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Tape is slower, can be bulkier, and not to mention with a Blu-Ray Burner, I have a few TB of data stored before you even finish buying a modern Tape Drive.

That said, I am considering investing in a tape drive in a few more years for bulk backups if I end up going the route of starting my own business. They just seem like a good idea to go along side redundant disk drives, and off site data storage.

If you're going to include the time to buy a tape drive you should include the time to buy a blu-ray burner :-p

But yes it's a good amount slower because it has to be read in order unless you have some sort of ridiculous random access tape drive, which would be mechanically awesome.
edit: I guess if you were going to do that you could just get a blu-ray disk with billions of reading lasers.


They do? I thought hard disks are used these days. Just slap a few RAID SAN devices and be done with it, access over network using your protocol of choice.

They're used for archiving old data. Data that doesn't need to be accessed more than maybe once a year/once every 5 years. Why would you want to buy a networked device and pay for it's upkeep when it will only be used once before it is outdated?

There is nothing inherently better about optics. [/quote]
There are a lot of things inherently better about optical media, but I was just kidding anyway.

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[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1295615775' post='4762372']
They do? I thought hard disks are used these days. Just slap a few RAID SAN devices and be done with it, access over network using your protocol of choice.


They're used for archiving old data. Data that doesn't need to be accessed more than maybe once a year/once every 5 years. Why would you want to buy a networked device and pay for it's upkeep when it will only be used once before it is outdated?
[/quote]

Yeah, while I don't know of any individuals who still do this, I think it might still be popular with big companies. I know at my work everything eventually gets backed up to tape for long term storage.

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[quote name='way2lazy2care' timestamp='1295627246' post='4762492']
[quote name='Antheus' timestamp='1295615775' post='4762372']
They do? I thought hard disks are used these days. Just slap a few RAID SAN devices and be done with it, access over network using your protocol of choice.


They're used for archiving old data. Data that doesn't need to be accessed more than maybe once a year/once every 5 years. Why would you want to buy a networked device and pay for it's upkeep when it will only be used once before it is outdated?
[/quote]

Yeah, while I don't know of any individuals who still do this, I think it might still be popular with big companies. I know at my work everything eventually gets backed up to tape for long term storage.
[/quote]
For corporate backup systems D2D2T is very common. (D2D2T = Disk to Disk to Tape)

In bulk, tape is incredibly cheap. Tapes are very durable. They have long lifespans. An IT department knows that properly maintained, the tapes have consistent quality. They have a known number of overwrites and a known number of reads before the tape should be replaced, and properly archived tapes can be read decades later.

Sure you can buy bluray media and HDDs for cheap. In bulk, cheap drives are still not as cheap as bulk tape. But how durable are they? What is their useful lifespan? When stuck on a shelf, how long before they become unusable? How many times can they be reused? Since IT departments cannot answer these questions about the media with reliable answers, they don't trust the results.

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[quote name='Luckless' timestamp='1295586843' post='4762232']
Tape is slower, can be bulkier, and not to mention with a Blu-Ray Burner, I have a few TB of data stored before you even finish buying a modern Tape Drive.

That said, I am considering investing in a tape drive in a few more years for bulk backups if I end up going the route of starting my own business. They just seem like a good idea to go along side redundant disk drives, and off site data storage.

If you're going to include the time to buy a tape drive you should include the time to buy a blu-ray burner :-p

But yes it's a good amount slower because it has to be read in order unless you have some sort of ridiculous random access tape drive, which would be mechanically awesome.
edit: I guess if you were going to do that you could just get a blu-ray disk with billions of reading lasers.
[/quote]

Actually I was talking about just the cost of the tape hardware. Blu-Ray burners seem to be a few hundred dollars, where as the higher capacity tape drives seem to be a few thousand. Blu Ray seems to win on Drive + medium, unless you're backing up huge data sets.

Also, in the backup world, I don't think the 'slowness' of linear read/write of tape really matters, are you're usually going to do a 'linear' read or write of huge bulk data. I was talking about the absolute transfer rates actually seem very low.

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Actually I was talking about just the cost of the tape hardware. Blu-Ray burners seem to be a few hundred dollars
A while back I wanted to search for some old stuff. Not a single CD 9 years or older was readable anymore. And they were all brand name CDs, not the bargain bin spindle kind. Some of the DVD backups I have are also unreadable in most drives after 5-7 years. All the 2x or 4x kind, conservatively written.

I don't believe that blu-ray will fare better. And considering the lack of adoption, it's a poor bet for long-term archival. Think Beta vs. VHS.

Tapes suffer from similar problem - they are not widely adopted. If running an enterprise with long-term support contract, then perhaps. But very few places actually plan for 10+ year archival unless required by law. 2+ years is a luxury most of the time.

Since then I've migrated everything to disks, keeping in mind that as they will fail the data will be need to be periodically copied to new ones. Still, with network, it's considerably more convenient than swapping disks. Eventually I'll probably migrate to the cloud, Amazon is likely to be around for a while and prices are quite affordable, especially for the important data that actually has value.

A 1TB external drive is ~$100. Buying one of these every 6 months, migrating data between them is quite secure. Keeping them connected also detects any failure soon, so as long as there are several copies, it's really not that big a deal.

Considering real life span of data and its usefulness, disks make for a very optimal choice.

Another factor - interface. Tape drives often require proprietary drivers. Oh the jots of trying to get the Win 98 drivers working with NT for a vendor that was bought out and discontinued that particular model. With USB or even IDE you're pretty much set for quite a while still. Plenty of people are using 7+ year old computers for work, so both of these should be easily available in 10 year time. Even if not, old discarded hardware using any generic linux distro will be able to read them.

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