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Tape backup or another server??

By mike_hutchison ·
On our network, I have 6 desktops running XPPro, Also have a dell P2600 server running Server 2003 STD. We are looking for a backup solution. I developed 1 using a dell tape driver. With all the licensing, software & media, it's around $3600. We paid along the lines of $3700-$3800 for the server itself. Would we be better off buying another server and using it as the backup? What might be some of the pro's & cons?
Thanks everyone for your help.

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by BFilmFan In reply to Tape backup or another se ...

Some things to keep in mind on tape backups:

You can use a server to backup, but it would still expose you to potential liability in the event of a disaster (say the buidling housing the server is detroyed by flood, fire, tornado, hurricane, etc.). You can store tapes off-site in a secure location where the storage company's insurance company takes the risk and not yours.

Additionally, there may be legal requirements for you to have tapes (SoX, HIPAA, Title 36, etc.) with which you may have to comply.

I'd check with legal and see what you are required to do and then make decisions from that point.

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by CG IT In reply to Tape backup or another se ...

Along with the first answer is convienence factor. If your the only IT guy there and you've got 6 desktops plus a server, all important stuff should be stored on network shares [preferably on the server]. You use tape backup on the server and backup the network shares. Now your mutli thousand dollar backup solution isn't needed in a SOHO environment. I use a Seagate Tapestor 40/80 Travan [ cringe at the hoots and paperwads...I know I know but its cheap] on the server and use the built in Windows backup program.

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by CG IT In reply to

note: using that method is a pain in the butt and it takes a LOT of time which is inconvienent but then SOHO care about $$ a lot more than inconvience.

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by Oz_Media In reply to Tape backup or another se ...

What or where?

Usually the most important thoing to consider is not how or what you are backing up to but where.

Adding another server would result in complete data loss in case of fire, theft or natural disaster, power spike frying the entire server room etc.

One of my clients had me backing up to tape stored in my home as it was a long way form their location, as a remote admin it was easy for me to restore lost or damaged files that wy too.

I would recommend a tep backup, and storing a copy or the original tape somewhere OFF site, such as taking the nightly backup home each day.

This way no matter what happens, no matter what hardware is destroyed, you have a copy. Now what if YOU get broken into? Well run a new backup the next day (as your server should still be okay) and just change passwords. Done deal and VERY secure.

Disaster recovery has become a MUCH more important issue that general data loss, don't worry about formats, worry about recovery.

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by razz2 In reply to Tape backup or another se ...

There are some great answers so far, but I thought I would
throw in my 2 cents.

A second server is not a backup solution. As has been
mentioned, a backup solution is one that takes into account data
recovery, or more to the point - 'disaster recovery'. Tape backup
provides for that. In the event of a complete disaster such as a
building burning down the offsite copies can be used to get a
company up and running. It also provides a better media
rotation than most other solutions. It provides a fairly low cost
media and easier transport. The cost allows a larger media pool
which can also help in the case of damaged or otherwise
inaccessable media.

CG IT mentioned a 40/80 Travan drive and was worried about
the comments. I for one am glad to hear someone admit it. Our
job as IT staff or consultants is not to require what we want and
snicker at less than that. It is to provide the best tools for a
clients needs while meeting their business' budget. Many small
offices don't do backups and would be well served to at least use
a Travan. On a budget they are fine and better than nothing. A
Seagate or Certance drive comes with Tapeware software too.
Either Tapeware XD or XE depending the model. The XE is a
single server software, and while not very robust, it is better
than the built in backup.

A step up might be DLT drive. A 40/80 might be less than $900
and media is around $35 I think. A DLT 80/160 can be had for
less than $1500 with 5 media and extra media is about $50. A
DLT drive might do 8MB min.

AIT is also an option depending on required data amount.

The bottom line is use tape, get a large enough media pool and
store some of the rotation off-site.

Good luck,


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by wolfgang In reply to Tape backup or another se ...

Since many years we use online service for backup. This is the most secure and cost effective solution. Check the web site CONNECTED.COM for more detailed information.

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