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Bigger tapes for LTO 2 drive?

Posted on 2010-11-30
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
We purchased a Dell Powervault 120 at the beginning of last year. It takes LTO 2 tapes that are 200/400gb. The company I work for has grown by 60% in the past year and 400gb will not be enough room. Can I use different (bigger) tapes in this drive, or do I need a different drive? Because I am already at this point, should I just start looking at online (offsite) backups? The growth of our company wasn't expected to be this fast but I could possibly see it growing another 30-40% in the next year. If no other tape will work, are there any recommendations on a nice tape drive or online backup solution?
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Question by:j_crow1
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MiniDevo earned 668 total points
ID: 34241049
I ran into something similar with a smaller business server my department was using for application hosting. I tended to use the tapes for windows file server backup (using NTBackup), and used an external firewire drive for actual user files (Norton Ghost). This allowed the external to be upgraded as necessary, and kept it cheap as changing the tape drive was rather expensive.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 668 total points
ID: 34241081
You would need a drive capable of using the larger tapes (LTO 3, 4, or I think 5).

Tape is expensive UNLESS you need to archive backups for a long period of time.  I have one client that must save all backups for 7 years.  They use tape.  And I have other clients that don't need to save backups, so they backup to external hard drives and erase them once a month or so.

What you should do is do the math - figure out what it will cost to do your backups - online, via tape, via disk, etc.  Then use the most economical method.   And NOTE: your cost is NOT JUST THE $$$ paid for the hardware and media.  It's also your time and the hassle of managing and storing them.  

This may help:
www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/backup.asp
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by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 664 total points
ID: 34248461
What backup software are you using? as its quite normal for backups to span more than one tape, so the fact that one tape can only hold 400GB (NB Capital B = Bytes, lowercase b = bits) should not be a limiting factor.

That said, you should be considering your options for an upgrade as LTO-2's are now 3 generations old - the simplest would be to replace the LTO-2 drive with a LTO-4 drive as it can still read LTO-2 tapes (It can read LTO-2, LTO-3 & LTO4 tapes, but not LTO-1) so your existing archives are still valid.

Alternatively you should seriously consider a D2D (Disk-2-Disk) and/or D2D2T  (-2-Tape) especially if the solution incorporates de-duplication as this will give compression ratio's of 20-40:1
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