Tape Backup vs External USB Harddisk Backup

Discussion in 'Windows Small Business Server' started by Alan, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. Alan

    Alan Guest

    hi guys,

    We are currently backing up SBS2003 Basic edition via a 200GB USB
    external harddisk.

    We are considering to upgrade to a tape backup. May i know what are the
    advantages of using tape backup especially they are far more expensive.

    We are currently on raid 1 with 160GB SATA drive*2. Total used storage
    is about 52GB. In this instance, can we backup with a 60GB tape?

    many thanks

    Alan, Jan 2, 2005
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  2. Alan

    Ken Schaefer Guest

    In your situation:
    a) yes, you could backup to a 60GB tape. Most tape drives/drivers also
    support some kind of compression algorithm, so you can compress the backups.
    That's why you see, say, DDS4 quoted at 20/40GB. 20 GB is uncompressed, and
    40GB is an estimate of the maximum you could get using compression.

    b) tape drives allow you to have mulitple backups. Suppose you needed to be
    able to restore a document from 3 weeks ago. That's usually difficult if you
    only have the one hard disk drive (unless you only do backups every week).
    With a tape drive, you just keep buying tapes if you need more "point in
    time" backups. For very large data sets (hundreds of gigabytes, or
    terabytes), tape is the only reasonable way to have mulitple point in time

    c) tape drive more easily allow you to store backups "off site". If you only
    have the one external USB drive, it's fairly difficult to take that "off
    site" if you need it for performing backups at the time :)

    Ken Schaefer, Jan 2, 2005
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  3. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Hi there,

    That sounds like an ideal solution.
    Any backup tape products recommendations for a small size company.
    Alan, Jan 2, 2005
  4. to follow on to ken's response on uncompressed/compressed values --
    virtually all tape manufacturers show the compressed value as being twice
    that of the uncompressed (as in his 20/40 example). unfortunately, that is
    only a theoretical goal -- in the real world it would be better to expect
    maybe a 1.5 factor instead of a 2 factor in compression. thus, for a 20GB
    uncompressed tape, I would not expect to get much more that 35gb on it in a
    compressed format.

    I checked a backup I did yesterday on one server using 40/80gb DLT IV tapes,
    and I got about 62GB on that tape before it asked for a second tape.
    Kevin Weilbacher [SBS-MVP], Jan 2, 2005
  5. Alan

    Alan Guest

    I have being looking at several backup tape options.

    I will also like to use the backup device to backup my other
    workstations once a month. Hence an external backup device is preferred.

    However a lot of these backup devices are Scsi enabled but we have no
    scsi controller cards installed.

    I am considering USB2.0 tape backup options; is this as reliable as the
    traditional tape backup options? If so, what are recommended?
    Alan, Jan 2, 2005
  6. Alan

    Colin T Guest


    I've been using USB 2.0 Seagate (now Certance) Travan drives with Yosemite
    Tapeware and also Dantz Retrospect for just over 2 years now with no problems
    at all.

    Regards Colin.
    Colin T, Jan 2, 2005
  7. I don't recommend workstation backups. Have all data stored only on the
    server & use roaming profiles so that nothing is only on the workstation.
    Get a SCSI controller for the server. As for a tape drive, I know they're
    not cheap, but get one that can support quite a bit more data than you
    currently have. I personally like DLT drives - or SDLT or LTO/Ultrium if you
    can swing the cost. You're unlikely to ever have less data than you do now
    and it's much cheaper to invest in a good tape backup solution now than to
    try to recover from a total server crash later without backups. MUCH
    cheaper. :)
    I wouldn't go for this - there aren't many options out there anyway. SCSI is
    worth the money.
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Jan 2, 2005
  8. Hi Colin

    I am happy for you and your success with Travan but I must warn other
    readers that IMHO TRAVAN is a disaster looking for a place to happen!!!!!!
    Frank McCallister SBS MVP, Jan 2, 2005
  9. On Sun, 2 Jan 2005 20:30:59 +1100, "Ken Schaefer"

    I aggree with this, but can I just point out that the same is true
    (i.e, dated backup sets) for hard disk/other storage? SBS backup
    wizards anyway allow you to create a backup set, which outputs a
    single file to the target destination, and that file is reused in a
    set time period (i.e, one week). However, if the disk was to burn
    out, then you would loose all sets.

    Also tapes are easier to restore from, you don't have to worry about
    getting connections up and running, but for a small home based system
    like ours tape is not an option.

    Andrew Hodgson, Jan 2, 2005
  10. Alan

    Alan Guest

    great help guys,
    i am planning to purchase an Adaptec Ultra 160 Scsi controller card for
    the purpose.

    1 last question though, what are the advantages of using an external
    DLT/Ultrium tape drive instead on an internal one? The prices seems to
    be 20% more for the external versions

    many thanks

    Alan, Jan 2, 2005
  11. Alan

    Alan Guest

    I think i am going for a DLT backup solution :) from all the great and
    very informative advice from everyone here!

    Do anyone have any experience from FREECOM?


    This is very reasonably priced and i think will fit the purpose that we
    set out for.

    I can also opt for the same specification but at 70% more of the price
    with a HP branded one; or an HP ultrium backup at twice the price.

    Our server is an entry level HP proliant ML110 SATA server with 5

    many many thanks

    Alan, Jan 3, 2005
  12. Should be fine -
    I really like external drives because if there's any problem with the tape
    backup device, I don't have to unrack and dissassemble a server in order to
    get at it. Even to find its serial number for tech support. That said,
    there's no real difference otherwise.

    Have you checked with Dell? They sometimes have nice bundles (tape drive,
    controller, & cable)
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Jan 3, 2005
  13. I've never heard of them, and can't find any reviews. They're rebadging
    *somebody's* drive, though - there aren't that many tape drive
    manufacturers. Check out their support & warranty options & see what you
    think. I have never gone wrong with HP (or, slightly less enthusiastically:
    Dell) tape drives & support, and really don't like to skimp on this sort of
    thing, but I do understand budget considerations.
    Lanwench [MVP - Exchange], Jan 3, 2005
  14. Alan

    Ken Schaefer Guest

    The problem here is space. If you're backing up 50 GB, and you want to do
    one backup a day, and you want to have a month's worth of backups, you need
    to have a very large external disk: ~1500GB (or quite a few of them).

    With tape drives, on the other hand, you just buy another tape for each
    extra day that you want to keep your backup for.

    Ken Schaefer, Jan 3, 2005
  15. Alan

    FredS Guest

    I have had a LOT of trouble with a Certance Travan drive and Yosemite
    software. In fact I am removing the software today becuase of the
    unbelivable high cost of buying an Exchange Connector to back up the Exchange
    Server files. There isn't even a way to tell if compression worked or how
    much of the tape was used.

    I've also had to replace the drive and even replace the server itself to try
    to resolve problems.

    FredS, Jan 6, 2005
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