Any LTO5 USB3 drives?

Quartz-1

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It would be very nice to have a transportable LTO 5 drive with a USB 3 interface. Are there any? My search-fu has failed me.
 

mwroobel

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It would be very nice to have a transportable LTO 5 drive with a USB 3 interface. Are there any? My search-fu has failed me.
There are none available, nor do I ever expect to see one available.
 

mwroobel

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Bother.



Okay, I'll bite! Why not?
LTO5 has a high initial entry cost, which is not where storage pricing for consumer or even prosumer sits. It also has a need for an extremely high speed of data input for it to work effectively, avoiding problems such as shoe-shining the tape. Since SAS is a generally used storage interface, it is what much of the drives ship with. Other choices such as FC and SCSI are also supported.
 

Quartz-1

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I'm not thinking of the consumer / prosumer market; I'm thinking of the itinerant technician. I remember going round schools with a portable tape drives of the same value 20 years ago which had parallel port to SCSI converters. And USB 3 should have sufficient bandwidth.
 

mwroobel

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I'm not thinking of the consumer / prosumer market; I'm thinking of the itinerant technician. I remember going round schools with a portable tape drives of the same value 20 years ago which had parallel port to SCSI converters. And USB 3 should have sufficient bandwidth.
Sufficient theoretical bandwith doesn't mean you have the thoroughput on the other end to feed it. And a 20 year old parallel-scsi link that offered 1MB/sec is no longer sufficient. And companies don't design their hardware for the occasional user that might use it, they design it for who will surely use it.
 

dustNbone

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You could build a fairly compact dedicated box for the job, you'd probably want something with at least 3 hdds in a software raid5, you could likely get away with 2.5" 7200rpm drives. Then you'd need a SAS interface for the LTO drive and GbE to get the data to it. It would be a 2 step process, dumping the data over GbE to the RAID, and then writing the tape. The LTO drive is still by far the expensive part of this setup, and it won't require any special software on the backup source.

I have an HP LTO server that I picked up used on CL, it's got 5x500GB sata drives in RAID5, and an LTO3 drive. I'm basically envisioning something alot more compact, but similar in function.
 

Quartz-1

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And a 20 year old parallel-scsi link that offered 1MB/sec is no longer sufficient.
It was 20 years ago.

And companies don't design their hardware for the occasional user that might use it, they design it for who will surely use it.
Like the itinerant technician?

You could build a fairly compact dedicated box for the job,
A lot of clients wouldn't allow a machine that wasn't theirs on their network.
 

dustNbone

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You could use a USB GbE adapter and make a private network then? The tape server wouldn't be running Windows so malware shouldn't be a problem, and you could even wipe the array between jobs to ensure you're not spreading disease.
 

mwroobel

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Like the itinerant technician?
The average tech is not walking around with an LTO5 drive and tapes. Even if it were available, would you want something you could just drag a drive or folder to, or something you would need to install backup software, drivers, etc? Techs are walking around with an external hard drive of some kind. If more than that is needed for the backup, one would hope that the client already had a backup process in place. In any case, you would be the exception rather than the rule.
 

Techmasta

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The average tech is not walking around with an LTO5 drive and tapes. Even if it were available, would you want something you could just drag a drive or folder to, or something you would need to install backup software, drivers, etc? Techs are walking around with an external hard drive of some kind. If more than that is needed for the backup, one would hope that the client already had a backup process in place. In any case, you would be the exception rather than the rule.
Are you familiar with LTFS that was introduced with LTO5?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_Tape_File_System
 

dustNbone

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It really depends what needs to be done I guess. I could see use in something like this for one time onsite archival of large datasets, especially if the customer didn't want the data leaving the premesis. I've had requests like that before, but as my LTO setup is far from portable I've had to deny them.
 

mwroobel

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It really depends what needs to be done I guess. I could see use in something like this for one time onsite archival of large datasets, especially if the customer didn't want the data leaving the premesis. I've had requests like that before, but as my LTO setup is far from portable I've had to deny them.
Even in that case, all you would be leaving them behind is a tape (or tapes) that they could not use unless you schlep the drive back to them. If you leave it on hard drives the customer can get at a file on their own if need be. I will be the first person to suggest tape for enterprise backup (I use LTO-4 at home and LTO4&5 at work), so don't take this as an anti-tape stance. I just think for ease of customer use, the hard drive backup scenario would serve them better if this is just a one-off backup (which would be in excess of the backup infrastructure they should already have or that you should sell them :) )
 

mwroobel

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Are you familiar with LTFS that was introduced with LTO5?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_Tape_File_System
I am very familiar with it, unfortunately with access times of up to 4 minutes per file (the 60-90 seconds quoted in the spec aren't real life) and having to call you every time they want a file restored, they should already have a backup infrastructure in place, or you should sell them one (even if it is just a hard drive based backup)
 

chx

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Yeah I fail to see why not use a HDD. An LTO 5 cartridge being able to hold 1.5TB is about $50. A 1.5TB HDD is about $80. You are winning $30 there. You'd need ~40-50 of these to offset the initial cost of the drive. If you were to leave the HDDs behind for the client and they dont need 1.5TB then you can go with a say 320GB 2.5" HDD at the same cost as an LTO tape. I really don't get it.

Of course if you are talking about long term storage, many petabytes backup, distribution among companies when making some sort of video/movie then the LTO is a natural choice. This is not to say LTO doesn't have its place.
 

mwroobel

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Yeah I fail to see why not use a HDD. An LTO 5 cartridge being able to hold 1.5TB is about $50. A 1.5TB HDD is about $80. You are winning $30 there. You'd need ~40-50 of these to offset the initial cost of the drive. If you were to leave the HDDs behind for the client and they dont need 1.5TB then you can go with a say 320GB 2.5" HDD at the same cost as an LTO tape. I really don't get it.

Of course if you are talking about long term storage, many petabytes backup, distribution among companies when making some sort of video/movie then the LTO is a natural choice. This is not to say LTO doesn't have its place.
In general, I am very pro tape. Tape has options that are simply not available in general hard drives such as WORM which is required in certain financial circles and where LTFS excels is in storing large, sequential RAW video. In this particular case though, as an itinerant technician (and with smaller clients that sound like they don't have backup infrastructure in place) USB Hard Drives would be the better choice.
 

westrock2000

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Learn something new.

An itinerant is a person who travels from place to place with no fixed home. The term comes from the late 16th century: from late Latin itinerant (travelling), from the verb itinerari, from Latin iter, itiner (journey, road).
 

Quartz-1

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Last edited:

Anonym00se

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..and then I emailed them asking about retail pricing. Their reply: 700,000¥.

Or if you prefer, about $8400USD at current exchange rates. In more practical terms, that's 3x the cost of a SAS LTO-5 drive by Quantum or HP here in the USA. Seriously, at their quoted MSRP you could buy THREE SAS drives and a controller card for each. And all they've really done is change the interface of the drive from SAS to USB 3.0 for 3x the price.

So, not the sort of item your average itinerant technician will be carrying around.
 

mwroobel

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Learn something new.

An itinerant is a person who travels from place to place with no fixed home. The term comes from the late 16th century: from late Latin itinerant (travelling), from the verb itinerari, from Latin iter, itiner (journey, road).
Actually, in the context that I described it in (a noun), "itinerant technician"; itinerant is defined here as "traveling from place to place"
 

mwroobel

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..and then I emailed them asking about retail pricing. Their reply: 700,000¥.

Or if you prefer, about $8400USD at current exchange rates. In more practical terms, that's 3x the cost of a SAS LTO-5 drive by Quantum or HP here in the USA. Seriously, at their quoted MSRP you could buy THREE SAS drives and a controller card for each. And all they've really done is change the interface of the drive from SAS to USB 3.0 for 3x the price.

So, not the sort of item your average itinerant technician will be carrying around.
I don't expect they will be selling many of those at that price.
 

Quartz-1

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Agreed. I don't think they're targeting the likes of me. More like IBM et al and data recovery specialists.
 

Aesma

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Well, maybe they didn't just change the interface but put boatloads of RAM or an SSD in it to ensure a continuous stream of data that is absolutely necessary for tape.
 
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See here:
www[dot]storagenewsletter[dot]com/rubriques/tapes/ibm-lto-6-and-lto-5-half-high-drives-with-usb-3-0/

or here:
s3[dot]amazonaws[dot]com/isby/lenovopartnernetwork.com/upload/4/docs/datasheet-tape-ts2250.pdf
 

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