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Alternative to tape backups

I am in need of finding an alternative to tape based backup solutions. We have been using idealstor bantum and idealstor terralyte backup drives which are a rb2d solution and we need to find a different manufacturer as the idealstor manufacturers are hopeless
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HBPROCK
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HBPROCK
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3 Solutions
 
Brian BIndependant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
With the lower cost of disks now, many organizations are now using disk to disk (D2D) or disk to disk to tape (D2D2t) backups. I.e. do you daily backups to a SAN. Depending on your recovery and retention needs, you could then backup to tape less often, or even backup to a third party company using an offsite backup service, such as iron mountain.
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HBPROCKAuthor Commented:
We are looking at removing tape based backup solutions altogether.
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Brian BIndependant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
That would be best. If you are going disk-based (or offsite), just remember you don't have to back everything up forever. Make sure everyone understands what SARBOX requires (if you are in US) and get upper management buy-in as to what you are keeping and for how long.
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HBPROCKAuthor Commented:
We are in the UK - think the Data Protection Act is similar but what would you recommend as a removable backup solution, alternative to tape drives?
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Brian BIndependant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Most removeable backup solutions aren't much better than tape, more fragile, and harder to store offsite. Some sort of SAN made up of cheap disks, or even JBOD will work as interm storage, provided that you have some form of redundancy offsite.

As for what to backup, as long as upper management signs off on a policy saying what is supposed to be backed up and how long its kept, at least it won't be your neck on the line.
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DextertronicCommented:
Is the purpose of having a "removable backup solution" is to move the media offsite for long term storage?

If so bear in mind that the one thing you can guarantee about a hard disk is that it will fail.

It might take 6 months, it might take 3 years but the data on it will eventually be inaccessible.

If you have a business requirement to be able to restore data reliably from 6 months to 6 years in the past (or more) then tape may be your only solution;

unless you are comfortable with an online backup solution to a third party data centre (which may or may not be practical for your business).



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Brian BIndependant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Precisley what I was saying. The reason people continue to use tape is because they continue to be durable. They used to be relatively cheap as well, but with the dropping price of storage and third party long term storage vendors, you have to figure out the cost off buying and storing your own tapes versus alternatives.
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HBPROCKAuthor Commented:
Hi guys thanks for your comments most of our cusotmers backups are just 1 - 2 weeks rotation and maybe then 1 at the end of the month so there will constantly keep getting over written. Some of the new back disk solutions come in small caddys sat on a small padded suspensions system which helps with the rough handling. The Tandber RDX systems seem to guarantee there hardrives for 2 years. The reason why were trying to move away from tapes is 75% of all our hardware call outs are tape drices due to wear and tear dirt dust etc, with the backup to disk there is lees moving parts and im my eyes would seem alot more reliable. Unfortunatly the suppliers were using at the momment seem to be cutting corners on the manufacturing as we are have issue. We are gettting Tandberg in to show us there RDX solution. What do you guys think do you think backup to disk is not the answear?
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DextertronicCommented:
If your customers have no requirement to restore data older than 1 month then disk is the perfect media for you.

I would be very clear with your customers in communicating this "restore window" to avoid confusion.

Any NAS style system with at least RAID5 will keep you up and running.

If your budget extended to it I would recommend checking out the Dell NAS as they don't cut corners on quality.

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Brian BIndependant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Nothing wrong with backups to disk. They are just more prone to damage and harder to store when compared to tapes. Disk to disk is a great short-term solution and redundant disks can protect you against disk failure, but as data is kept on the disk longer, the cost of storing the data safely starts to increase. Having said that, I heard that Microsoft store their entire Exchange infrastructure on disk with no tape at all. So its a feasible solution.

Remember when designing a backup solution, the "smoking hole" scenario, that is what happens if the entire location was lost? That is when offsite backup storage becomes important.

Since it sounds like you are providing some services for your clients, perhaps there is a business opportunity here in providing offsite disk backup.
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