Tape backup software

Posted on 2014-10-15
Last Modified: 2014-10-16
Dear experts,

I wish to know what are some simple tape backup software out there that I can use with my HP tape drive? I've setup the HP tape drive on Window 7 OS machine and wish to do a daily backup with the tapes. Thanks
Question by:Kinderly Wade
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

by:Dr. Klahn
Dr. Klahn earned 125 total points
ID: 40383672
My experience is that it is more productive to back up to disk.  There are several reasons for this ...

1.  Media costs.  Even the cheapest tape media costs several dollars each, and most do not hold very much in terms of the storage of a modern disk drive.  Used media can be bought cheaper but often you end up buying somebody else's problem (see next.)  Buying a 2 TB drive at $60 for backup makes more sense than buying 6 DDS-3 8 GB tapes at $10 each.  You get 40 times more storage for the same price.

2.  Reliability.  Those of us who come from the 9-channel era love tape drives, but to be truthful they were never reliable equipment when compared to disk drives.  Three tapes into a seven tape backup is no time to find out that a tape just stabbed you in the back.   This goes along with ...

3.  Limited lifetime.  At their best tapes have a limited lifetime and unless you periodically scan them for errors, which involves writing the whole tape, there's no telling when they'll fail.  A modern disk drive with SMART tells you what its status is and when it predicts a failure.

4.  Speed.  It can take an an hour to write one 8 GB tape.  8 GB of disk can be written in two minutes.  Keeping a computer running simply to back up to tape is not productive of time when it can be done much faster to disk.

5.  Multiple volumes.  When backing up to disk the whole backup fits on one disk and there's generally space for several backups.  When backing up to tape you occasionally wake up the next morning to find the system is still running with "INSERT TAPE 2" on the screen and there's another hour before the backup finishes and you can use the system.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Haris Djulic
ID: 40383698

could you be more specific which HP tape drive?

There are multiple solutions possible but to give best answer more details would be required, i.e. model of HP Tape Drive.

Expert Comment

ID: 40383841
Please think backup is only as good as the restore. If you want to make file bakup only the best is a small nas where windows 8 and up can make file history on it. Fast and efficient method. If you want to keep on your idea there are only two products which i would use: arcbackup and backupexec. Strong forums and great products.

Assisted Solution

Stampel earned 125 total points
ID: 40383908
If you are using a HP tape drive, you may use the HP backup software : HP Data Protector.
If you need to backup only this server and the Tape Drive is directly attached to your server, you can use the HP DataProtector Express software :
If you need to do other servers network backup, you will need to purchase the full (not express) product.

This software is very powerfull.
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

SelfGovern earned 250 total points
ID: 40384068
DrKlahn's experience seems to be with DDS tapes; the points he makes are almost without qualification *not* applicable to LTO tape technology, which today holds 2.5TB/tape native (and much more if your data is compressible), operates at 160MB/second (so you can write 570 GB/hour, and more if your data compresses and you can get it to the tape drive fast enough), and which is enterprise class (unlike the DDS tapes which were much better applied to workstation backups).  As far as reliability... 1) I'll take the chance of a tape (vs. a disk) being able to be read after 10 years sitting on a shelf every time; as well, 2) HP's tape media has a lifetime warranty -- have you ever heard of a disk with a lifetime warranty?

Samo4fun is right that it would be helpful to know which tape drive you have.
Stampel is correct that HP's Data Protector Express is a good product for a single server (with desktop clients), and in fact, Data Protector Express was included with many HP tape drives, so you may have a CD and license sitting around somewhere if you bought your drive a few years ago.

And, to be fair, tape is not good for every situation, but it's far better than disk for some things.  
Where tape excels is:
- inexpensive
- easy to get the backup off-site
- archival life
- resistance to damage from dropping, exposure to water, etc.
- density
- energy use
- speed

Where disk excels:
- fast restores
- ability to replicate electronically to a second site
- deduplication (but now you're talking another level of system, and another level of cost)

And last -- most people don't realize, but if you're talking backup to USB-attached disk, the USB interface is designed to allow more than one undetected error for every 10 TB of written data.  If you can't detect it, you don't know it's an error... this is probably not the reliability you want in a backup implementation.

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