[lug] OT:long term storage

Ryan Wheaton Ryan.Wheaton at nsc.com
Fri Aug 23 09:44:47 MDT 2002

    I'm looking into long term storage / backup solutions and was
wondering what everyone else was using (and how well it worked), and if
there was something out there that maybe I hadn't thought of.
    I have a Raid 5 array, and will periodically be moving some of that
data off to "long term" (<= 5 years ) storage.  This won't necessarily
need to backup everything on the array for means of restoring data or
anything like that, I'll just need the data available if need be.  It's
mainly going to be a lot of embedded OS images (XPe, winCE, & linux).
All of which are about 6MB.
    I originally thought that the easy way to go would be to just burn
them to CDs.  But I was unsure about the durability and reliability of
the media over the long term.  Also there's the concern of always
manually having to burn a CD (time).  The storage space of CDs (700MB)
is adequate for 6MB files, but it'd be nice to have the option of more
    So, I looked into the possibility of an MO drive, which are
reasonably priced, transfer rates are fast, and the media is durable.
But the media is extremely overpriced (>20$ for a 1.3GB disk).
   Then I found DVD-RAM drives.  It seems to have the same positive /
negative features as CDs, but with increased storage capacity.  I'm
worried though that everyone may not be able to read a burned DVD-RAM
(but i suppose that could be remedied by sharing the disk on the
network).  My only question about DVD-RAM is how mature the process is.
Are there media and recording standards yet, or is every one still kind
of doing things how they see fit?
    And, in the back of my head I've thought about magnetic tape.  My
only concern with the tape is access times...  Exactly how fast are the
new tape drives? (i saw a LVD one for sale on CDW.  It seems that, if
the read/write times on tapes is decent, then it would be the best
solution.  Tapes are cheap, the media is durable, and they can hold a
buttload of data.

thanks in advance for any new insights or any info you all can provide
about these mediums.  personal experience is always welcomed :-)


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