Disaster Recovery

Is the database tape backup dead?


With the ever increasing hard drives, SAN, and NAS devices available, is the tape backup dead for database backups? In my travels, I find more companies are backing up to disk rather than older tape technologies for their database backups.

What are you doing at your company to backup your databases whether they are Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, etc.

Please take our poll and share your backup stategy.

20 comments
JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

For me, tape has always been an expensive, short-lived unreliable medium that has always been two-steps behind my storage needs. All but the most saavy clients have resented the expense and labor involved in keeping a meaningful tape regiment going. Today, backup to me usually means frequent transfers to other servers, regular comprehensive backups to removable media that is kept well off-site and daily transfers on-line.

UNIX-SA
UNIX-SA

There is still a need to get the data off-site. If your Audit Committee says that an alternate data center is too close or disqualified for any reason to be considered off-site, then a removable media of some kind is required. Often times the qualification is that the data must leave the companies environment so that one copy of the data is not easily accessible protecting it from a disgruntled employee. Tape, even behind the primary disk backup, is going to win for a while.

Genera-nation
Genera-nation

you did not include "Both" EDIT - Thank you for modifying the question to include both!! To the person below: Discussion - Post 3 of 5 And, your answers are? Or, is it that you just like being a smart-ass? Posted: 10/19/2007 @ 08:30 AM (PDT) (edited 10/19/2007 @ 08:31 AM (PDT)) deepsand 11 Job Role: IT Consultant Location: Null, Pennsylvania Member since: 09/18/2000 MY RESPONSE: My point was VALID - note how the question was CHANGED as a result!!!!!!

Steven Warren
Steven Warren

Please share your backup strategy with the group so we can determine what the best practices are.

deepsand
deepsand

Without giving a dissertation on the merits of tape, the poll here being taken shows that less than 25% are [b]not[/b] using tape.

jneilson
jneilson

The tape drive is good to keep around if you need to retrive some files from 1986. I use DVD's, a network storage system and a fire proof external hard drive. The DVD's get stored off site.

deepsand
deepsand

Or, is it that you just like being a smart-ass?

Sigman
Sigman

We've always gone to disk, then to tape (11 years). Latest incarnation is first to local disk, second copied to NAS and stored for one week, third written to tape and offsited weekly. But then I'm a highly paranoid DBA...

aatramps
aatramps

We currently backup files to external drive from which we burn weekly and monthly copies onto DVDs which we store in a different office. When we consolidate to our new office my plan is to backup to a backup file server and then from there store copies online at Elephantdrive. No current plans for tape at all. I welcome comments on this as it is still in planning stages.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I check my local computer shops the last time I lost the drive in the NAS box; no one has tape drives or tapes for retail to the home user market in my area.

razz2
razz2

Tape is not dead, or even close to it but it not the first choice in every environment. For a small one office shop of 7 users and no full time IT, Use a DVD or a set of portable drives or flash drives if you want or just put a DAT drive in the server with one-button IDR and have an assigned tape changer. Have the logs sent to the consultant. Larger shops, the industry has migrated to a D2D2T system in many areas as NAS or SAN gives faster windows for both backup and restore but then there is the offsite issue. DVDs are more fragile than tape when exposed to lots of moving, and at 4.7 GB they are useless if you have a good amount of data. LTO 3 at 400/800 GB per tape provides huge capacity, portability, and cost effectivness. Yes the drive is expensive but depending on compresion ratio that is .15 - .075 per GB. LTO 4 at 800/1.6 TB per tape is about the same. With real world jobs running at 500 MB/min that is not too bad. Bottom line is how much data the center has and what will allow onsite, offsite, and even possibly 3rd party disaster recovery storage. Online storage is great in some situations but are you going to take that 3 LTO3 tape backup and try to transfer it online? I doubt it but again it is like so many things in our business. It is grey, not black & white. Tape? Sometimes.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...shortly after it took more than a dozen to back up a system.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

How many DVDs and what capacity do you use? I can't see replacing each of my 200 gig LTO tapes with a stack of 40 DVDs.

deepsand
deepsand

Factors such as its size, its frequency of creation and/or modification and/or access, its sensitivity, the retention requirements, both practical & legal, all must be considered before determining the best media & recording methodology to be used.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

And don't recognize the South Carolina flag? The sabal palmetto is the state tree. During the American Revolution, a fort was constructed of palmettos in defense against a British bombardment. The tree trunks proved so spongy, the cannonballs bounced off instead of shattering the wood. The crescent moon in the corner is the same as the uniform device worn by those defenders.

helpdeskdude
helpdeskdude

What does the blue flag stand for or mean? Just curious. Thanks Alan

aatramps
aatramps

DVDs are not a reasonable alternative in my view either. The numbers get silly quickly. That's why I am planning on online storage. It gives me automatic geographical separation and their own backup of my data is also geographically separate plus multiple copies on that end as well. I still keep local backups on the backup server and the original data is on RAID 5. There are DVDs in the mix but only for bare metal restores where I need to get my base system running from scratch and then reload the data from either the backup server, or from online service. It makes sense to me, but I am always open to suggestions.

Genera-nation
Genera-nation

they are some magic Doovads the size of a round trampoline. It takes two of them to load the HUGE writer and transportation is comical. Who knows.