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Hardware Thread, Why Tape Backups are Still Necessary in Technical; Originally Posted by tmcd35 I'm sorry @ seawolf , but once again I'm calling hogwash! Done properly there is nothing ...
  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I'm sorry @seawolf, but once again I'm calling hogwash!

    Done properly there is nothing wrong or restrictive in disk based backups. After a careful risk-benefit analysis (yes one of those again), we determined that we could survive quiet comfortable on a proper disk based routine.

    On-site we have our main archivale backup's. These go off to a 24Tb rackmount NAS sitting in a remote building away from the main server farm. Backup is nightly, incremental, over fibre. We use Yosemite software that uses the concept of "virtual tape drives" to make encryption and media rotation easier than a straight robocopy script. This backup is primarly about restoring lost work. Compare to tape - it's instant.

    I've used tape before and the response to lost work was - It'll be restored in a couple of hours once I've found the right tape and fast-forwarded to the correct point. Now I simple say "I'll be restored by the time you've returned to your seat". Instant win.

    What about if a nuclear explosion somehow took out both buildings? All your backups will be gone - I hear you cry.

    No fear, aside from the fact if both buildings were taken out we'd have bigger things to worry about than availability of backups, I do take regular backups off site. Once a term to be honest (remember the risk assessment?). I take them home. Full robocopy of home folders, shared storage and every VHD. On an 8Tb NAS. You know what? I've never found one of these too big to carry arround...

    Attachment 24167

    ...And (you'll love this) It's RAID-5 as well

    Is that the Synology DS414? I have one of those for my own media and data. Absolutely love it! Once I'd put 4 X 4TB drives in it was quite expensive though!

  2. #32

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardinho View Post
    Is that the Synology DS414? I have one of those for my own media and data. Absolutely love it! Once I'd put 4 X 4TB drives in it was quite expensive though!
    You know I have absolutely no idea! Thats a stock image I pulled off google images. The real Synology is currently sitting at home - 15 miles away.

  3. #33

    seawolf's Avatar
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    “Truth is a hard master, and costly to serve, but it simplifies all problems.”

    So, how many of those 8TB NAS boxes do you have lying around to carry off-site once per quarter? One? Two? Unless you have a lot more than that (expensive!) that means you don't have any backups that go back further than a term or two? If that's the case, then you have a problem. What if the files you need to recover were important ones deleted a year ago (or 2 or 3). Yes, that happens. What happens if the single off-site archive you have fails to spin up or starts to throw errors? It happens. Disk-based backups are outstanding for speed, size, and recovery speed. They are not very good for long-term archive.

    But, whatever woks for you. I care little about trying to change your mind on the matter. My aim is to provide sound advice for those who seek it.

  4. #34

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    “Truth is a hard master, and costly to serve, but it simplifies all problems.”

    So, how many of those 8TB NAS boxes do you have lying around to carry off-site once per quarter? One? Two? Unless you have a lot more than that (expensive!) that means you don't have any backups that go back further than a term or two? If that's the case, then you have a problem. What if the files you need to recover were important ones deleted a year ago (or 2 or 3). Yes, that happens. What happens if the single off-site archive you have fails to spin up or starts to throw errors? It happens. Disk-based backups are outstanding for speed, size, and recovery speed. They are not very good for long-term archive.

    But, whatever woks for you. I care little about trying to change your mind on the matter. My aim is to provide sound advice for those who seek it.
    In my experience, schools don't have long term archives of digital data. There's no requirement for it in law. No school I've worked for has had data older than a year archived.

    If someone needs something more than a year old, they're out of luck. But then, that was the same policy when we used tapes too.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    In my experience, schools don't have long term archives of digital data. There's no requirement for it in law. No school I've worked for has had data older than a year archived.

    If someone needs something more than a year old, they're out of luck. But then, that was the same policy when we used tapes too.
    Legal requirements should really only be used as a minimum standard. I'm usually concerned more about protecting the data of the organisation I work for, regardless of whether it's required under law or not. Loss of important data can cripple or destroy a company or organisation.

    The law does require data be kept for more than a year here though in any case.

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    We use tape. We have about 50Tb of data storage and we back that up to a hard drive store on a DPM server, which then migrates longer term backups out to tape. We keep some of that data for 7 years due to financial and other requirements.

    We may be at the stage where we decide to put long term backups in the cloud once our current tape system (2 LTO5 drives in a 50-tape library) reaches its natural end of life, but we don't think that this is quite mature and cost effective for our needs to justify ditching tape before then.

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    I am confused as to the stated benefits of tape, if you have a robust backup plan with other solutions?

    For instance, our backups include VEEAM backups of VMs to a NAS in another building nightly (14 points), weekly backups to NAS in another buillding (4 points) Monthly backup to another NAS in same location as the nightly ones for achives and then 1 weekly in a fire safe and 1 weekly offsite at another school.

    I cannot see how tapes would make that any better? From the OP POV I shouldn't be without tape - can someone explain why I would need it?

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Legal requirements should really only be used as a minimum standard. I'm usually concerned more about protecting the data of the organisation I work for, regardless of whether it's required under law or not. Loss of important data can cripple or destroy a company or organisation.

    The law does require data be kept for more than a year here though in any case.
    The law here requires certain information to be archived for a variety of time-periods. All of that is stored as paper. (Again, this is the case in every school I've been in).

    You are trying to put your way of working onto ours - we simply do not need archives of digital work more than a year old. We've never had a need. I've had 1 request in the last 8 years for data that we no longer had, and that was a lesson plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    Tape should still be a part of EVERY backup routine. There, I've said it. And it's true.
    Can't agree with that at all, situations in schools are different. I don't think there is one method everyone should be using. they should do what fits their school best. I'm not sure looking at the enterprise, massive enterprise in this case (Google) will help either. There situation is different to schools in that they have a massive amount of data to backup.
    Last edited by nathan; 12th May 2014 at 01:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan View Post
    I don't think there is one method everyone should be using.
    I would agree with that, but I do think that lots of people dismiss tape because they don't have a proper understanding of its benefits and limitations vs. that of other solutions. Most of the people who tell me "tape is dead" certainly don't understand why - they're either vapid salesdrones that have no proper understanding of backup that are trying to sell me cloud solutions for backup or they're inexperienced sysadmins who are just regurgitating the latest "tape is dead" rant they've seen on reddit's /r/sysadmin or other similar homes to uninformed halfwittery.

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    SANDisk Enterprise SSD ( 4tb to start with ) and there is a road map for 8tb and 16tb Enterprise SSD's, not sure it relates to backups other than large capacities ??

    It's here, the 4TB FLASH drive: SanDisk rips sheet from the Optimus MAX

    Does that mean you will have to use the larger tapes such as per this article :

    http://www.itpro.co.uk/storage/22183...-185tb-of-data
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 12th May 2014 at 03:34 PM.

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    I always advise..... always use more than one backup procedure / solution!! Backup your Backups .. offsite and onsite!!

    You never know when Disaster may strike... and always test your recovery procedures... Be it from Tape, Hard Disk, Remote Storage, SAN, Offsite solution... whatever it is back it up and test recovery is a good way to stay safe. Here we Backup the local network to a SAN, which is NetAPP which is part of a failover cluster and mirrored. The NetApps are backed up - onsite to DotHill SAN's then that data is copied to DotHills at our other sites.

    I think Tape Was and IS a good solution... However.... I think the modern way that seems to be popular is external Hard Drives - for those that Can't afford a SAN. Whatever the medium is.... there's always a failure rate and we as IT people need to make sure that those failures are easily recoverable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    not sure it relates to backups other than large capacities?
    If you are backing data up to enterprise-class SSDs, you might not want to leave them powered off for too long.


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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    “Truth is a hard master, and costly to serve, but it simplifies all problems.”

    So, how many of those 8TB NAS boxes do you have lying around to carry off-site once per quarter? One? Two? Unless you have a lot more than that (expensive!) that means you don't have any backups that go back further than a term or two? If that's the case, then you have a problem. What if the files you need to recover were important ones deleted a year ago (or 2 or 3). Yes, that happens. What happens if the single off-site archive you have fails to spin up or starts to throw errors? It happens. Disk-based backups are outstanding for speed, size, and recovery speed. They are not very good for long-term archive.

    But, whatever woks for you. I care little about trying to change your mind on the matter. My aim is to provide sound advice for those who seek it.
    I'm not interested in changing anyones mind - or indeed suggesting one method is better than another. The point of my post was simply this, especially in terms of backups, each institution needs to do their own cost-benefit analysis on the subject and work out what is best for them be it tape or hard disk or a combination.

    Very little data in a school environment is actually that mission critical. Even less is protected by law. Where we do need to keep data longer, we have archival provision in both our on and offsite backups that take care of that need.

    You post assuming yours is the only right way. In truth, as with many solutions, the answer a little less black and white. I find tape in the capacities required to be costly, slow, and a pain to manage. I can see why using it is necerssary when other more user friendly alternatives exist.

    The most important thing to note about our data center - we're not Google and don't have Google's back requirements.

  15. Thanks to tmcd35 from:

    sparkeh (13th May 2014)

  16. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    each institution needs to do their own cost-benefit analysis on the subject and work out what is best for them
    ^This

    I think that this is a really important part of our jobs which is why it annoys me to see people criticising others because they are not "doing it the 'right' way" criticism which is due to their own inflexible thinking.

    I don't use tape. I used to but don't anymore, its a PITA. Our curriculum data is backed up to external hard drives, then copied to a NAS in another building and another external HD to be taken offsite. It works for us so that's fine.

    Sims data on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. We use our LA's offsite backup service for that.



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