Have you used SATA or USB Tape Backups successfully?

By jdclyde ·
Hi Everyone,

Have need for a tape backup, the server does not have a SCSI controller and do not have the budget to add one.

I need a low cost backup solution, that includes looking at both the price of the drive as well as the price of the media for it. We currently have SCSI DAT72 on another system that is about to be phased out, so leaning hard to stay with DAT72 just so we don't have to invest in new tapes for a bit.

I have seen several tape backups listed online in the 500 to 700 range, some by HP looked good to me.

My question is, has anyone had any personal success or failure using either SATA or USB drives?

Both fit my budget (which is almost nothing). Not a lot being backed up and done at night, so I don't care about the speed of the backup. Just want one that will be dependable.

The server is a low end HP running Windows Server8.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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by oldbaritone In reply to Have you used SATA or USB ...

You mentioned that you don't have the budget to invest in a SCSI controller? As long as there is an available slot in the server, there are good SCSI controllers available for less than $100.

There's even an HP DAT72 tape backup New/Refurb-In-Box on eBay cheap. It's the USB version. I've used USB external drives a couple times, and my only complaint was speed. That was mostly an issue for restore; backup was overnight, "set it and forget it" and speed didn't matter. It was done by morning. Restore requests were somewhat of a pain, but again, just start it and walk away. But the SCSI drives tended to run noticeably faster.

Also, if the old server is being phased out, can you scavenge the DAT72 from the old server into the new server? That would seem to be the lowest-cost option.

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Don't trust the old drive

by jdclyde In reply to Budget?

It has been there for a while. It also won't be phased out as a server until the end of the project, so would need that server to continue to perform backups for at least another week beyond when I need this one up and going.

They are prepared to bite the bullet for around 600, and I am not willing to put my name/reputation on the line with used equipment just to save them a few hundred.

Thanks for the feedback! :)

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Not thrilled

We've tried both USB and eSATA drives, we've had reliability issues. Weird stuff, like a server crashing or locking up when removing or connecting the drive. That seemed to be server dependent, so it could have been bad drivers or hardware. But it definitely burned us! Once we found a hardware combo that worked, it seems to be OK.

Edit: in reference to HARD DRIVES, not TAPE DRIVES.


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USB Hard drive as backup device

by CG IT In reply to Not thrilled

Like Justin, ran into the server detecting the USB drive and the backup software using it with scheduled, automatic backups.

but, I still use the USB device as the backup source [use 2 identical devices]. I simply manually run the backups. One goes off site the other one stays onsite and we swap em once a week.

It's an inexpensive alternative to tape if you can do manual backups.

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Manual is not an option

by jdclyde In reply to USB Hard drive as backup ...

and I will not be the one taking care of this once it is setup, so it has to be as automated as possible.


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Will not be moved or disconnected

by jdclyde In reply to Not thrilled

This will be the one and only server when I am done, those are just the two interfaces I have available without having to buy a controller card.

I want tape so one can be off site in case of fire or theft.

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We just swap the drives

Yeah, I know what you mean. We swap the drives to take them off site. Every time I look at tape, it is so much more expensive than disc on a per-TB basis once you get to the big numbers, it seems like. But swapping external drives has a headache factor too, in that you need to make sure it gets the same drive letter, is formatted right, has the correct permissions on it, etc.

If you won't be dealing with it once it is set up, paying more for tape now will probably save them in headaches down the road.


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For my clients' linux servers....

by tbmay In reply to We just swap the drives

...I do the external drive thing. A trusted employee takes them off-site. They're rsnc'ed nightly.

I remember working with tapes for years very well. I remember a worn out tape, corrupted data, and unhappy folks.

Also, with the quantities of data we're dealing with now, the external drive just seems to be the better alternative.

You do have to coach the folks on procedures do they don't damage the drives though. That is a drawback.

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Col seems to know a thing or two about tape.

by seanferd In reply to Have you used SATA or USB ...

Probably not directly relevant, but current:;leftCol

Maybe he has experience with SATA tape drives.

I'm limited to quarter inch cassette drives that connect to a floppy controller.

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Which is not to say

by santeewelding In reply to Col seems to know a thing ...

That you cannot help with the more pressing issues of JD, his sons, and the wider universe of employment, self-worth, and how it all shakes out.

Darts, too.

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