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USB Hard drive vs Tape

By TonytheTiger ·
Has anybody used USB hard drives as backup devices instead of tape?

We're staring at $15k to replace a broken tape library, but it seems to me that we could get a lot more for our money with the USB hard drives. They currently come in up to 400 gig sizes, which is more than enough to do a full backup of our entire network, so I was thinking this might be the way to go. I figure one a month for full (or two, when our data grows), and one or two to hold the incrementals between fulls. Of course, the drives would be treated just like tapes (offsite storage, etc).

What do you think, concept wise?

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by ozi Eagle In reply to USB Hard drive vs Tape

Hi,

Another option to consider is hot swappable external SATA drives.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to USB Hard drive vs Tape

Thanks for the reply. I like the USB option because no extra hardware is needed. And restores can be from any PC on the network with a USB port.

Right now we have 12 tape sets, 9 tapes each. Each set holds one full backup and a month's worth of incrementals (about 600 gig total) plus two spare tapes. The tapes were $85 each for a total of $8330 in tapes. 400 gig USB hard drives are less than 500, and if we do it the same way, we would need two per month which would be $12,000, but we wouldn't have to buy a tape library. But with the hard drives I would probably change the way we do it, probably one for the full each month, two rotated every other month for incrementals, and two spares for a total of 16, or $8000.

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by _Christian_ In reply to USB Hard drive vs Tape

Yes, I have. It worked fine for me, and it seem to be the way of the future.
Some manufacturers actually commercialse them as backup media, packages with backup software and quick intall software (for recovery).
Long-term tapes reliability is not that good, while Hard drive reliability still keep improving with time, so I would say it is now at least as safe as tapes.


Alternatively you can also use DVD-RAMs as backup medias (that is what I do at home).

The problem is that those are now hard to find, although the cartridges are still easy to find.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to

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by TonytheTiger In reply to USB Hard drive vs Tape

Thanks. I've already seen more tapes per hundred go bad than hard drives per hundred. DVD is not large enough (currently 280 gig on fulls, 6-11 gig on incrementals). I like the concept, and it addresses the concern2 the higher ups had (compatibility with other departments should a tape drive fail (What tape drive?) and security (lock them in the same safes we're currently using for the tapes!)).

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by TonytheTiger In reply to USB Hard drive vs Tape

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