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LTO-4 and Power Mac G5

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Martin SautterLTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 20, 2011 at 10:10:38 am

Hi everybody,

First I hope this is the right forum for my question.

My boss asked me to bring up a solution for buying and connecting a LTO-4 drive to a Power Mac G5.

I googled the last 5 hours to get at least a idea what possibilities are out there. But I really got stuck.

Does anybody have experience with LTO-4 connected to a G5. Of course we would prefer to buy a SAS or Fibre Channel solution (no SCSI). But I don't know if there are/were SAS PCI-X cards out there.

Are there any recommendations? I really appreciate any tips, links or thoughts on LTO-4 drives or PCI-X cards.

thanks in advance

martin

Martin Sautter
Head of post production
Twin Productions AG
http://www.twin.ch


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Jeremy StrootmanRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 20, 2011 at 4:14:17 pm

Martin,

Check out Cache-A. They make tape based archive solutions that deploy over a network. So, you can manage them from anywhere in the building. They have everything from small single tape at a time solutions to entire libraries with all the robotics.

http://www.cache-a.com/index.php

Good luck,

Jeremy


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Bob ZelinRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 20, 2011 at 5:52:18 pm

Jeremy,
you have made me laugh. Do you think this guys boss will spend $6995 for the Cache-A Prime ! NEVER EVER EVER EVER. Why do you think he is still using a Power MAC G5. He would rather be dead than buy a new MAC Pro for $2495 - he is looking to use his old dog G5 with some LTO4 off of ebay (some bare bones Quantum probably) to do this for no money. I will bet you anything, this is the case.

Absolutely, the Cache-A Prime is the perfect solution, as it does not require a PCI card at all, and just plugs into your network, to do your LTO backups. But since bare bones HP or Quantum LTO drives use SAS/SATA interface, and products from LSI, Areca, and ATTO are currently only PCI-e, this ain't gonna work in his antique G5 (and can you imagine if you told him to spend more than $900 for an ATTO R380 SAS card for the LTO, even if it could work) - NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.

Tell your boss to get a crow bar, and crack open that wallet.

(yes, the Cache-A is the perfect, correct answer to your question).

Bob Zelin



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Martin SautterRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 20, 2011 at 8:33:19 pm

Hey guys,

thank you both for the reply. I knew that you would recommend me the Cache-A Prime. ;-) I already read a lot of posts about it. It is really just perfect in every way, I know! But not for my boss! Bob is absolutely right. And I indeed was looking on ebay for some stuff today ;-)

The problem is not the LTO dive, there are a lot out there, its more the lack of PCI-X cards to connect to a G5. As far as my research goes there are no proper pci-x SAS cards and the fibre channel lto drives are really expensive.

I think we will end up with a SCSI solution. (I really dont like the idea of buying a new lto-4 SATA drive). Maybe we can get a used ATTO PCI-X Ultra4 card. (They still cost 650 Swiss Franks new....puhhh)

What do you guys think about that solution? And what software can you recommend us?

I really appreciate your help, thanks

martin


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David GagneRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 22, 2011 at 1:13:28 am

Why LTO? I mean if you're looking to do this cheap just use SATA drives and stick them on a shelf like most cheapskates do? Do you have a large amount of data to back up? I mean for $1k you can buy 4 3TB drives to back up 12TB or 6TB and have two copies.


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Tom BucknallRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 22, 2011 at 10:16:27 pm

David, a hard drive's shelf is at best 3 years, provided you spin it up once a year to ensure it's still working.

An LTO's shelf life is 30 years, slightly more useful for archiving media.


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David GagneRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 23, 2011 at 5:15:18 am

Not gonna argue LTO vs Disk - just want to point out that LTO4's life is actually around 17 years according to wikipedia, and most enterprise disks have a five year life, and with RAID you can be pretty secure. Oh, and your G5 definitely won't be still going in 5 years... so...


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Roy PearsonRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 22, 2011 at 10:05:04 pm

I used an HP 1760 SAS LTO-4 on a G5 machine, but it had PCIe so I coupled it with an Atto H380. I used BRU PE software and everything worked great (I've since moved the LTO system to a Mac Pro because the G5 was repurposed).

So based on that, I think an HP SCSI drive and Atto PCI-X card would work nicely.


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Martin SautterRe: LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 24, 2011 at 12:18:33 pm

Hi everybody,

hope you all had a nice weekend. Thanks for all the replys.

The reason we want to buy a LTO is that we need to long-time-backup our 1000 (kidding) hard-disks.

I think the SCSI solution is OK, especially since LTO 4 doesn't require more bandwidth than SCSI offers. LTO 5 would definitely require SAS for 180 Mbps write speed. And as far as I learned PCI-X doesnt have enough bandwith for a SAN LTO-5 Solution. (right ?)


So any software advice? Is BRU PE OK?

cheers

martin


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Kyle LodgeTo MARTIN LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 26, 2011 at 11:48:12 pm

Hahaha @Bob always about the wallet!


Anyway couldn't help but notice that you were looking for some SCSI equipment. I know a great vendor if you are interested. Contact me privately at kylehb56@yahoo.com and I'd be more than willing to take care of you.

Cheers

Kyle Lodge


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marcus lyallRe: To MARTIN LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 29, 2011 at 4:46:41 pm

I have hooked up an LTO 4 drive (HP bought off ebay as Bob said) to a G5 via SCSI. We have gone through this in detail.
And it isn't pretty.

My experiences.

You need an ATTO SCSI card. Which will cost you money.
SCSI is way slower than SATA for LTO drives. 60mb/s vs 80-90 mb/s.
Buy good cables. No, the best cables you can find.
Or better still, buy a SATA drive instead.

We bought Bru Server. Very powerful. Good value. But....
Nightmare. Took ages to figure out how to use it.
It's built for IT tech heads.

Having run unix shell for days to figure out why it wouldn't go faster than 20 mb/s, we got an IT guy in who told us to change our SCSI cables and connectors. Then we got 50 mb/s.

But we never managed to get a successful backup and restore system working with Bru. It was way too painful. Bugs. Unix scripts. Crap.
(Sorry Bru, but we gave you a lot of money and it hasn't worked out!)

Then we got Archiware's Presstore.
Better than Bru, but pricier. Easier to use. Way better than Retrospect, which installs noxious things on whatever machine it is running on.

But having done our office move, it's spat the dummy. Now it won't restore! Could be hardware or software. IT guy coming back.

My advice....

If you install an LTO4 you will make yourself personally responsible for all the data that you decide to wipe off all those hard drives.
Do you want this responsibility?

No. You don't.

We spent WEEKS of wasted time trying to get this backup thing working.
Get an IT company to install it and make it work so you have somebody to sort it out when it goes wrong. Or this will take up a lot of your time.

Make sure the LTO's are not the only backup if you want to get to your data quickly. All of our data is backed up on hard drives elsewhere. The LTO's are in case of fire or acts of god.

Put aside 2 weeks of your life to make this backup thing happen.
And work out how you are going to back things up from now on.

I once said 'buy cheap, buy twice'.
When it comes to backup systems, it needs to be

'buy cheap, lose job.'

Good luck!!!



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Martin SautterRe: To MARTIN LTO-4 and Power Mac G5
by on Jan 31, 2011 at 9:43:33 am

Hi Marcus,

thank you so much for sharing your experience, thats exaclty what I need to know for sorting things out. User stories and first hand advices! We are in contact with our local IT-Crowds. I will ask them about the stuff you mentioned.

thank to everybody you guys are of great help

cheers martin


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