[How To] Tape Drive + WHS

bekax5

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
132
Hello Everyone,

I bought a HP StorageWorks Ultrium 1760 LTO4 Tape Drive with external SFF8088 and a few LTO4 tapes.
I pretend to do backups to my 12TB share and keep them on these tapes in a separated physical location.

I though it would be possible to connect the tape drive to my Areca 1880i (with the help of a SAS expander with external SFF8088), but it looks it isn't possible. Nothing's being detected on the raid card.

I am running WHS2011.
Is it correct that I need some kind of HBA to connect the tape to the server?
It's going to be impossible to connect to the Areca right ?

What kind of HBA would you guys advice to connect to this single tape device?
I've found this "ARC-1320-4i4x" but I'm not sure it works with tape drives and also, some impressive prices :D
 

Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,811
Areca doesn't support tape drives. Get yourself the cheapest LSI card you can find. Should be ~$50 on eBay.
 

Hammer!

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
130
Hello Everyone,

I bought a HP StorageWorks Ultrium 1760 LTO4 Tape Drive with external SFF8088 and a few LTO4 tapes.
I pretend to do backups to my 12TB share and keep them on these tapes in a separated physical location.

I though it would be possible to connect the tape drive to my Areca 1880i (with the help of a SAS expander with external SFF8088), but it looks it isn't possible. Nothing's being detected on the raid card.

I am running WHS2011.
Is it correct that I need some kind of HBA to connect the tape to the server?
It's going to be impossible to connect to the Areca right ?

What kind of HBA would you guys advice to connect to this single tape device?
I've found this "ARC-1320-4i4x" but I'm not sure it works with tape drives and also, some impressive prices :D

I've been thinking about doing the same given there are lots of dell tape libraries on ebay. Will those work with Server 2012R2 without any extra software? eg., I'll need something to control the library as well as the tape drives.

Thank you!
 

bekax5

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
132
I've been thinking about doing the same given there are lots of dell tape libraries on ebay. Will those work with Server 2012R2 without any extra software? eg., I'll need something to control the library as well as the tape drives.

Thank you!

I'm still not sure about which software could be used. (also I'm using 2008R2)
In any case I was trying to check on "easeus backup" since I've read that it supports tape backup, but quickly found out that I needed the mentioned SAS HBA to support the tape drive.

Now, I'm ordering a graphics card with PCIe x1 since I need to free the larger PCIe for the SAS HBA :D

After I've got the whole set working I could give some feedback, but perhaps Blue Fox or some other might know about backup/recording software?
 

Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,811
Sorry, only familiar with large scale enterprise deployments when it comes to tapes.
 

bekax5

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
132
Finally I received the LSI 9217-4i4e and attached my tape drive to it.
It is now being recognized by WHS.

I tried Easeus backup advanced server as a tape backup software. (Couldn't find anything better for windows)
But now there's something I still don't understand.

First, I am already able to backup to Tapes, but the total recognizable space is around 800GB and not the 1.6TB (LTO4)
Is the compression automatic on the Tape Drive (hardware based), or is it software based ???

I am yet to do my first backup since it creates a temp directory where it is gonna store the whole backup previous to transfer to Tape, but I am lacking free storage to hold 1TB.
 
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Blue Fox

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
11,811
1.6TB is theoretical with compression. Actual will differ. If you're backing up already compressed data (like say video), you're not going to get much more than 800GB. Compression is usually hardware based, though you can opt for software instead.
 

bekax5

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Messages
132
1.6TB is theoretical with compression. Actual will differ. If you're backing up already compressed data (like say video), you're not going to get much more than 800GB. Compression is usually hardware based, though you can opt for software instead.

So I could for example try to backup 1TB of "pure" data into the Tape? The thing is, I have no idea what will be the final result :p
How can one know if it is too much data to be backed up ?
At least with EaseUS backup I was being told that I had around 800GB free, but then I had no idea during the backup process of how much was used or its compress ratio...


Now I'm looking for a small lto5 tape library (8/16 tapes) which supports iSCSI.
It would indeed be amazing for my setup for this library to be placed remotely with Ethernet connection for its backups.
A SAS connection requires the tape to be quite close to an area I would like to keep quiet.
Also I've been reading a bit on LTFS which seems quite interesting. I am yet to understand how it mixes with iSCSI or Ethernet.

Edit:
So tempted on going to a Dell TL2000, with future upgrade to LTO5...
 
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