[lug] Re: How Home Backups Should Be Done(tm)

LittleViggy at alum.manhattan.edu LittleViggy at alum.manhattan.edu
Tue Aug 22 08:58:25 MDT 2000

I agree with what you are saying about backups (making it easy, 
otherwise you won't do it).  However, I'm not so sure that a huge 
tape machine is really all that necessary.  I run Win98 as my 
primary OS at home (for the wife and child).  I do backups about 
once a week, and until recently, all fit on one Zip disk!  The average 
home user probably doesn't really have all that much data that 
needs to be backed up.  I don't back up any program files, because 
I have to re-install them anyhow (good ol' Winblows).

As for system settings, the Windows registry also gets backed up 
(part of the backup program).  I can't see Linux having that much 
data to back up, again for the average home user.


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 
>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 
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 
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 
week.  Anything more than that and you probably won't do it.


More information about the LUG mailing list