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Using Compression for Backups

By aspiring_one ·
I have a Quantum DLT 4000 tape drive that is 15 GB/30 GB depending on whether or not you enable compression. I can enable it using the ARCServeIT software or by adjusting the settings on the backup drive itself.

I could, of course get more storage space by using compression, but I'm not sure if it is the best thing to do. Someone told me once that compression wasn't as reliable and it wears out the backup tapes sooner than if you don't use it.

Can someone verify this for me and tell me whether or not software compression works better than hardware?

Sorry, I don't have anymore points to give. This question took my last 20.

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Using Compression for Backups

by mark_lt In reply to Using Compression for Bac ...

Not a real answer but just use the hardware compression on the drive itself, that will be far more efficient than ARCservIT.

We use the same software and just leave it to the drives to compress the data. You will also find the backups take a lot longer if you use software compression.

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Using Compression for Backups

by aspiring_one In reply to Using Compression for Bac ...
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Using Compression for Backups

by garetjax In reply to Using Compression for Bac ...

Turn on hardware compression within your ARCserve application. You will get increased throughput on your nightly backups.

Software compression is a "bad" thing because it forces your backup server to perform compression instead of concentrating on performing the backup. HW compression is built into the DLT drive.

FWIW, you will NOT wear out your taps any faster using compression. If anything, you might get a little extra life out of them because you are using only half as much tape each night :-)

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Using Compression for Backups

by aspiring_one In reply to Using Compression for Bac ...
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Using Compression for Backups

by wayne.maples In reply to Using Compression for Bac ...

hardware compression vs software compression

backups will be faster with hardware compression. This may or may not be important depending on your backup needs (number of servers needing backup, hours available for backup, ...). Hardware compression/decompression is fast (relative to software compression). Additionally the backup server is not forced to burn CPUs running the compression routines.

tape lifetime:

tapes have a certain shelf life. Tapes have a certain number of times they can reliably be written/read. The issue is wear on the physical media.
Whether compression is used or not, the bits are turned on/off on the tape. The media is not compressed, the data is. Whether is 50% or 100% of the tape that is written X times, the tape is a certain distance down its life time.

Obviously if compression allows one to use fewer tapes, there is a significant cost issue.

-Wayne

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Using Compression for Backups

by aspiring_one In reply to Using Compression for Bac ...
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