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  
    Senior Member Stacey Spears's Avatar
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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
    Magnext / MagStor
    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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