Hello folks!

We recently got our funding for another 5 years from the federal 
government, and including in our first year budgeting is the money 
for a new backup system. I'm not planning on leaving Retrospect 
behind, so all I really need help with is a new tape drive system.

Currently, we are using one DDS-3 tape drive for our entire local 
base of about 70 users. About 65 of those are Mac users, and about 5 
are Windows NT boxen. We also have 7 Mac machines that are various 
servers, and 3 NT servers. For the users, we only back up their 
bookmarks.html file and their Documents folder (using ASR we can 
restore a desktop in little time, so there's no real need to backup 
the entire hard drive), and *currently* we only back up the My 
Documents folder for the NT user boxen, and specific directories for 
our servers.

The desktops are backed up to tape nightly, with the laptops being 
backed up to tape during the day by a backup server. The servers are 
backed up weekly to hard drive (only exception being our Staff volume 
getting backed up nightly). The main reason for the latter is that we 
don't have anyone to do a tape switch after the Friday backup, I 
think (this system was in place before I got here).

We change the nightly tapes daily, with incrementals M-Th, and a 
recycle backup on Friday. I alternate tapes weekly, with an A set and 
a B set.

What I would like to do: The backup server system mentioned by Craig 
last week sounds like it would work great for me. I want to back up 
the servers nightly as well, which will increase the space each set 
takes up.

I am also interested in doing a remote backup of our NYC office. They 
have static IPs, and could possibly be added to our backup sets. They 
have laptops and desktops, and I'm just not sure if I want to go that 
route, but it's a possibility. But on the other hand, if we do get a 
new tape drive, we could send them our old one and they could use 
that to backup.

So, should I keep the same tape system (DDS-3) and get a new drive 
(auto-loader), get an additional drive (poor man's auto-loader), or 
go with something new? I have the archive of this list from last 
year, when someone went through and priced the different drives...ah, 
found it! [see below] DDS-3 was second to Ecrix (oh, it's pronounced 
ah-kree! Just noticed that on their web page. I'll have to stop 
calling it eh-cricks :).

Oh, Retrospect is running on a Mac vanilla G3. It *could* possibly be 
run on a MP G4, with a SCSI card or maybe Firewire/USB if that was 
the way to go.

Advice would be appreciated.

At 1:36 AM -0700 8/3/00, Larry Acosta Wong wrote:
[only part of message enclosed]

>                   Tran                #Tapes  Total   True
>Model      (GB)   Rate    Price Media  Req'd  Price   $/GB
>VXA-1       33    3MB/s    $539  $67    12   $1,343   $3.39
>DDS-3       12    1MB/s    $777  $16    27   $1,209   $3.73
>DDS-2        4  .51MB/s    $606   $7    75   $1,131   $3.77
>SC30        15    2MB/s    $438  $41    21   $1,299   $4.12
>ADR50       25    2MB/s    $697  $46    12   $1,249   $4.16
>VXA-1       33    3MB/s    $939  $67    12   $1,743   $4.40
>Eliant 820   7    1MB/s  $1,160   $8    45   $1,520   $4.83
>DDS-4       20    3MB/s  $1,072  $33    15   $1,567   $5.22
>Mammoth-LT  14    2MB/s  $1,193  $35    24   $2,033   $6.05
>DLT 4000    20  1.5MB/s  $1,352  $64    15   $2,312   $7.71
>Sony AIT-1  35    3MB/s  $1,913  $88     9   $2,705   $8.59
>Mammoth     20    3MB/s  $2,126  $56    15   $2,966   $9.89
>Exabyte M2  60   12MB/s  $3,777  $80     6   $4,257  $11.83
>DLT 8000    40    6MB/s  $3,915  $64     9   $4,491  $12.48
>Sony AIT-2  50    6MB/s  $3,289  $94     6   $3,853  $12.84
>For this comparison, I've included the VXA-1 at the promotional 
>price since it's been extended through Aug and is available to 
>everyone. The total cost of DDS-3 is actually $134 cheaper than the 
>VXA-1 but the cost/GB is higher, it requires 27 tapes total (9 tapes 
>per storage set) and its transfer rate is considerably slower.
>So, it's probably fairly obvious that I went with the VXA-1 drive. 
>The promo price was so good that I bought two. This gives me a 
>pseudo-autoloader and also gives me redundancy in case one drive 
>fails. Am I concerned about the new-ness of the drive? Of course. 
>I'd prefer that there were multiple manufacturers and multiple media 
>sources. But, with the way hard drive capacity/usage is increasing, 
>I'll likely be in the market for a new drive after a couple of years.
Julia Frizzell
User Consultant/Analyst
The Education Alliance
Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University
222 Richmond Street, Suite 300
Providence, Rhode Island  02903-4226
401.274.9548 x311 or 800.521.9550 x311
401.421.7650 (fax)

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