[lug] Tape Drive Recommendation...

Ryan Kirkpatrick linux at rkirkpat.net
Mon Aug 21 17:49:00 MDT 2000

On Thu, 17 Aug 2000, Sean Reifschneider wrote:

> At the time I didn't have the pricing of the media.  A problem with
> the Ecrix drives is the media is $80 per tape (33GB uncompressed
> capacity).  That's more than 35GB AIT media (though in that case
> the drives are around twice as much).

	True, but there are two smaller sizes, 20GB for $45, and 12GB for
$30, both capacities uncompressed. There is always seems to be a trade off
between drive cost and media cost, expensive drive, cheap media or cheap
drive and expensive media. The drive you get often depends on how many
tapes you need.
	Given that the VXA-1 kit includes a single 33GB tape, I bought a
single 33GB and two 12GB tapes in addition for an extra $150. For most
home setups that is probably more than enough tape space, and you are only
at $650 to $700. Also, the VXA is a pretty new drive while 8mm, DDS, etc..
have been around for a while. I would not be surprised to see VXA media go
down in price over time. 

> Sure, a DDS4 drive will cost you $900 (for 20GB uncompressed capacity),
> but the Ecrix drive + 10 tapes is $1300 with their generous discount.
> DDS4 is $1150.  So, the discount they're offering doesn't seem like
> such a good deal.

	Not to nitpick here... But that is a bad comparsion... For the
$1150 you get the DDS4 w/10 20GB tapes for total space of 200GB. For the
$1300 you get the VXA w/10 33GB tapes for total space of 330GB. Hmm...
$150 more for 130GB more space, doesn't sound that bad.
	Also, remember, I am thinking of a setup that does not require ten
tapes (we don't even have that many at work with a VXA drive, instead
3 at 33GB & 5 at 12GB). If you wanted 33GB of backup space with two copies (i.e.
one gets run each week), then you need just two tapes and the drive,
~$700. To go with DDS4, you end up at $950. 
	Really, in the long run, with a low tape count, I don't think that
the media is as expensive as it looks. Especially if you take advantage of
this deal (which they have had running since May and just keep extending
it another month!), then, IMHO this is a good deal.

> The Ecrix stuff looks interesting, but the cost of the media needs to
> come down before I think it's really a contender.  I'd think about it
> for use where I'd otherwise use AIT but probably not for home.

	I agree that the VXA might be a bit pricy for home, but then again
I don't have the average home network, so I am a bit biased. I have 13
computers (at last count, one or two more may have slipped in since then
:) networked with over 20GB of disk space I want backed up. I used to use
an Exabyte 8700LT, but it took two tapes, omitting a decent chunk of data
I would like (not needed) to be backed up, and quite a few hours (i.e. two
nights). With the VXA it is all done in one night on one tape. :)
	Anyway, my two cents. TTYL.

|   "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."                    |
|                                            --- Philippians 1:21 (KJV)   |
|   Ryan Kirkpatrick  |  Boulder, Colorado  |  http://www.rkirkpat.net/   |

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