Thread: Pay for LTO tape data archive?

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  1. #1 Pay for LTO tape data archive? 
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    I'm starting to accumulate large amounts of data that just sits on a storage drive. I never access it. This has led me to consider investing in an LTO drive so that I don't have to keep migrating this stuff from HDD to HDD every couple of years. Unfortunately I'm not in a financial position to invest in a tape deck at the moment. So I'm wondering if there is a service somewhere that allows you to give them a HDD and they will transfer it to an LTO tape.
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  2. #2  
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    Define "large amount of data." If you're not talking about many terabytes, cloud storage could be a much better answer. It would also provide very quick access when and if you want some of that data back.
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  3. #3  
    And no matter which form of data archive you go with, occasional migration is going to be a reality. If you place 100TB on LTO-7 now, you will probably have to migrate it to LTO-9 or other format in a few years. I recently made the migration of all my old LTO-3 and LTO-4 tapes to LTO-7. On the bright side, as digital formats evolve we have been gaining higher capacities and speeds. So data migration to newer formats also becomes a consolidation.

    I don't know if I would recommend an LTO archive service, or not to the extent of someone just placing it on tapes for you. Then what? You have to pay this person or service again if you need to access something or when the time to migrate/consolidate arrives?

    LTO is very cost effective compared to hard drives, if you have enough data to buy tapes in bulk and offset the cost of the tape drive unit. Otherwise, hard drives are cheaper. Cloud storage is an option like M Most pointed out. Of course, connection speeds and other accessibility concerns can limit this as an option. But for small to moderate data archives it can be convenient and cost-effective. And the hosting provider will handle backups and data guarantees on their end as part of the service. The cloud is also an option that won't require migration in the immediate future -- unless you need to change services.

    I would also recommend keeping multiple copies of anything important. So perhaps hard drive archives as well as the cloud or LTO.
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth C Merrill View Post
    I'm starting to accumulate large amounts of data that just sits on a storage drive. I never access it. This has led me to consider investing in an LTO drive so that I don't have to keep migrating this stuff from HDD to HDD every couple of years. Unfortunately I'm not in a financial position to invest in a tape deck at the moment. So I'm wondering if there is a service somewhere that allows you to give them a HDD and they will transfer it to an LTO tape.
    You can rent one from Magstor. I recently purchased an eGPU Node from Tim and the service was excellent. He is quick to answer my PMs as well. I have no idea what the fee is to rent though.

    I purchased an LTO7 drive in January. You can find new-in-box LTO7 drives on eBay, not sure the warranty on them though. Jeff's point about getting the content off the tape is on point.

    Like Jeff, I have a bunch of LTO3/LTO4. I used some janky Windows tape backup software I found years ago. I am happy to move to LTFS.
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  5. #5  
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    Kenneth,

    As Stacey said, we rent out drives from MagStor. We also perform data migration and recovery services. Please call or email me if you'd like to discuss the project further.
    Tim Gerhard
    MagStor LTO Systems
    614-433-0011 x114
    www.magstor.com
    tgerhard@magnext.com
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  6. #6  
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    Any of you guys exploring the 8/10TB archive HDD options on the market? I know if you're aiming for desktop level raid, they can get down in the $150-175 mark, which is pretty attractive for something immediately accessible. For the cost of a tape drive, you could build a nice 8 drive archive array, even with a little redundancy, thats semi-online and north of 50TB.
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  7. #7  
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    Son just announced 3+ TB 100 year optical archive discs. If only you had a myuliple disc jukebox for these things.
    An explorer explores new ideas and things, but somebody stuck in mud, complains.
    - But the explorer complains about how much better the territory he has discovered is instead.

    -Since when has denying that the possible is possible been reason? Such is the life of some skepticism.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Morellini View Post
    Son just announced 3+ TB 100 year optical archive discs. If only you had a myuliple disc jukebox for these things.
    The only problem with that is that the disc might last 100 years, but will the drive last 100 years? I know of a case where in 1987, we needed to play back an important 1980 videotape... but was of a format (IVC 9000) that had failed and the company went bankrupt, so it was impossible to play it on any machine available in LA.

    And I also had some Sony DTF-2 backup tapes which were fine, only Sony dropped support of the format about 10 years ago. It's possible to hunt down surviving DTF-2 drives, but they're very scarce and hard to find.

    The reality is that these formats are only as useful as both the media and the drives can survive. And that may not be forever.

    We do have 100-year old 35mm film prints that can still play back if they were very carefully stored, and the technology needed to play them is relatively low-tech and easy to do.
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  9. #9  
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    As I said before, you can store digital data on film.

    So, why don't YOU Narc, go to Sony, and convince ten to start an open disk standard so disks can be read in 100 years time? But of course, disks and even tapes can still be read after original drives disappear. But this is the sort of stuff you face, and it is up to you to migrate once a system has failed to preserve your data. However, a 100 year disk might be more reliable than a 10 year disc, flash or backup hard drive over 10 years, so please pass out 100 years discs cheap.
    An explorer explores new ideas and things, but somebody stuck in mud, complains.
    - But the explorer complains about how much better the territory he has discovered is instead.

    -Since when has denying that the possible is possible been reason? Such is the life of some skepticism.
    -Normalcy involves what is realistically possible, not just what you say.
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  10. #10  
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    It's one thing to always see the negative, another to find real positives that advance the situation.
    An explorer explores new ideas and things, but somebody stuck in mud, complains.
    - But the explorer complains about how much better the territory he has discovered is instead.

    -Since when has denying that the possible is possible been reason? Such is the life of some skepticism.
    -Normalcy involves what is realistically possible, not just what you say.
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