Thread: The age old war between LTO and Drives...

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Frank Glencairn's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tiemann View Post
    The con is simple: if you buy an 8TB drive and put it on the shelf for five years, will it spin up? Drives are perishable devices. They are designed to be used when purchased, for a limited time.
    Actually I do this since 20 years, and never had a drive, not spinning up, or otherwise fail, just because it was on the shelf for a while.
    Since a few years I use bare drives and a docking station - best bang for the buck.

    And to be honest, how often do you really archive material for more than 5 years?
    I remember that I was throwing 500 Betacam and DigiBeta tapes away, several years ago.
    A very expensive backup, compared to drives - all that years of storage (probably 15 years),
    and I never needed any material from those tapes, since footage gets old much quicker, than the media it is on - this is even more true these days.

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  2. #12  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    I am a drive based erm... backupper.

    However, part of the strategy is refreshing the drives every several years. Meaning, replacing old drives with new ones. It's a task, but not a horrible one. The reasons I do this are two fold. One, avoid potential drive failure. Two, getting the media up to a modern drive and standard interface. Everything in my world is double redundancy at a minimum and I have footage and images I captured beyond 20+ years ago now.

    That said, LTO has also played a role as much of my studio driven work gets backed up by them as well in a variety of ways. But I'll tell you, I get this weird call out of the blue every so often for something I worked back in 2004 and needing a frame or two off it because somewhere the backup is MIA or just impossible to track down. It's nuts.
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  3. #13  
    Senior Member andrewhake's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    The whole "drive on a shelf for years" argument doesn't really apply on the same level it used to. Yes hard drives are mechanical devices but they don't just shrivel up and die when on a shelf not in use. At least not any reasonably modern hard drive. Everyone likes to say this but in practice it is quite unlikely to just have a HDD fail while not in use these days. That said, keeping data on single drives stored on a shelf is a terrible backup solution anyway.

    Local raid5 HDD backups combined with online backups is a great way to go these days if you have a quality internet connection and don't have a really crazy amount of data. with a 1Gb/1Gb connection uploading to an online backup service becomes much more reasonable. Keeping your archive on storage devices that are actually being used is good because you can be alerted if drives do fail and replace them to rebuild the array as needed. Also moving to newer faster storage as the technology improves or you can afford more and so on.

    LTO only makes sense if you have an absolutely obscene amount of data to deal with and maybe even have someone to help backup and maintain the LTO archive. If you keep stuff on active raid setups that chance that you will actually use the backup is much higher. LTO is an absolute pain in the ass.
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  4. #14  
    Well i'm now looking at adding to my Synologies. I have a 12 drive and an 8 drive NAS. The 12 is my main drive, on 10gbe and i get good rates from that. I will look at getting a NAS for archiving with expansions units. These will run deep sleep which means everything is powered off ready and via the NAS i can exercise the drives daily or whatever. Then pop those exos drives in and then get another expansion unit when i need. If i run 1 or 2 disk parity drives then there's another level of safety. I think. This seems the most practical solution but also i haven't ruled out tape yet.

    If the TCO of tape was reasonable then it would be a no brainer. I'm faced with the fact that already some tapes i've got cannot be read any more (DLT and sDLT) and some first generations LTOs. Drive mechanisms fail all the time so really it's a bit of a crap shoot down that path too...

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  5. #15  
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    Mar 2011
    After buying a DLT and an early LTO, I've opted for redundant drives the last five years or so. As an independent operator it's just not worth the cost to get into a new LTO system every few years. Everything on my end gets copied to two bare drives and I encourage clients to do the same.
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  6. #16  
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    Oct 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Online pricing seems to break at around 50TB. And our studio has well over 100TB, close to 200TB that needs archiving for long term storage. We were looking at a yearly bill from BackBlaze, which is the cheapest, at around 8-12K/year. And with each new feature film we shoot, we are looking at another 25-50TB. Cloud Storage was not economical.

    We decided to invest in LTO8, and a ZFS based vault system, using the bare drives we already had at the studio to build out the ZFS NAS. Benefit to doing it this way is holy grail of On-line storage and offsite LTO backup at the same time, cheaper than cloud storage.

    ZFS NAS uses 300W idle, with 48 drives spinning, so our energy cost is under 200/year.
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  7. #17  
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    May 2009
    Orlando, FL.
    as you know, when you get BackBlaze, they simply ship you a Synology, tell you to backup your data, and ship it to them. Just like Amazon sends you a Snowball.
    Why would you do that when you can buy your own QNAP or Synology, and take it home as your backup ? And then do incremental backup over the internet.

    Bob Zelin
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  8. #18  
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    May 2013
    Tape media is cheap. Hard drives are getting pretty cheap. Each have their own pros and cons. Neither is perfectly safe. Use both redundantly if you can swallow the initial pill of the LTO drive.
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  9. #19  
    Senior Member Curtis boggs's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
    Virginia Beach, VA
    seems like there’s good points on either side of the fence.
    Guess i might stick to drives for right now
    but damn the data stacks up fast!

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  10. #20  
    Just to follow up on this as i saw the thread appear again.

    I bought an LTO 7 drive. I just couldn't quite find the archive drives or the exos drives that would make me feel that it's archived. I did buy a synology just before that to act as a cold storage device but in the end didn't use it.

    Having said that LTO is okay, the 7 capacity is pretty good and i got a good deal on the drive itself. I am running LTFS so it works much like a drive although what i miss is an app that stores all the file details and knows which tape a file is on. I'm sure that might exist but not sure what it is yet.

    However so far i've never had too restore, so like the drives the time that happens will be the big question mark

    It's a really tough choice, neither side is an obvious one.

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