[unisog] Tape backup solutions

Patrick Darden darden at armc.org
Mon Jun 17 17:17:26 GMT 2002

Treat the hard drive array as a backup device.  Or you could use a NAS
with snapshots--then you can just point your restore at the day/time and
BOOM the file is restored.  Network Appliance's NAB does this, so do
cheaper NAS solutions these days.

At approximately the same cost, I don't know why anyone would backup to
tape instead of hard drives; unless they just need to justify existing
tape infrastructure, or else have cheap leftover tape archives or
libraries, or have a bunch of tapes from previous years that they need to
remain compatible with....

Let's say you have 1TB of storage needs.  For around $25,000 you could
have an enterprise backup solution using NAS that is fast and works very
very well.  One full backup every month, plus differentials every night.  
Keep last month's full backup around thru the cycle.  This includes the

1TB uncompressed storage (2TB compressed), raid 5, hot swap drives,
redundant power supply, journaling file system, scheduled snapshots. Plus,
an exact duplicate in case the first unit dies--with full failover so
nobody even notices the primary storage unit died (except your admin).

Heck, you could even make this your primary data storage solution--instant
backups and restores.

As a backup solution it has advantages over a tape library: speed, cost,
expandibility, etc.

Network Appliance, Quantum Snap!, and Maxtor all have great solutions.  A
company called Raidzone has the price/performance lead www.raidzone.com.
We use Quantum Snap! servers here.

Currently, we have 2 Storagetek archives that are great.  But a bit
expensive, and a tape wears out every 3-6 months.  Tape drives also tend
to need replacing more often than I would have thought.  And the robotics
have needed some work.  We also have 2 Quantum Snap! servers that have
seen years of work, and no problems whatsoever--no hard disks have worn
out.  In addition, we still have servers with their own storage as
primary.  Altogether, many many terrabytes of storage (we have a PACS
system for x-rays, mri's, and other images, plus an HIS, an RIS, an
Exchange server, and a lot of other stuff that requires lots of storage.)

We are currently looking at the future--and thinking cheap redundant NAS.

--Patrick Darden                Internetworking Manager             
--                              706.475.3312    darden at armc.org
--                              Athens Regional Medical Center

On Mon, 17 Jun 2002, Stan Horwitz wrote:

> On Mon, 17 Jun 2002, Patrick Darden wrote:
> >
> > I think hard drives are cheap enough so you could just use NAS to mirror
> > your stuff.  HDs are beginning to get competitive with tapes:
> There's still no substitute like a tape backup. Mirroring
> works great for real time backups, but if the mirror breaks
> due to a software or hardware error, you may have a problem
> on your hands when it comes time to restore your filesystem.

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