>Here's how I personally chose which tape drive to go with:
>The way I figure, in order, the most important factors regarding the 
>tape backup system are:
>1. Reliability
>2. Performance
>3. Ease
4. Cost

>Some of these items will be in different order for other people but 
>I think that reliability is always the most important factor in a 
>backup. (To stress my point, substitute the word "parachute" for 
>"backup." I'm sure you'll always choose the most reliable parachute 
>over any other.)

I agree with your list and that reliability is of #1 importance.

I would add that in addition to the specific mechanical reliability 
of the drive  itself, and the media, one also may be concerned with 
the "reliability" of the ability to get the drive 
repaired/adjusted/replaced should that ever be necessary. No matter 
how perfectly designed and built the mechanism is, it can fail, and 
there can be power surges, mislaid soft-drinks, fire, whatever. If 
something wretched happens to the drive how long and how expensive is 
it going to be before you're once again capable of reading your 
backup tapes? (Having two drives helps a LOT, but it's still possible 
that both may fail for some reason, or that they gradually lose the 
ability to read each other's media due to alignment issues.)

As you say, the other items differ depending on the environment. -Steve

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