[AUUG-Talk]: Power User Backups
david.newall at auug.org.au
Mon Jan 15 21:31:34 EST 2007
I think backing up to removable hard disk is the best solution. Costing
around $1/GB, this is a reasonably priced solution which has major
advantages in speed, reliability, convenience and price over tape:
* In my experience, tape drives are rather unreliable, suffering from
both drifting alignment and, more commonly, total failure of the unit.
When you need to access an older medium (admittedly this is an archiving
issue more than a backup issue) the new drive can't read (or even
accept) it. Hard drives have a longer shelf-life than tapes do.
* By setting up you primary and backup drives as a mirrored set, you can
do an online backup; break the mirror when you want to remove the backup
for safe keeping. This is huge advantage.
* Multiple hard drives can span into a single filesystem, giving you a
virtual single-medium backup capacity as large as your total online
storage capacity. Tapes can't do that unless you purchase really
expensive hardware such as a silo.
* Hard drives are arguably cheaper than tapes: 1.2TB of disk (in, say,
3x400GB drives) costs slightly over $1,000, which is less than 3x400GB
tapes plus one tape drive to suit. Add another tape drive in 2 years,
after the old one has failed (back to my fast point, you see), and
you're really miles ahead in price.
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