSI C2362B cable.

We recently bought a HP server as a standby server but I wrongly specced it.. The only available expansion slot for it is used by the hardware RAID card, so there's no external SCSI connector.

Is there any connector that can be bought to connect a SCSI cable to a usb port?? Any alternative solutions that you can think of? (Replacing the server or buying a new tape drive are out of the question unfortunately)

Many Thanks,
Conor
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Question by:conor_asean
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by:bpinning
ID: 33573390
Can you get a PCI SCSI card and connect it?
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by:dlethe
ID: 33573525
There are a few very expensive frankenconverters from USB to SCSI, but the emulation is awful, performance is worse, and the USB bridge chips will not propagate all the CDBs you need to do much more than seek/read and write.   Bus resets will kill it, and for all intents and purposes it simply will not work.

There options are all dismal, here are a few that come to mind
 * Upgrade the computer
 * buy an external bus expander product, put the expander board in the server, and use the expansion enclosure to add your SCSI & RAID controller, and anything else.  Magma pretty much owns this marketplace, and they have expensive, yet quality solutions.
 * iSCSI on another host, move tape there
 * upgrade the computer
 * Add disks to the RAID, create a nearline storage pool, then stream to tape over network
 * upgrade the computer

Sorry.
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by:dovidmichel
ID: 33578033
The new server is just a stand by server. It was not mentioned so I'm guessing the desire to use the tape drive is also only for a stand by emergency use. Why not just plan on using some other box for backup/restore should the need arise. Chances are the backup application used (whatever it is) will run on most any box, and this way you will have no additional expense. Anyways I'm not too fond of using any important production system as a backup server.
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by:andyalder
ID: 33578632
I can't think of a recent HP server that only has one expansion slot, what model/generation is it? Also most of the HP SAS RAID controllers also support tape drives, I don't like tape on a RAID controller but HP do officially support it on some.
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by:conor_asean
ID: 33583117
Hi all,

It's a small office so they only have 1 production server plus 1 standby (the new one). It's a HP DL120 G6 so I was not accurate in saying it has one expansion slot. It has one full length one (which is used by the RAID controller) and one half-length one (both PCIe, first is 8x and second is 4x iirc). I'm waiting to hear back from our HP vendor as to whether there's a half-length SCSI card we can get that's compatible with both the server and the tape drive. Thanks for all the advice!
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dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 33583150
Any PCIe-based SCSI controller will be compatible these days.  Just a matter of getting the right cable.  Go to adaptec.com, search for the non-RAID SCSI controller and get one that is half-length.   You can buy a HP one if you wish also, but really it is painless.  
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by:dovidmichel
ID: 33583199
Either that or just get a couple of USB hard drives and backup to them. If the DAT drive is old it might be better to not invest any money into it.
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by:andyalder
ID: 33584624
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Author Closing Comment

by:conor_asean
ID: 33688191
Thanks everyone for your help!

In the end I managed to get a decently priced low profile (4x) PCIe card which did the job.
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