>>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.

snip . . .

Here is another point.  In 2-3 years from now you upgrade to a DDS-4, 
DDS-5 or whatever is selling at the time.  It can still recover data 
from your DDS-1 archive made 6-7 years ago (yea, this is only theory 
since tape can degenerate over time).

Say you switch from DDS to VXA.  You still have to have a functioning 
DDS drive to be able to access previously archived DDS backups.  If 
in 2-3 years from now, your VXA h/w goes bad (or VXA decides to go 
out of business) and you decide to go back to DDS-? now your archived 
VXA backup tapes are worthless.

snip . . .

>on how many times we can overwrite a tape?
>The tape swap hassle factor is a biggie for me. What if nobody's around to
>put in the second or third tape? Incomplete backup. What if you don't want
>to have to swap tapes all week? Our typical weekly backups, including a full
>backup followed by incrementals for the rest of the week, would require two
>full DDS-3 tapes, and probably part of a third. Here's a little peek into my
>psyche: I hate swapping tapes, I hate carrying tapes from building to
>building for offsite backups, I hate it. I find a different way. I am an
>engineer; I am lazy. My favorite animal is the sloth.

For this very reason I got a Sony 7-tape DDS-3 autoloader.  I set up 
5 storage sets and put vol2s in the remaining two slots.  But 
Retrospect decides it wants to backup to a specific storage set on a 
particular night and the one it picks has a catalog out of sync with 
tape.  It is smart enough to know this and tell me how to fix it but 
not smart enough to go ahead and fix it itself.  And it is stubborn 
in that it won't go to another storage set so I lose the remainder of 
the night with no backups taking place.

* * * * * * * * * * * THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY * * * * * * * * * * *
Graduate School                         Richard (Dick) Hassler
247 University Hall                     Systems Administrator/Analyst
230 N. Oval Mall                        Phone:  614-292-9859
Columbus, OH  43210-1366                FAX:    614-292-3656

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