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Scott Goddard
LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 6, 2013 at 5:03:19 pm

As LTO6 is now shipping I am looking to round up a few solutions to fit different (mostly low) budgets.

These would be mainly single desktop drive with a SAS controller (PCI) Mac based setup.

My question is are there any reasonable integrations into CatDV to enable the archiving through CatDV alone?

The budget range is around $3K for a drive, SAS card, and the software to manage the tape.

I guess we are ruling out LTFS solutions because they are not ideal for archiving or perhaps this consensus has now changed?


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 6, 2013 at 5:59:55 pm

LTO-6 is ONLY available in SAS or Fibre Channel
The Only SAS HBAs that work properly with tape on the Mac platform are ATTO ExpressSAS HBAs
The ATTO ExpressSAS HBAs are only available as PCIe cards, so only Intel Mac Pro or the very last G5 Power Macs will work.

$3K won't even get you a bare drive from a manufacturer.

To get a full blown, standalone LTO-6 solution, expect to spend a minimum of around $4,800. LTO-5 is around $3,990.

As for currently available non-server tape solutions for CatDV Desktop, nothing's there "yet" ... watch this space.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Scott Goddard
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:10:13 pm

Hit the $ key instead of the £.. But yes around $5K is what I am looking at. BRU seems to be the most cost effective at the moment.

Is there any preference over LTO drives amongst Mac Users? HP seem to be popular. Anyone with experience of Overland?


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:17:21 pm

Keep in mind that Overland do not support the Mac platform directly. Right now, HP, Tandberg Data, and our bundles are the only places that you will see proper Mac support if you need help.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Scott Goddard
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 6, 2013 at 6:56:43 pm

That's good to know, thanks


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Pat Horridge
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 10:10:14 am

If budget is tight I'd go LTO-5, we did, with a storagedna system. And we went the LTFS route to help longevity rather than propriety software like BRU
At least with an LTFS tape all I need is the drive and a driver for the OS and I can read the tape like a drive. I can catalogue it and restore files easily.
Buck per TB the LTO -5 prices worked out best and even the tapes are better value.
And at 1.5 - 3 TB its just right for drive copies.

Pat Horridge
Technical Director, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
VET
Production Editing Digital Media Design DVD
T +44 (0)20 7505 4701 | F +44 (0)20 7505 4800 | E pat@vet.co.uk |
http://www.vet.co.uk | Lux Building 2-4 Hoxton Square London N1 6US


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Scott Goddard
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 10:22:14 am

Is the storage DNA system integrated with CatDV? I believe their system requires the worker node to assist in the integration?

How does everyone else feel about LTFS? I have read lots of arguments against using it as an archive system.


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Pat Horridge
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 12:11:11 pm

We're looking at CATDV integration via the worker node as an option but the StorageDNA setup comes with it's own server and web based job management and "miniMAM" solution as well and that's really quite nice and simple.
Curretnly the only true way to "Archive" (which needs to have an expected life of 100 years and be simple to retrieve duringt hat time) is printing back to film and I don't imagine many have that sort of budget.
So LTO isn't an Archive solution by that definition.
30 year life stated for the actual tapes (but most likley longer than that) And with a 2 version backwards read compatability our LTO-5 tapes will be good till LTO-7 which is on the development road track. Obviously LTO-6 buys you possible a few more years of player support.

We spent a lot of time looking at options and the technologies and a lot of players have vested interests in pushing their solutions and will of course work hard to find issues with alternative solutions. So finding a balanced view is near impossible.
We made the choice on LTFS based on it being a simple implementation and not being tied to a specific piece of software that would need to still be around in the future and need that OS available.
If LTFS gets included in future OS's in the future then it's even easier.
Teh really neat thing with LTFS is with the tape mounted I can browse to the StorageDNA server and actually read the tape in a shared folder.


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Scott Goddard
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 12:14:49 pm

The more I look into the more appealing the CacheA solution is especially considering it's integration with CatDV.


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Mark Raudonis
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 2:55:26 pm

I'll add another positive vote for "Storage DNA".

http://storagedna.com/

We've had our system in place for over a year now and it's been a savior in many ways. Only issue we've had is when some of our file names were, uh, unusual! I learned that some of our assistants were actually copying and pasting the URL for various stills into the filename!!! This created havoc. Solution. Don't do that! Obviously, there are certain characters that are NOT COOL in a file name string. Other than that, I love the abilibity to search the archive and selectively recall a specific file, not the entire tape.

Storage DNA has some interesting synergy with AVID as well if that's your NLE of choice.

mark



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Tim Jones
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 4:53:05 pm

Interesting thought about search and single file recall. I'd hope that any modern backup / archival solution would allow you to search your tapes offline and provide the necessary logic to restore a single file or folder. The way you said that makes me wonder - what tools were you using before that didn't provide this functionality?

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Pat Horridge
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 5:12:04 pm

Of course the StorageDNA job software and MiniMAM creates an Archive catalogue and you can search that without the tape being present and compile a restore "ticket" ready to run against the actual tape. It even has the ability to link that catalogue to a folder of proxy files for preview if you've created them (outside StorageDNA)

But it's still neat and "comforting" to a client to show them their mounted tape and what it holds just like a hard drive. For many we find they are far happier to see their content stored and accessible in a way they understand and not reliant on a software package for recovery.

Pat Horridge
Technical Director, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
VET
Production Editing Digital Media Design DVD
T +44 (0)20 7505 4701 | F +44 (0)20 7505 4800 | E pat@vet.co.uk |
http://www.vet.co.uk | Lux Building 2-4 Hoxton Square London N1 6US


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John Heagy
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 11, 2013 at 10:50:16 pm

Mark,

Are you using SDNA with CatDV or Interplay? I'm looking at Atempo and SDNA via CatDV.

John


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 3:17:22 pm

I agree with Pat about LTO-5 being a true bargain for long term storage. If you really aren't facing jobs that require 10's of TB of data in a single operation, the approximately US$900 price difference will purchase a lot of LTO-5 media (US$36.50 QTY 1 from us).

However, something that many base the longevity planning statements on - when LTO-7 ships, your LTO-5 devices and tapes do not become obsolete. Here we are, 12 years later, and you can still buy a brand new LTO-2 drive from HP. Why is this important? It means that as long as a capacity point (such as 1.5TB) works for you, you don't really need to rush out and update to the latest and greatest. We still have some customers actively using LTO-3 drives on a daily basis because each night's performance (including video capture) fits in 400GB.

On the manufacturing side of things, we expect a current device generation to have a minimum of a 15 year availability cycle. Therefore, it's a safe bet that you'll still be able to buy a new LTO-5 drive in 2026.

And, if you use a technology that supports full media migration (such as our BRU solutions), you can readily move your archived data to new technology (say LTO-5 to LTO-7) while retaining full recoverability - even if the technology is of a completely different type (those "gigaquad" chips from Star Trek).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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bryson jones
Re: LTO6 Budget Solutions
on Mar 7, 2013 at 5:39:03 pm

The following is an opinion and offers some things to consider beyond price. If you're choosing on price, then it's easy. Find the cheapest one and deal with it. There is really little to consider if that's your limitation. However, if you are looking to match the solution to your workflow and production, here are some thoughts.

Take with a shaker full of salt grains.

Evaluate a few. Dealers can demo them all for you and also discuss the real-world transfer times which vary WIDELY depending on your environment.

I've installed all of the systems you listed and all work well. The difference is all in their convenience, automation capabilities and speed, which depends a lot on your SAN, storage or network.

Consider the real-world use case. Will you actually pull a single asset back or will you most likely restore a group of assets? I'm about to make everyone mad here but in a lot of operations I've seen people tend to restore groups or folders or archives in bulk and so knowing "what tape is that on?" often trumps the actual file by file granularity.

(WARNING: Again this is based only on my companies experience and my opinion (!!)others may see more granularity in their deployed systems!!)

Pro Tip: Be careful that you don't spend thousands of dollars implementing a solution that you cannot adequately staff and support.

I personally like all of the solutions presented here. But they are vastly different and depending on your particular workflow, they may all fail or succeed in a specific environment.

Case in point, I did a consult on a project with a large SAN that was planning to use an unnamed system to do a "backup" of the whole system. I stopped the project when I noted on a conference call that the operation would take 6 months of 7 day weeks to complete on their current infrastructure. (No fault of the archive system.) They had to reconsider the whole plan after that.

For example, let's say a SAS connected system will pull 600MB per second theoretically. If you have a NAS that's only connected via gigabit ethernet, none of these systems will get full pipe speed (SAS) since the network's your bottleneck. You can use most anything and they will perform similarly. Choose by convenience price or another factor. BRU will be similar in speed to a Pro Cache or SNDA since they will all be using that gigabit pipe to see the storage. This is not literally true but you won't see anything like SAS speeds.

However, if you have a fibre SAN that can transfer 300MB per sec to an archive machine, you might want to ensure your archiving system can connect at that same speed either by direct connection or an upgraded network connection (10Gb PowerCache in the case of Cache-A for instance, or BRU and SDNA's SAS connection) if you need absolute raw speed in your rig. Most don't actually, but you may.

The box you think you might buy may or may not be suited to your environment, even within a single product line, so evaluate a few options with all variables considered. All of these solutions vary from a single drive to multiple drives and loaders.

If you have under 10TB, don't sweat it, buy anything (Not literally of course,.) But if you have a significant amount of data and need to secure that quickly, evaluate carefully and speak to your reseller and users in the real-world who will have accurate transfer times based on specific storage systems and network topologies.

Also, never forget that adding a MAM to your archive saves time on the restores, but adds greatly to time on the archive due to cataloging, proxy creation and tagging operations. I've seen people take months to archive data waiting on a slow proxy creation system to complete the proxy files. Plan accordingly.

bryson

bryson "at" northshoreautomation.com

northshoreautomation.com


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