HP DAT Drive reliability

Hi experts, just looking for some real world feedback on HP Storageworks DAT Drives.

Have a client getting a new file server and they had been using REV drives for backup. Thats no longer an option and I'm looking for feedback on HP DAT drives to compliment the new Proliant. I've lots of experience with the meatier Ultrium LTO drives which I know to be solid but they are expensive for the budget here and also the data is only 50GB and growing slowly so Ultrium would probably be overkill anyway especially as they will be using a proper day/month/annual rotation set requiring plenty of tapes.

How do folks rate the DAT drives? I'm sure given their popularity and coming from the HP stable they'll be fine for this scenario?

Thanks all.
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BGilhooleyAsked:
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Randy_BojanglesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
DAT isnt great but it does the exact job that you describe your need for (weve got a few small clients in similar situations)

Avoid the internal USB ones as theyre naff and go for a SAS version (on TV at the mo so not expensive)

Just educate the customer that they will need to make sure it gets cleaned regularly!

Also go for an internal drive (unless its a DL but a rack mount seems unlikely for a small client) as that way it will pick up the warranty of the server (3 Y NBD as standard if its an ML350 or ML370)
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rindiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I wouldn't recommend DAT of any manufacturer. From my experience they are unreliable, break down often, and the tapes aren't reliable or long lasting either. If it has to be tapes I'd go for some DLT option. Personally I'd rather use HD's together with External Docks like what you can get from the Link below:

http://www.wiebetech.com/
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BGilhooleyAuthor Commented:
Thansk for the feedback, wasnt expeciting the DAT to show up so poorly!

Main reasoning for tape is the need to take tapes offsite and have a full rotation set, there'd be alot of HD's required for that which I favour tape for.
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BGilhooleyAuthor Commented:
Haha, interesting feedback from 2 different camps :)  Have also just been emailing HP reseller there who informed me that HP have effrectively stopped doing DLT drives and its a choice between DAT and Ultrium mainly.

They suggested the Ultrium 232 as a possibility so waiting to see how that might fit the client budget, if they agree to go a little extra might go with it.

in your experience Randy Bojangles whats the actual throughput like on the DAT if its the choice. 50 GB no problem over a few hours?

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Randy_BojanglesCommented:
Good luck in finding a 232 - we scrabble for 448s these days!

Throughput for a 50Gb backup is fine - we have clients backing up nearly twice that and it fits into a normal window (8pm to 6am say) with ease
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BGilhooleyAuthor Commented:
They must be out there if the reseller is pushing it!  
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Randy_BojanglesCommented:
or they're sat on old stock :-0
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ArneLoviusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
A 500GB USB connected (and powered) hard drive drive is only ~twice as big as a DAT tape and hold significantly more... Grabted at ~£40 each they cost a lot more than tapes, but even with a decent GFS rotation, but the time you've factored in the tape drive, you might be surprised, if you only need ~50GB of capacity then you migth want to look at flash memory, either in USB stick, or flashcard format.

You might also want to look at "cloud" storage for backups, especially if their backups are just lots of "small" files

You might also want to look at getting a second hand LTO1 drive...

We had a party after we transferred the last of our DAT archives to SAIT, we had an even bigger one when we transferred to LTO5 :-)

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BGilhooleyAuthor Commented:
Arne thanks for the input. As they are a financial company they need to keep lots of rotations (and offsite) so thats where I'd much favour tape over hard drives. Cloud was ruled out early on also, they want to manage their own data.

Waiting to see the response to the 232 proposal and will take it from there, budget is a factor but they also dont want to skimp on their data protection.
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BGilhooleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks folks for the feedback much appreciated and sorry for the closing out delay
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