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Old 01-05-2008, 02:40 AM
Ron Johnson
 
Default tapes best for backup?

On 01/04/08 20:21, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

On Fri, Jan 04, 2008 at 12:04:05PM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:

On 01/04/08 10:23, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

On Thu, Jan 03, 2008 at 09:56:19PM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:

On 01/03/08 20:30, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:


Right. What about things of great sentimental value? E.g. family
photos? What about financial records? Sure 7 GB is chickenfeed. It
fits on one DVD. However, to put that on the shelf, what to use to make
it last?

Chickenfeed is still important... to chickens.

So I wasn't trying to denigrate your 7GB of important data, but to
express that, in today's world, tape would be a radically cost-
inefficient means of storing only 7GB.

[snip]

If a reputable archival company like Iron Mountain offers on-line
storage, then I'd encrypt it and drop it on their servers.

So how do they store it? If they're just going to drop it onto a hard
drive and forget about it, how is that different than me putting it on 2
hard drives: one on a backup server that runs so that hard drive errors
show up; one in an external case that gets a fresh backup put on it
every month or so and goes to the bank's safety deposit box? Or, if
they're just going to archive it in a tape library, how is that
different than me putting it on a tape and putting that in the bank?

Nothing... except expertise. It's their *job* to monitor the SAN,
replacing failed disks, taking backups, etc.


So, ultimatly, for reliability, it ends up on tape. On-line storage
places amortize the cost of a tape drive over the number of people's
data it takes to fill a tape(s) (well, you get what I mean I hope).


Yes. Except expect it's on disk *and* tape.


So if one could get an older-model tape drive (say, some version of DLT),
tape remains the best for on-the-shelf off-line archival purposes?


Yeah. But only for amounts -- and importance (think SOX or Big
Brother) -- of data that justifies the cost of good drives and
relatively expensive tapes.


--
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I'm a vegetarian
because I hate vegetables!"
unknown


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Old 01-05-2008, 02:45 AM
Ron Johnson
 
Default tapes best for backup?

On 01/04/08 20:30, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

On Fri, Jan 04, 2008 at 09:12:19AM -0800, David Brodbeck wrote:

On Jan 4, 2008, at 7:38 AM, Larry Irwin wrote:

I would not buy a used tape drive. They're finicky mechanical devices
and you really want a warranty. Every time I've bought a used tape
drive thinking I was getting a good deal it's died within a month.


Which puts DLTs out of reach for the home user. Which means that either
I archive to less reliable media (CD/DVD, hard disk) or keep everything
online and only do backups with no archives.

Glossary:
backup: copy everything from the main computer and leave all data on the
main computer.

archive: copy data important for long-term use (e.g. financial records,
family pictures or videos) and possibly remove them from the main
computer.


Sure. Newegg has 400GB drives for 5.7GB/$ and enclosures are small
enough to fit in your laptop bag.


--
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I'm a vegetarian
because I hate vegetables!"
unknown


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Old 01-05-2008, 04:42 AM
David Brodbeck
 
Default tapes best for backup?

On Jan 4, 2008, at 6:10 PM, s. keeling wrote:

Floppies often became unreadable (when I still used them). I've never
run across a CD I couldn't still read, and I've a few old ones.


I've had one. I left it in a sunny corner of my desk and the dye
layer bleached. I've also had a couple where the label side got
physically damaged enough that the reflective aluminum layer was
damaged.


Both of those were clearly due to careless handling, though. I can't
say I've ever had a CD-R that was stored in a cool, dark place and
handled gently fail. CD-RWs seem to be a little less reliable.



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Old 01-05-2008, 05:43 AM
David Dyer-Bennet
 
Default tapes best for backup?

s. keeling wrote:

I've never
run across a CD I couldn't still read, and I've a few old ones. DVD, I
would expect to be even better. For me, tape's good enough.



Why would you expect DVD to be better? I'd expect it to be worse, for
the obvious reasons -- smaller physical bit representations, packed
tighter. Also we don't have as much experience with it, so I take what
information we *do* have with larger quantities of salt.


(Mind you, I'm using DVDs for my photo archives; CDs are simply too
small to contemplate. Two copies, stored separately, and all the files
stay on the disk (which is mirrored) and get backed up to external disks
regularly. I can pretty easily afford for any *one* of the backups to
fail.)


--
David Dyer-Bennet, dd-b@dd-b.net; http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info


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Old 01-05-2008, 05:46 AM
David Dyer-Bennet
 
Default tapes best for backup?

Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

On Fri, Jan 04, 2008 at 09:12:19AM -0800, David Brodbeck wrote:


On Jan 4, 2008, at 7:38 AM, Larry Irwin wrote:



I would not buy a used tape drive. They're finicky mechanical devices
and you really want a warranty. Every time I've bought a used tape
drive thinking I was getting a good deal it's died within a month.



Which puts DLTs out of reach for the home user. Which means that either
I archive to less reliable media (CD/DVD, hard disk) or keep everything
online and only do backups with no archives.



Why do you think DLTs are more reliable than optical media or hard
drives? My experience with tapes in general (not DLTs) certainly does
not predispose me towards that view, but I suppose DLTs could be
"different".
I've never had a CD or DVD go bad once it passed verification, and some
of my cds are from the early 1990s (Kodak Photo CDs). I *have* had
tapes in every format I've ever used, from 7-track up to DDS, go bad or
be unreadable for other reasons. I've also had a lot of the *drives* go
bad, which means I'd probably want two or three before storing anything
important on the tape format.


--
David Dyer-Bennet, dd-b@dd-b.net; http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info


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Old 01-05-2008, 05:52 AM
David Dyer-Bennet
 
Default tapes best for backup?

Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

On Fri, Jan 04, 2008 at 04:18:11PM -0600, David Dyer-Bennet wrote:


hat I think of as "minimum acceptable" backup is two offline volumes to
accept backups, used alternately. Anything less leaves you with all
copies of your data online and vulnerable at once -- to a power surge,
lightning strike, malware, or idiot sysadmin ("rm -rf /").




Right, but this is on-line (or near-line) backup. The data on the media
doesn't have to last long, only between backup cycles. What about
archives? Or, do you just keep everything on-line (buy more disks for
the computer and bigger USB drives for backups) and do backups and never
archive anything?




I've been relying primarily on offline archives until very recently, but
I'm *now* primarily relying on the mirrored disks in the server plus two
external backup drives. I keep everything online, disk is so cheap it's
silly not to, and keeping track of all the little bits and pieces is
much easier in the computer than as physical CDs I have to find to look
at an old photo.

I currently expect I'll keep making at least one copy of the optical
media archives (I used to make two, and I haven't formally stopped
making two*yet*) for the off-site copy.


Every few years some of it needs to be rethought, since prices and
available sizes keep fluctuating.



--
David Dyer-Bennet, dd-b@dd-b.net; http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info


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Old 01-05-2008, 05:53 AM
David Dyer-Bennet
 
Default tapes best for backup?

Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

On Fri, Jan 04, 2008 at 04:18:11PM -0600, David Dyer-Bennet wrote:


Paul Cartwright wrote:


On Fri January 4 2008, Ron Johnson wrote:





so, what would be a good method..
say for instance MY system. my /home is 164 Gb, with 50 Gb free, so I've
used 110 Gb. Right now I do the rsync to a 500Gb Mybook USB drive. But I
don't keep the drive connected, so I don't do it often enough..


What I think of as "minimum acceptable" backup is two offline volumes to
accept backups, used alternately. Anything less leaves you with all
copies of your data online and vulnerable at once -- to a power surge,
lightning strike, malware, or idiot sysadmin ("rm -rf /").




Right, but this is on-line (or near-line) backup. The data on the media
doesn't have to last long, only between backup cycles. What about
archives? Or, do you just keep everything on-line (buy more disks for
the computer and bigger USB drives for backups) and do backups and never
archive anything?




Archives are on CDs (older) and DVDs (newer), one copy here, one copy at
my mother's house. That's a manual process, but I keep it fairly current.


--
David Dyer-Bennet, dd-b@dd-b.net; http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info


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Old 01-05-2008, 06:53 AM
Rick Thomas
 
Default tapes best for backup?

On Jan 5, 2008, at 12:42 AM, David Brodbeck wrote:

I can't say I've ever had a CD-R that was stored in a cool, dark
place and handled gently fail.


I got curious. So I pulled a couple of CD-Rs from 1997 out of the
desk drawer they've been sitting in for the last 9+ years. They were
stored in jewel cases, not in paper sleeves, incase that matters.


I read every file on both of them with never so much as a head re-
calibration.


Two snowflakes do not a blizzard make, I understand. But my respect
for optical media as archival storage has just taken a small step
upwards.


As a registered pack-rat, I've got a drawer full of similar old CD-
Rs. If I get ambitious and I've got some free time, I'll try a bunch
more, just for fun...



Rick


PS: It took me over a half-hour each to write those CD-Rs, 9 years
ago. I read both of them today in under 8 minutes total. Ahhh,
progress!




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Old 01-05-2008, 02:16 PM
"Douglas A. Tutty"
 
Default tapes best for backup?

On Sat, Jan 05, 2008 at 02:53:45AM -0500, Rick Thomas wrote:

> As a registered pack-rat, I've got a drawer full of similar old CD-
> Rs. If I get ambitious and I've got some free time, I'll try a bunch
> more, just for fun...

I wonder what cdck would show. It tests not only ability to read the
files, but counts any otherwise silent errors as well. It also
automates the reading every file process.

Doug.


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Old 01-05-2008, 02:17 PM
"Douglas A. Tutty"
 
Default tapes best for backup?

On Sat, Jan 05, 2008 at 12:43:00AM -0600, David Dyer-Bennet wrote:

> Why would you expect DVD to be better? I'd expect it to be worse, for
> the obvious reasons -- smaller physical bit representations, packed
> tighter. Also we don't have as much experience with it, so I take what
> information we *do* have with larger quantities of salt.

Don't DVDs have the physical media sandwitched between two layers of
plastic?

Doug.


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