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How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)

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Doug Weiner
How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on Apr 11, 2013 at 2:33:00 pm

I think I understand LTFS - which looks amazing. However, really what I don't understand is how to back up 20TB across LTO tapes, so that if I have to restore an entire 20Tb raid, how do I keep the file structure intact.

Ok from another viewpoint. The Raid is already built with a bunch of 2 TB folders and of course subfolders. Various software already has useful links to the Media, Adboe, FCP7. LTO5 tape will give me 1.5Tb or LTO6 2.5 TB per tape. How do I maximize my tapes without having to manually figure out how to split folders to fit on a tape, (or restructure my Raid). Also during a restore, I don't want to manually recombine folders. I guess what I am looking for is a piece of software that auto-splits folders to fit on a tape. Oh yeah, cheaper is better - if it works.

Thanks
Doug


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Tim Jones
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on Apr 12, 2013 at 3:30:27 pm

Trying not to sound like a commercial here, but BRU will allow you to backup the entire array as one job, using each tape until it's full and moving on to the next. Also, BRU will keep your catalog for ALL of the data and tapes online so that you can search for a file, folder, or any combination, even if the tapes are in the vault.

Tim

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


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Eric Weiner
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:00:04 am

I have the same problem, and just bite the bullet and separate out folder manually into bite size chunks. I have a Cache-A unit, which can also span tapes, but if you lose one of those tape in a span for what ever reason, you don't only lose the tape, you lose everything it is spanning too. I keep a very detailed log with instruction on how to re-stich a tapes together in the same folder structure.

Pain in the butt, yes. But as far as I know all LTO tape solutions that can span tapes in the affordable range (less than 10K) have the same issue with each tape being criterial to back up.


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Tim Jones
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on May 7, 2013 at 3:58:14 pm

A complete LTO-6 BRU solution is $4,799.

As to the spanning issue - remember, that even if you don't span and lose a tape, you've lost all of the data on that tape. You're right, you've lost the clip that spanned the tapes, but you would have lost that in the case that you lose a manually split tape as well. With BRU, all archival operations are atomic - each archive is self contained and has no dependence on another archive. In the same consideration, each BRU tape is atomic in that you don't need tapes 1 - 3 if you only need to restore a file from tape 4 of a set.

The key here is to examine how you manage your media. Take care of your tapes and your tapes will take care of you. If you properly track and control access to your tapes, you won't lose them and spanning won't be a concern. However, if you're constantly just throwing the tapes into a shoebox with no order, all you're doing is setting up a disaster in the making.

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


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Tom Goldberg
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on May 7, 2013 at 4:37:55 pm

[Eric Weiner] "I have a Cache-A unit, which can also span tapes, but if you lose one of those tape in a span for what ever reason, you don't only lose the tape, you lose everything it is spanning too. "

Eric's comment is really not correct. When you lose or damage a tape in a Cache-A tar spanned set, you may lose the ability to restore individual files or folders, but any remaining data in the set can still be recovered. With a Cache-A LTFS spanned set, as each tape within the set is a proper LTFS volume in and of itself, you really only lose whatever was on the damaged/lost tape.

We always recommend avoiding spanning or at least keeping spanned sets to a minimum number of tapes because that is just better archiving practice and recovery of subsets of your data will always be easier and faster.

It should be noted that Cache-A written tapes in tar and LTFS are both open formats and our tapes can be read on any Mac, PC or Linux system supporting those formats - I believe that today, that is not normally true of Bru or Archiware tapes.

Tom Goldberg
Cache-A Corporation
433 Park Point Drive #285
Golden, CO 80401
mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
http://cache-a.com




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Tim Jones
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on May 7, 2013 at 4:52:22 pm

It should be noted that Cache-A written tapes in tar and LTFS are both open formats and our tapes can be read on any Mac, PC or Linux system supporting those formats - I believe that today, that is not normally true of Bru or Archiware tapes.


Sorry Tom,

I'll have to call FUD on that statement.

Also, it's BRU, not Bru please - BRU a trademarked acronym.

BRU has long been truly cross platform - OS X, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, IRIX, HP-UX, A/IX, and 21 others - for more than 27 years (of course, only 12 for OS X). Plus, BRU automatically handles proper permission, blocksize and big versus little endian issues when moving data between platforms. Plus, we've been 64 bit internally since 1990 enabling support for large data sets on platforms where support existed (for example up to 16 Exabytes on Cray's Unicos, SGI's IRIX, and IBM's z-series and p-series families).

Also, Cache-A's tar tapes can't be read on OS X as OS X doesn't support tapes with either the GNUtar or BSDtar tools included.

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


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Tom Goldberg
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on May 7, 2013 at 5:18:18 pm

Very sorry Tim,

I did not mean to misrepresent your product nor start a posting war (nor mistype your trademark).

When I claim that tar can be read on a Mac, while not supported by OSX, there are several ways to do so, including, I believe a solution from you.

Is it not correct to state that BRU is a proprietary format?

Tom Goldberg
Cache-A Corporation
433 Park Point Drive #285
Golden, CO 80401
mailto:tom.goldberg@cache-a.com
http://cache-a.com




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Tim Jones
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on May 7, 2013 at 6:18:48 pm

Tom said: When I claim that tar can be read on a Mac, while not supported by OSX, there are several ways to do so, including, I believe a solution from you.

You are correct in that our TOLIS Tape Tools suite (available separately or included in BRU PE) will read tar tapes created on other platforms and make that data available for restore by the OS X tar versions. The point for my statement is that it's not as simple or as straightforward as your statement implied.

Tom said: Is it not correct to state that BRU is a proprietary format?

And I really love it when others toss around the "P" word like an epithet. BRU is proprietary, but as such is under the control of a single organization for maintenance and support. This is an important thing to consider since the current LTFS splintering debacle is a perfect example of how too many cooks can spoil the soup. In the so-called "open source" worlds of tar and LTFS, who does the customer call if they have issues with the mechanism? With LTFS, you're basically told that the source code is available, handle it. But how many post facilities or production organizations have low-level C/C++ programmers on staff that understand both the platform kernel's interface to tape and the low level working of tape drives to actually handle such a response? With BRU, they have one number to call.

It's also a non-issue since anyone can download a demo copy of ANY BRU product and restore a BRU tape on any platform for absolutely free. And, it's a simple, single operation installation that is far easier and less prone to the problems reported by various LTFS users who face the consternation of determining which drivers they require from which vendor for their platform and which additional components they must install to make things work. With BRU, it doesn't matter which vendors' tape drive (or even which tape technology) the user has, BRU simply installs and works with that technology with no confusion. Heck, even AFTER the 30 day demo expires, users can still restore data with the demo copy of a BRU product.

Finally, we take our responsibility to our customer base very seriously. For our larger clients, we offer code escrow to cover their needs should our offices in Scottsdale, Bristol, Tokai, and Melbourne be stricken from the face of the Earth. It's also in our corporate by-laws that in the event that the TOLIS Group board and principals decide to stop doing this and move to a more peaceful existence of bull fighting or demolition derby driving, we will open source the BRU code.

Proprietary isn't a bad thing when the responsible vendor has taken the steps to insure that the technology is both ubiquitous and available with the customers' concerns fully understood.

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


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Mathieu Xavier
Re: How to copy 20TB to LTO 5(or 6)
on Apr 23, 2013 at 9:36:16 pm

Hi

As Tim Jones said Bru can copy your 20TB backup set seamlessly to multiple tapes. And so can Archiware P4 (soon to be P5).

All reasonable backup software can accomplish this task.

If you have video files maybe you want to use Archiware Archive to make video proxies. But if not then don't worry about and choose any reasonable backup software.

And that's the point. LTFS does not behave like reasonable backup software. The pro is that it acts like a regular filesystem, no tape backup software needed. That's a plus. The con is that backup jobs do not span tapes without your manual intervention. Maybe that's not so back for backup sets less than 2.5TB, but more than that then you need reasonable backup software to do the job. So you can save your time for something else.

For that matter you could buy Tolis Tape Tools and backup with Tar files from your Mac. That works too. Cheapest solution. Or use Linux and save on Tape Tools.

Cheers,

:)

DAM / SAN solutions

Mat X Network Consultants



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