How Home Backups Should Be Done(tm) Was: [lug] Tape Drive Recommendation...

Sean Reifschneider jafo at
Mon Aug 21 23:02:44 MDT 2000

On Mon, Aug 21, 2000 at 08:01:26PM -0600, Alan Robertson wrote:
>It is important that your full and incrementals all fit comfortably on one
>tape.  If they don't, then GET A BIGGER TAPE.

I agree with all your suggestions.  The problem gets back to the idea that
tape drives just haven't kept up.  One of the next couple of days I'm
planning on ordering a 60GB hard drive for well under $300.

I used to be excited about the idea of using tapes for a kind of
HSM -- I mean you could get $10 cartridges that held 2 to 4 gigabytes!
Inconcievable!  Average seek time on a DDS tape drive was around
40 seconds -- I could wait 40 seconds for little-used data.  That was
back when a 1 or 2GB hard drive was over a grand, and a DDS tape drive
was slightly cheaper.

Now we've got 10 times the storage for a tenth the price in hard
drives and, well, still DDS with the drives costing a grand.  The
capacity has increased by 10x, but the cost hasn't gone down
a similar amount, which leaves tapes an order of magnitude less
effective than before.

So, how about: periodicly spend some time and make a couple of copies
of a base-line.  A full backup with everything on it.  Then run
a level 2 backup of things that changed since the base-line and
append to that additional incrementals.

I wholely agree that you should only be swapping a single tape every
week.  Anything more than that and you probably won't do it.

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Sean Reifschneider, Inimitably Superfluous <jafo at> - Linux Consulting since 1995. Qmail, KRUD, Firewalls, Python

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