I've got a library of Exabyte and Metrum tapes that......... no, no we won't go there... no Red files on them. :clown2:
Welcome Tim, look forward to reading your posts. :)
Tim, what's your opinion on the various flavors of LTO setups? LTO-3, LTO-3A, or LTO-4? LTO-3 is the cheapest, but has no directory like LTO-3A. LTO-3A has a good directory setup for retrieval, but is expensive. LTO-4 is the newest, but as you said, it's expensive.
Id go with LTO4, apparently LTO3A has compatibility issues.
Welcome aboard, Tim!
Just my humble opinion. :)
BTW, I sometimes have nightmares about Retrospect from the 90's. ;)
All mechanical devices can fail. I've heard a lot of horror stories about tape over the years too. I've had drives eat tapes, I've had tapes go bad or have corrupt data and not explanation can be found. What I think is laughable is that people use compatibility or "inability" to locate a drive and software to read a tape at some point in the future as an excuse to not use tape. The same logic can be applied to any other format -- HDDs, optical media, etc.. All the good tape formats from 25 years ago are still readable today, many of them (like LTO) are readable in the newest LTO-4 drives.Sure I hear stories but I also have had many situations where I could NOT retrieve data off tape backups because the unit failed and I couldn't find similar used unit or because operating system, drivers, indexes or some other incompatibility issue.
I would prefer 3 HDDs to 1 tape copy any day myself. Why only use 1 tape? What kind of comparison is that? 1TB HDD's are $60 these days. 800GB LTO-4 tapes are $50. What's the point? The only argument against tape that I can see is that they are slower than HDDs and require an additional piece of hardware (drive). OK, fair enough. But what makes you think that in 15 years, you will just be able to connect that SATA drive to a common computer without additional hardware? 15 years ago, RLL, ESDI and 25-pin SCSI were all common drive standards. All would be a real PAIN IN THE ASS if you had to connect one today. Whereas I can put an LTO-1 or LTO-2 tape in my LTO-4 drive and just read it.Let's put it this way. I'd rather have 3 separate 1TB hard drive copies of my critical data (at $295 total cost) stored in three separate locations for 10 years than 1 tape backup that I may not be able to read 10 years from now.
I have nightmares about any version of Retrospect. I wish it upon all of my enemies.BTW, I sometimes have nightmares about Retrospect from the 90's. ;)
I agree about drives being the answer not tape. You can get decent drives cheaply today and it's not a huge deal to put them in a mirroring capable enclosure and spin them up once in a while. You have random access and an easy migration path. Corporate backup is moving away from tape in large numbers. Furthermore Compact Flash is getting cheap. We are getting to the point where we can just keep the cards and not overwrite them. San disk is working on write once media that will be great for archiving. You hardrives in a mirrored setup will last long enough to migrate to the better media.
I agree that FLASH, especially write-once media will play a huge role in the future. I don't agree with the hard drive deal though. I'm not sure where you're coming up with "Corporate backup is moving away from tape in large number" statement. LTO-4 is selling like crazy and provides huge cost savings over drives for large archival volumes. When it comes to archiving petabytes and zetabytes of data, hard drives don't make sense at all.
SAN installations with online backups are predominantly hard drive based these days, and typically that is where "corporate backup" tech is migrating to, but this is not long-term archival.
I seriously do not see how hard drives can provide a realistic and simple solution to archiving anything in the PB range or larger. Look at the size, weight, additional storage containers, etc.. needed to store that many hard drives. Tapes occupy less physical space and weigh a lot less. Plenty of autoloader systems for tapes that can be had for a lot cheaper than hiring an IT school flunkee to swap drives into a RAID enclosure. Buying enclosures for every collection of drives becomes a huge burden in terms of cost and physical size as the archives grow.
I often wonder just how much data people on reduser are really intending to archive and for how long. I'm shelving duplicate copies of 1.2 to 1.8 TB every week or two. LTO-4 tape has already proven to be more cost effecting than hard drive over the past few months. I transferred all my HDD based REDCODE archives over to tape. Done. Out of the 500GB HDDs I was using to archive my RED footage and everything else I have done over the past year, I had one drive failure. Out of about 40 drives. And they were all less than 6 months old, bought and used just for backup. Had one bad tape, too... The drive failure was not an issue, as I had duplicate copies of all things. It was defective right from the factory, two separate tape drives would reject it with tape transport error.
I feel a little sorry for a few reduser members I know that have been going the HDD route, who had bought many of the Seagate 1TB units that are failing like crazy. Oh, well, shit happens.
Larry Jordan, esteemed final cut guru has this to say about hard drives.
Magnetic signals recorded on a hard disk are designed to be refreshed periodically. If your hard disks stay on, this happens automatically. However, if you store your projects to a removable hard drive, then store that hard drive on a shelf, unattached to a computer, those magnetic signals will fade over time... essentially, evaporating.
Link to his article
Hard Disk Warning! by Larry Jordan
I know cost of LTO is an issue for a lot of us so I started a thread called
HP DAT as a backup alternative to LTO
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