[unisog] Tape backup solutions

Christopher A Bongaarts cab at tc.umn.edu
Mon Jun 17 18:56:42 GMT 2002

As Eric Pierce once put it so eloquently:

> Hard Disk storage is not a replacement for backup tape, but it is a
> complement to it.  How are you going to swap hard disks for off-site
> storage?  It would be very tedious with a HD setup, but with tape it's
> as simple as hitting eject.   On the other hand, tape is frustratingly
> slow, especially if you need to do a bunch of small restores.
> HD storage is nice for near-line backups, where all you need is fast
> access to data that's only a day or two old, but archival backups and
> disaster-recovery would be a nightmare without tape.

As other folks have alluded to, it depends on your backup needs.

In our case, we don't need archival snapshots of most of our data
(largely email server mail spools).  We need enough for basic disaster 
recovery.  Our solution is having machines in several fairly
distant-from-each-other locations on campus that backup to each other
(to large disks).  If any single location goes, there will be a backup 

But there are also critical parts of our infrastructure that need more 
sophisticated handling, so we do have a more "traditional" backup for
those small parts.  But we are able to limit this to only those
services that need it.

So for us, the combination works well, and is very cost-effective.
But it definitely won't work for everyone.

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