Going to need tape backups soon, not sure where to start

IceDigger

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Messages
11,008
So my one company I work for is going to need tape backups in the next 6 months to a year.

I have never used tapes before.

Hot damn the drives are expensive but the tapes are cheap.

Any recomendations? Probably about 1TB of info. Tons of tiny files.
 

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,830
For 1TB I would not use tape. It's not economical to do so. I mean you buy a $2000 to $3000 tape drive with 15TB tapes and then buy 3 tapes to have 3 full backups. Tape drives make more sense when you have 20+ tapes.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
44
I would almost cloud backup just 1TB. That's nothing. These guys are right...tape for 1TB isn't economical at all.
 

likeman

Gawd
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
730
You can generally get tape drives for less than 100

Also this text box screwing around with the text as I can't use Google Voice to correct words it has incorrectly used
 

ND40oz

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 31, 2005
Messages
11,914
How often do you need to send the tapes offsite and what's the retention period? That will dictate your setup. What's the reasoning behind it, just to have offline backups?
 

dedobot

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
96
For 1TB LTO tape is overkill. Plenty of other much more flexible and inexpensive solutions.
Also keep in mind although the tapes are highly reliable, same can't be said for the tape devices/tape robotic libraries .
 

showard

n00b
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
9
As if it needs to be said yet again: skip the tapes.
Tapes are so 20th century. Tapes are VERY unreliable.

Instead ...
You can backup to the cloud.
You can backup to an HDD.

I use the latter. I do a full Macrium backup every weekend, and incrementals several times a week. The 8 TB USB drive from WD ("Elements") cost around $150.

But ... you didn't say anything about retention. Lacking that there's no way to make a full recommendation.
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,004
As if it needs to be said yet again: skip the tapes.
Tapes are so 20th century. Tapes are VERY unreliable.
.
You have ABSOLUTELY no idea what you are talking about. Tape is the most reliable easily-removable backup medium out there. It has bit error rates that hard drives can't touch (Average consumer HDD have 1 URE in 10^14, Enterprise in 10^15 and LTO 7+ 1 in 10^19. That is 5 orders of magnitude higher than the standard consumer drives many are using for their backups. In many fields, tape backups (using WORM tapes) are the only legally accepted backup format because it cannot be changed (in any known way) after writing. It is used in many small, medium and large organizations. Year over year shipments of tape have been increasing, in fact in 2016 (the last year I have data on) they shipped 48,000 Petabytes (Raw) of tape storage, and tape has been flat or increasing year over year while spinner shipments have been declining year over year.
 
Last edited:

Jandor

Gawd
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
530
You have ABSOLUTELY no idea what you are talking about. Tape is the most reliable easily-removable backup medium out there. It has bit error rates that hard drives can't touch (Average consumer HDD have 1 URE in 10^14, Enterprise in 10^15 and LTO 7+ 1 in 10^19. That is 5 orders of magnitude higher than the standard consumer drives many are using for their backups. In many fields, tape backups (using WORM tapes) are the only legally accepted backup format because it cannot be changed (in any known way) after writing. It is used in many small, medium and large organizations. Year over year shipments of tape have been increasing, in fact in 2016 (the last year I have data on) they shipped 48,000 Petabytes (Raw) of tape storage, and tape has been flat or increasing year over year while spinner shipments have been declining year over year.
Take care because even the best bit error system doesn't reconstruct a tape with decaying magnetic band, and this is always happening much sooner than for hard drives. I have standard IDE hard drives that are 30 year old and that I can read !!! This would be unbelievable for my older 25 years old QIC cartridges, which have all become unreadable, but that is also happening to my not so old Zip disks. The thing is that hard drives have their magnetic disk protected in an enclosed environment. The only thing to take care is for the electronics outside the hard drive and the temperature where you stack your hard drives. So I frankly recommend hard drives for storage and I am no so sure that the tapes are so much cheaper per byte. Now there are different kind of tapes for different purposes as you mentioned. I know systems in airports and army that are based on hardware from the 70s that has been updated with new hardware virtualization the old one including revised interfaces for new hard drives to replace older 12'' drives, just because everything works as expected and all the people working there already know how to used it with all the needed security protocols... and the optical drives (CDR, DVDR and BDR) are also good as long as they are of quality (check for Japanese brands made in Japan only) and stored in a very stable environment.
 

ochadd

Gawd
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
1,006
1 TB a day I'd go hard drive 100% if I had the option. Replicate to another site if you have one or a hosted/cloud service. Can't imagine toggling tapes again and physically carrying them around all the time. I still have the grind of a stuck tape not ejecting ingrained in my brain. 5-6 years every single morning. neeyahh neeyah click click click click neeyahhh.... nothing. Fuck you tape.
 

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,830
I actually don't mind tape at work but I have 100TB currently. Most days I insert a tape and let the drive do its job for hours creating an incremental or differential backup based on the alternating sets of fulls I have.

Although with that said for 13 years I had a 2 drive 24 slot autochanger that did most of the work for me. I replaced it with a single drive LTO7 because with the size of tapes the tape changes were not going to be a big deal.
 
Last edited:

cyclone3d

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
13,669
You have ABSOLUTELY no idea what you are talking about. Tape is the most reliable easily-removable backup medium out there. It has bit error rates that hard drives can't touch (Average consumer HDD have 1 URE in 10^14, Enterprise in 10^15 and LTO 7+ 1 in 10^19. That is 5 orders of magnitude higher than the standard consumer drives many are using for their backups. In many fields, tape backups (using WORM tapes) are the only legally accepted backup format because it cannot be changed (in any known way) after writing. It is used in many small, medium and large organizations. Year over year shipments of tape have been increasing, in fact in 2016 (the last year I have data on) they shipped 48,000 Petabytes (Raw) of tape storage, and tape has been flat or increasing year over year while spinner shipments have been declining year over year.
Only problem with that analogy is that you have to keep using more and more tapes... HDDs and cloud storage is not going to need near as many over time. Reason being for cloud storage is that there are going to be people/companies that stop using a service. There is also data de-duplication and compression that reduces the storage space needed by quite a lot.

And then you generally also are not going to need to keep backups older than a certain amount of time.. so the space can be reclaimed.

Tapes generally don't get re-used, right?
 

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,830
Tapes generally don't get re-used, right?
I reuse tapes for user public / private backups and system backups after a 1 year retention period expires. With that said we do have backups of medical images in which we always append and never remove so these don't recycle ever.
 

showard

n00b
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
9
I know exactly what I'm talking about. Tape failure was a constant hassle for us back in our tape days. We couldn't afford to have a backup be defective without our knowledge, so tapes were scheduled for replacement based on age. New tapes were a planned item in the budget.

And mind you ... these were professional quality tapes, not the cheap crap foisted on consumers..
You have ABSOLUTELY no idea what you are talking about. Tape is the most reliable easily-removable backup medium out there.
 

THRESHIN

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 29, 2002
Messages
3,179
Getting back on topic, I'd agree with some of the assessments here. Tape for 1TB is insane overkill given the cost of the drives.

I came to this conclusion myself for my home needs. I needed 8TB of backup and the cost of tape was way too high. Optical is an option but there are serious concerns with longevity, plus once its burned you can't change it. Going with rewrite is an option but a bad one based on cost and reliability.

Flash memory isn't bad given the current costs. To my understanding it is the writing to flash that wears it out and not so much the reading. Thing is there usually isn't any warning before flash fails.

I ended up using a good HDD and a USB dock. I found it to be the most cost effective while retaining more than acceptable reliability.

With all backups, they should be tested regularly. If the HDD fails, you can just grab a new one and rebuild it in no time.
 

Hakaba

Gawd
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
797
Buy a hard drive cage, tool less or not. Buy 2-3 4TB drives (depends on expansion in near future). Back everything up, store one at work hooked up, one offline, and one offsite.
 

Sulphademus

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
390
Small business I used work for kept backup media (external harddrives and DVDs) in a safe deposit box in a nearby bank for off site storage.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
691
S3 glacier backup is the route I’d go
this is the best answer. backup to 2 clouds if you are paranoid, but the data loss just isnt gonna happen, especially if its just a ton of tiny files. it seems like there are a lot of tape gurus here... but backups are backups and cloud storage is cheap and reliable. i imagine the tape industry is still making bank on ancient corperations and financial institutions that are hard set in their ways.
 

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,830
The cloud is not cheap or that useful if your data set is 100TB and you have a 10MBit connection to it.
 

Spartacus09

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 21, 2018
Messages
1,463
The cloud is not cheap or that useful if your data set is 100TB and you have a 10MBit connection to it.
True, but Ice Digger already notated it was only 1TB of data and if the company only has a 10MBit connection they have other problems to deal with.
Even at 10Mbps thats only about 10 days for the backup :p.
 

kdh

Gawd
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
806
Tape is still a very widely used medium, and anyone that doesn't think so has never worked in a large shop before. Next to cloud, per gig tape is the cheapest storage medium on the planet. I've personally maintained a dual bay spectrum t680 with lto6 drives front ended with commvault. Is it a pain in the ass to maintain? Yep.. But its still cheaper then spinning disk sitting in your data center.

@OP, what is your retention looking like? Most shops, 2 weeks retention is standard, unless there is regulatory requirements that change that. You mentioned 1tb of space, say 15% growth month over month. So 15% of 1TB is actually 154Gigs or 154 * 12 months = 1.8TBs of additional space required on top of the original estimate of 1tb per backup. So, day one you'd need roughly 15Tbs of landing space to cover your 2 week retention, with some wiggle room. After 1 year, you need atleast 28TBs of space with wiggle room.

2 weeks = 14Tbs of full backups. In 12 months, its a around 28TBs in backups for 2 weeks. Adds up very quickly.. However for platforms like LTO6, its way over kill and management can be painful for a small foot print. Unfortunately, you're right on that line from being able to ship it off to a cloud provider vs keeping it on a physical media.

Your number 1 driver has to be your budget. we can spit ball all day long about which solution is the best, but your budget will drive the final solution. Your budget will in the end, will determine your direction. If you know your budget on day one, you know which solutions are just flat out off the table. Your second driver is the technologies you currently have implemented in your shop and if your current backup solution will integrate with them. Hopefully that helps, best of luck.
 
Top