[H-GEN] Tape Drives

Frank Brand fbrand at uq.net.au
Sat Jan 5 20:28:10 EST 2002

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Ever since hard drives have become reasonable in price it has been my belief
that removable hard drives are better value than tape decks. $1325 would get
you 6 extra (maybe 7) hard drives which you could use to back up onto using
removable drive adapters or USB adapters or whatever. The HDD's are more
reliable and faster. The tape costs for a drive are not inconsiderable too.

Most companies I see (operating on a 5 day week say) might use 5
tapes....one for each day of the week, or sometimes 10 tapes over a two week
cycle (some just do incemental back ups for 4 or 9 days and a full backup on
day 5 or 10 etc). Assuming that 5 tapes are used (if you want to keep your
backups for a full month maybe 20 or 28 tapes might be needed) that might
cost $300 or more in tapes. This would buy another 1 or two HDD's or a
year's supply of CD's. A CD burner is a good backup option too but 40 Gb on
CDs would be a pain in the bum.

Also some tapes are limited to 99 uses IIRC - not sure whether you can clear
that or not

>On a side note, I know nothing of backup plans.  What is a sound plan
>and how many tapes would I require.

Depends on what you are keeping backups for and how long you need to keep

Here is one possibility based on a two week cycle but maybe if you are doing
accounting stuff you might need to keep for a full month or a financial
period of some sort.

Full backup Day 0

Incremental backup each day for two weeks (either 10 or 14 day cycle)

At the end of the cycle another full backup and then keep rotating the

Maybe you also need a record for month end, quarter end etc (for accounting
requirements) but that might be dependent on company policy. In which case,
keeping them as a permanent copy on CD (or DVD now - there is another
option, a DVD burner) might be better

Maybe other people have different ideas.

Frank Brand

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