I am using a Sony DDS-3 autochanger (8 tapes) which cost us ~$2300 in June of '99.
So far it has been exponentially better than the HP DDS-2 it was replacing.

>I had thought I had decided on getting DDS-4 but now am considering 
>DDS-3 in its place, for use with a Retrospect backup of mostly Mac 
>clients and a few PCs.
>My previous experience with DDS-2 was very unhappy -- too much 
>maintenance, too much downtime, too many ever-changing 
>recommendations about what brand of media to use, etc.
>I have been assured by several DDS-4 users on this list (thanks!) 
>that DDS-4 is much more reliable and easy to deal with.
>However, I'm now thinking about going DDS-3 instead. I can't do a 
>full backup of my environment with a single DDS-4 tape anyway (it 
>would take two) and with DDS-3 it would take three, so either way I 
>will have to deal with multiple tapes. (The only single-tape solution 
>in my price range is VXA, which sounds very nice, but there is NO WAY 
>I will go with a new, single-vendor solution...)
>LaCie DDS-3 from MacWarehouse costs about $800 compared to $1150 for DDS-4.
>DDS-3 media seems to cost about half as much as DDS-4 media, even 
>though it holds more than half as much data. (12GB vs 20GB)
>When I look at the prices of the drives and media, it appears that I 
>would save a considerable amount of money by using DDS-3 instead of 
>Cost and day-to-day reliability are very important to me. Also 
>crucial is future support (2 - 4 years down the road) for drive 
>repairs and availability of media.
>Speed, dealing with a few extra tape cartridges, and the ability to 
>read anyone else's DDS-4 tape are NOT important to me.
>Can anyone think of a reason why I should get a DDS-4 instead of a 
>DDS-3, given these conditions?
>In terms of reliability, is DDS-3 more like DDS-2 or DDS-4?
>Thanks for your advice. -Steve
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Philip Chonacky, IS Manager
Barrett Companies
ph. (617) 577-9500
fx. (617) 577-1010

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