New to tape, need backup software recommendations

Wompa164

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2006
Messages
297
Hi all,

Does anyone know of a free or low-cost Windows-based tool (preferably <=$100) for backing up (spanning) volumes to tape (LTO4)? I don't need scheduling or restore functionality, just something reliable and widely supported for making one-time backups. Incremental backup functionality is a plus as well. My research on backup software has come up with stuff like CommVault, BackupExec, etc. which are all way outside of my price range as a home user.

I know Microsoft no longer supports backing up to tape in Windows Server 2008, would it be worth installing Windows Server 2003 simply to use NTBackup to accomplish this? How robust/reliable is the tape backup functionality in older versions of Windows server?

Thanks in advance, hoping to get some good advice in here :)
 

Wompa164

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2006
Messages
297
I have access to a copy of Kroll Ontrack through my company, but unfortunately it only does restores, no backups.
 

Digital Viper-X-

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Dec 9, 2000
Messages
14,766
I was under the impression that most backup software uses their own format and can't be read by other bacup / restore software.

maybe I'm a newb but your post is making no sense to me. What software has only restore functionality and no backup funcionality?
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
Nova Backup Professional, by Novastor (www.novastor.com) supports tape drives, and starts at $49.95. The Server version, which supports workgroups is about $199 but for basic backup/restore functionality pro should be fine.
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
I didn't say it was the best, it is just a basic backup app. I just found a program that handled tape for under $100. 10 bad reviews for almost 20,000 downloads isn't bad, and they sell a lot at retail. I played with it a while back and it worked. Still, you very much get what you pay for. We use ArcServe at work, after having switched from Backup Exec and the hell of Symantec.
 
Last edited:

the-one1

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
2,982
Novastor....sends shivers down my spine.
I inherited NovaNet from NovaStor when i started my IT job. Its what made me hate...HATE using tape as a backup medium.
Granted tape works, but not in my case as it was poorly configured and it sucks to find that out when I needed to restore a system right now.
 

Red Falcon

[H]F Junkie
Joined
May 7, 2007
Messages
11,540
If you ever switch to Linux distros, there are built-in commands to backup to tape drives without the need of additional software.
 

HDClown

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
222
The best software I've ever used for backup to tape was CommVault Galaxy. Newest version is called Simpana, but it's always been $$$$

For personal use, last software I actually used (few years ago) was Retrospect. It worked and was reliable. I was not a fan of how it setup to be honest, but it did the job.
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
The best software I've ever used for backup to tape was CommVault Galaxy. Newest version is called Simpana, but it's always been $$$$

For personal use, last software I actually used (few years ago) was Retrospect. It worked and was reliable. I was not a fan of how it setup to be honest, but it did the job.

Retrospect on windows is good. Retrospect on mac (where it started) is a nightmare (especially the 8.x branch).
 

HDClown

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
222
A new version for Mac was just released (9). Never used any version on Mac though
 

westrock2000

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
9,352
Wow, I didn't think tape was still around. But looks like you can get around 1TB-1.5TB (uncompressed) and claimed transfers of 100MB/s. Way better then my experience with tape back around mid 90's.

But still wouldn't a standard 1TB or greater HDD just be easier to deal with for just a little more?
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
Wow, I didn't think tape was still around. But looks like you can get around 1TB-1.5TB (uncompressed) and claimed transfers of 100MB/s. Way better then my experience with tape back around mid 90's.

But still wouldn't a standard 1TB or greater HDD just be easier to deal with for just a little more?

If you have a few drives to back up, sure. If you have a few hundred (or more) to back up, and need to ship them offsite, tape is incredibly resilient, has options for WORM which is required in certain industries for backup and (LTO4+) offers AES-256 Encryption at virtually no write penalty. Also, Tape (LTO5 for example) has a non-recoverable error rate of 10^17, which is two orders of magnitude better than most enterprise drives (which are mostly 10^15) and three orders of magnitude greater than consumer drives. Huge difference for reliability.
 
Last edited:

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,936
Wow, I didn't think tape was still around. But looks like you can get around 1TB-1.5TB (uncompressed) and claimed transfers of 100MB/s. Way better then my experience with tape back around mid 90's.

I still use it at work daily. I have over 30 TB backed up on tape at the moment.

But still wouldn't a standard 1TB or greater HDD just be easier to deal with for just a little more?

Tape is still way more reliable than hard drives. And also easier to scale and transport. And when you enable compression tape becomes significantly faster than hard drives since the tape controller can compresses data at 100 MB/s and I have yet to see any CPU do anywhere near that (even multithreaded).
 
Last edited:

Aesma

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Messages
1,854
Tapes can be handled by robots, I don't know if the same thing exists for hard drives.
 

drescherjm

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 19, 2008
Messages
14,936
Tapes can be handled by robots, I don't know if the same thing exists for hard drives.

That sure makes life easier. For hard drives you can simulate this with a bunch of hot swap bays, sas expander and software that emulates an autochanger. Although a lot of hard drive backups people use raid5/6 to overcome the lower reliability of hard drives.
 

dustNbone

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
1,032
lol yes tape is still alive and well, not because it's cheap but because it's proven reliable technology. I've used NovaStor on Windows a fair bit, it's not perfect but it's pretty usable. Stars on Download.com isn't a great way to evaluate software, most people who download from there actually don't have an effin clue what good software is or isn't, and are quite likely to turn their lack of knowledge into a bad review.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
832
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned arcserve / backup exec. AFAIK those are the "default" choices and both support the big box features - multi-tape streaming, dedupe, encryption, hybrid backup, cloud connectors, etc.

Update: n/m - for a cheap solution, get a technet subscription and grab either the system center 2012 beta or system center 2010. The data protection manager component supports backup to tape.
 
Last edited:

HDClown

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
222
No one probably mentioned ARCserve and Backup Exec because they always have been, are currently, and always will be, garage. And as you said, not cheap too boot.

Yosemite backup was the other product I could not remember, that I have used for some personal use. It seemed pretty good.
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned arcserve / backup exec. AFAIK those are the "default" choices and both support the big box features - multi-tape streaming, dedupe, encryption, hybrid backup, cloud connectors, etc.

I mentioned them both in post 7 in this thread. Arcserve is decent enough now, and what we use currently (CA has fixed much of what ailed it before they got to it). Also, the AS/400 agent saved us about 20 grand over the IBM backup licenses. Backup Exec is a nightmare that is hard to wake from :)
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
As you get deeper into the tape backup apps, your options grow fewer once you need agents for multiples OS's & DB's, HA, Open file backup and library support and as HD Clown mentioned, it ain't cheap! But it you choose lan based either direct backup or disk-to-disk-to-tape backup, it can offset other backup costs from mini and in some cases mainframe hosts (in some cases by a huge margin).
 
Last edited:

HDClown

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
222
Vembu/StoreGrid does not backup to tape, unless they've pulled a 180 on themselves recently: Heck, even look at this from their blog: http://blogs.vembu.com/tag/tape-drive/

For disk-to-disk and disk-to-onlike and disk-to-disk-to-online, they have one of the most featureful products (the business line) at the price points, but that's for another thread. For "home" backup needs (meaning nothing server like), there are more cost effective options.
 

mngl1500

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
3,436
For home I use Novastor. It was cheap and it worked. Was a bit of a hassle to get working but once it was it has been fine since then. I picked it up since I had a retired tape drive and a huge supply of once used tapes. Tape is just to slow for work anymore (especially restores).
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
For anyone wondering, I'm going to try out Acronis Backup and Recovery Advanced Workstation '11. It only costs $99 and supports all of my needs, plus Acronis has a fairly good reputation from my understanding.

http://www.acronis.com/backup-recovery/advanced-workstation/

Anyone have any experience with this product or want to chime in?

Just wondering, since the original question was about tape... Some of the Acronis enterprise products support tape, but Acronis doesn't list support for tape drives on the backup support page for that product.
 

mwroobel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 24, 2008
Messages
5,063
Ah, I clicked on Key Features, and then Broad Storage Support and it didn't list Tape in the supported backup options.
 
Top