Tape Drive Recommendation

I am looking for a tape drive for backups. We have approximately 250GB of data on our server, and we will do fulls every week and icnrementals daily. Would LTO2 suffice?
Here is one i was looking at:
http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-TT-EXTERNAL-ULTRIUM-LTO-2-200-400GB-TAPE-DRIVE-LTO2-/140540562081?pt=PCC_Drives_Storage_Internal&hash=item20b8decaa1

I was thinking about bundling it with Symantec backup exec10, does it notify you when the tape is full so when im out others can swap out the tape?
LVL 4
Cobra25Asked:
Who is Participating?
 
andyalderCommented:
LTO2 is pushing it for 250GB, LTO3 would normally be the recommendation for that amount. Of course you could use two tapes but that would mean the end of your full backup wouldn't complete until you changed the tape next morning. I'd be wary of refurbished tape drives since the head might be worn, head replacement is more than the cost of the drive you've listed from eBay although the seller may have replaced it and not charged for labour. I'd ask for a manufacturer's diagnostic report, that will give info on how worn it is.

Ignoring the cost of the drive tapes are much cheaper than disk and survive being dropped, it really depends on how long you keep your backup for, if you keep each monthly tape for a year for example then tape gets superior in price to removable disk.
0
 
pijiCommented:
that will be the good option but the media's are not very cheap. May you can look for 2.5 Hard disk five or seven of them for each day of week.
0
 
Cobra25Author Commented:
what do you mean? Use hard disks instead??
0
Improve Your Query Performance Tuning

In this FREE six-day email course, you'll learn from Janis Griffin, Database Performance Evangelist. She'll teach 12 steps that you can use to optimize your queries as much as possible and see measurable results in your work. Get started today!

 
pijiCommented:
Using portable hard disk instead of tape
0
 
driskolltCommented:
You'd be better off using LTO-4 and LTO-5 - or LTO-3 if you must.  Tapes for older technologies get more expensive as they get older.

Buying used tape drives is not really a good idea.  Tape drives have lots of thing that like to break.  If your backups and being able to recover are important to you, you might want to get a new drive, or at least a used drive from a reputable vendor.


0
 
TomuniqueCommented:
You need to define your retention requirements -- How long will you keep your weekly tapes, and your incremental?
How volatile is your data --  How much data will be changing daily, (is it within a larger files, so that little changes cause large amounts of data to be backed up again?

If you're keeping long retention periods, ask yourself (or whomever makes that decision), if they really have a reason why, or if it's just always been done that way.

If you are protecting yourself from Disaster, then you're going to restore to the previous backup. (RPO) so maybe you want 2 generations.

If you're afraid of corrupt data, and may need to go back a fair amount of time to find the last good data point.  Then you need to review your backup methodology.  You don't need to retain your entire system when it's just some data in the database/application your trying to protect.  Maybe you retain your system for 30 days and your database for a year..

Tom

0
 
Cobra25Author Commented:
I've always heard that tape is the way to go for speed and reliability, but it seems disk is getting more popular. Have things changed?
0
 
TomuniqueCommented:
Yes.  in short,  "disk is cheap"..  
back in the day, you would fill a data center floor to get 1-2 TBs of disks.  Now, you get it on your desktop.

We used to price storage out per MB.  but now the number is so far to the right of the decimal point,that I'm hearing price per GB.
Tape is cheaper too, but, it's tape, and you have to deal with human handling of it.

Network speeds are faster too, so remote copies are now possible where they never were before (at a price we could afford).

we run 300GB of MKsysb backups from 200 AIX servers over the network, and store them on our SAN at the DR site.  refreshed every 2 weeks.
This is possible because we can buy 600Mb (OC12 I believe) between different parts of the country cities, and have, and have TBs of disk available within a reasonable cost.

No tape.

For applications backups, that's a little different.  Financial data needs to be retained 7-10 years.  We run that to tape and ship it off-site.  Too high a risk of it being deleted by a junior sysadmin, because it's so old.  But that's annual backups, not daily/weekly.  And it's just the financial datasets, not every users /home directory.
0
 
TapeDudeCommented:
I'd agree with AndyAlder that you should consider a later generation of LTO.

250 GB will probably fit onto one LTO2 tape if it's 'averagely' compressible, and you can test this by doing a pkzip of the data you'll be backing up and seeing how big the resultant compressed archive is.

But the later generations of LTO are a lot faster, and have features like variable speed streaming, which should add to the longevity of both the tapes and the drive itself.

I've bought quite a few second-user tape drives, mainly from eBay. I have yet to have had a problem with any of the LTO drives I've bought, but maybe I've just been lucky.

Given the nature of mechanical failure, drives tend to fail either at the beginning of their life, when manufacturing defects make themselves felt, or towards the end of their stated MTBF's, when wear becomes an issue. So, in theory, if you buy a fairly new drive, odds are it will be more reliable than a new one. And my experience bears this out - I've had more new drives be either DOA or fail within the first 100 hours of use, than I have of 2nd user drives going belly up within their useful life (2 - 3 years).

I think if you're going to buy second hand, you should consider buying two, so you can test each of them against each other, and if one fails you have a tested backup drive to hand. Find out how much use the drive has had before you bid. You can ask the seller to run a test program like Quantum's xtalk


 or HP's Storage Tools


and get them to send you the results to verify the drive is working properly, and see how many tape movement hours the drive's clocked up. Getting the seller(s) to explicitly accept returns within a set period (say, 14 days) allows you to test the drive in your environment.
0
 
Cobra25Author Commented:
Great help so far guys. I think i will look into the LTO-3 drives. What about the notifications when the tape needs to be changed?
0
 
andyalderCommented:
Havent got a copy of BE in front of me but under the Alerts tab I think you can configure it to send an email on alerts just like you can do on job completion/failure etc. You need a SMTP relay or MAPI connection so normally you add the IP address of the BE server into the list of IP's to be relayed for on the mail server.
0
 
TapeDudeCommented:
As regards notifications when a tape needs to be changed, looking at your original post, by default, BE will open a dialog box on the backup server requesting a new tape.
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.