FORUMS: list search recent posts

Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?

COW Forums : Archiving and Back-Up

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Tim Dowse
Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 6, 2013 at 3:32:56 pm

I was just wondering if anyone could confirm that above setup should work for an archiving solution. Anyone with actual experience, please let me know if it's working for you. If my post betrays my inexperience with these things, please accept my apologies - feel free to direct me to any resources where I can learn more about this stuff.

I currently have pairs of hard-disks for each project. One a working scratch disk, the other a backup. When projects are "done," or have been going for a long time, or disks become full, I want to create tape archives for long-term storage. Please note that I do not require frequent access to tapes, and when I do access them, they will be used to restore entire hard drives that have failed. They will not be used to find specific files etc.

So, I'm looking at:

A Tandberg LTO5 external drive
An Atto PCIe H680
The Tandberg LFTS software
My Mac (still running 10.6.8, but could be upgraded)

Does that sound reasonable?


Return to posts index

Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 6, 2013 at 4:37:51 pm

Hi Tim,

I always try to stay away from marketing responses, but I've been in this industry for over 28 years and LTFS is a nightmare in expensive marketing hype clothing and an invitation to unexpected data loss. I'll just drop these links on you:

http://knowledgebase.tolisgroup.com/index.php?View=entry&EntryID=263
http://ww2.productionbackup.com/BRU-vs-LTFS

Backup and archival should be all about restoring your data, and restoring means that the data had to be written to the tape in a reliable manner to start with. There's a reason why BRU has been around for 27 years. Oh yes, all BRU products work great with the Tandberg Data tape solutions.

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


Return to posts index

Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 6, 2013 at 8:38:26 pm

Hi Tim,

Thanks for this info - I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. The thing is you guys have an incentive to steer people away from LTFS - do you have any non-TOLIS resources that I could read? It's like reading a Microsoft article about the limitations of googledocs ;-)

I can see that LTFS is limited compared with BRU, but I'm not sure I need all the functionality that BRU offers. I have a very limited amount of money to spend (I don't control the budgets where I work, and a little extra cash appeared out of nowhere), and I would like to get tape-based archive. An extra $500 for BRU might be out of reach - I might be able to justify it, but I need a little more info to go on.

The only issue in that list that really concerns me is no verification.

Tim Jones Backup and archival should be all about restoring your data, and restoring means that the data had to be written to the tape in a reliable manner to start with.

Clearly you are right of course. Is there information specifically about the unreliability of writing to LTFS tapes because that isn't addressed in your link directly.


Return to posts index


Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 6, 2013 at 8:49:16 pm

If ignore the comparison and just read the caveats list, it's not specific to BRU or subjective opinion, but rather to the shortcomings and limitations of using LTFS. We've invited the group at LTO.ORG (ne LTFS.ORG) to refute ANY point and we will be happy to drop that list. It's now been 3 years and the list still stands.

And don't get me wrong - we're not completely against LTFS as BRU PE provides support for LTFS tape creation and management. We just want to make sure that people get the balance of both the good and bad (and LTFS.ORG is only touting the good in their marketing). It's better to be aware of the issues and limitations listed on the caveats list ahead of time than to be caught up in a mess because you weren't aware of them.

LTFS is great if you just need to swap some tapes, but BRU is there for long term archival by providing truly verifiable and audtiable tapes. On the other hand, so many studios, VFX shops, and post houses also use BRU that even for interchange, the story is a bit weak.

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


Return to posts index

Bob Zelin
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 7, 2013 at 9:35:30 pm

Tim writes -
An extra $500 for BRU might be out of reach - I might be able to justify it, but I need a little more info to go on.


I am not aware of any free solutions that works on Mac OS X - period. Cache-A is a proprietary solution for their hardware. There is Tolis Group BRU, there is Retrospect, and there is the new
Imagine Products Pre Post Roll, which is LTFS only, and as Imagine Products states in their description "affordable LTO archive system" which is $499. I was unaware of any OS X Tandberg software solution for LTO. Solutions from Archiware Presstor start at $1500. So exactly what are you looking to spend for this solution ? I am unaware of any free or $39.95 solution on a Mac.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


Return to posts index

Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 8, 2013 at 2:43:08 pm

Thanks for your input everybody. This feels like such a murky, dark underworld to the uninitiated.

Bob Zelin I am not aware of any free solutions that works on Mac OS X - period.

I thought that this was the Tandberg free LTFS solution. Is that not right? (he said trembling, preparing to be publicly humiliated)

Kevin Francis That is the cheap way to go, but I think if you tried it awhile you'd be disappointed.

What do you mean disappointed exactly? I can deal with clunky and slow, but obviously not so much with complete failure. I do understand that LTFS has limitations, but literally all I want to do is clone hard drives to tape, and put tapes on the shelf until such time as two hard-drives simultaneously fail, when I will restore from the tape archive.

Having read about the potential issues of trying to copy multiple files at the same time, I intend to make disk images, and copy the whole image file to tape. I have a machine sitting around that can do this in the background, so it won't slow my work down at all really.

Just seems like $500 for such simple functionality is a lot, especially when LTFS at least on paper will do this for free. I won't be doing this every day... perhaps something more like once a month.


Return to posts index


Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:13:22 pm

"Just seems like $500 for such simple functionality is a lot, especially when LTFS at least on paper will do this for free. I won't be doing this every day... perhaps something more like once a month."

That's like saying that $999 for an NLE is a lot for such simple functionality as an editing suite.

If it was easy to do tape I/O on computer systems, everybody would be doing it. And, since Apple has set the bar to entry pretty high because of the complex nature of the low level API, it's even more difficult on the Mac than on other platforms.

Remember, you're paying for the free-ness of LTFS by taking full responsibility for its operation if something doesn't work. With the paid solutions, you get both a better user experience and someone to call if you have questions or run into an issue.

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


Return to posts index

Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 8, 2013 at 3:41:09 pm

Tim Jones That's like saying that $999 for an NLE is a lot for such simple functionality as an editing suite.

I think it's more like comparing a pro NLE to iMovie. If someone asked me what software to use to take one clip, put it next to another one, and then export for youtube, I would recommend iMovie, despite me using PP everyday for work. If I don't need BRU's excellent functionality, is it not reasonable to look for cheaper solutions?

Tim Jones Remember, you're paying for the free-ness of LTFS by taking full responsibility for its operation if something doesn't work.

I understand that. I know a better user experience and customer service has a value. I'm trying to do some kind of cost-benefit analysis - and at this point I remain unsure as to whether the benefits of BRU are worth the cost.


Return to posts index

Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:04:02 pm

I'm definitely not faulting your logic, and knowing the issues that can evolve with LTFS means that "I" could definitely make it work, but "I" have over 30 years involved in system backup operations and using tape in its various formats.

The question that you need to keep in mind is "if I lose one 1.5TB LTFS tape, how much will it cost me to recreate the data?" Don't get me wrong, I'm not implying that BRU's format can save you from a physically lost or damaged tape, but at least we don't list circumstances that can cause complete tape content loss through normal use of a tape as LTFS does. For example, if you are in the middle of a BRU-based backup and you lose power, you can recover everything that was written to the tape up to the point of power loss. With LTFS, you've lost the whole tape's contents - even stuff that was successfully written previously to that tape.

I agree that the "proof is in the tasting of the pudding," so run with LTFS for a while. If you do determine that you need more, while I can't speak to the other solutions, BRU will be here to help you out.

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


Return to posts index


Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 8, 2013 at 4:22:16 pm

Tim Jones "I" have over 30 years involved in system backup operations and using tape in its various formats.

which is experience I really wish I had at this point... And I very much appreciate you taking the time to answer my concerns. I am obviously a newbie, but I do like to take on new things, and I flatter myself that I'm a fast learner. Having read your earlier list of caveats to LTFS, they all seem like things I could work around. The only exception being the unavailability of validation. If there's good evidence that LTFS-based writing to tape was error prone, then I'd be majorly concerned.

Tim Jones if you are in the middle of a BRU-based backup and you lose power, you can recover everything that was written to the tape up to the point of power loss. With LTFS, you've lost the whole tape's contents - even stuff that was successfully written previously to that tape.


This is an interesting point. But for this to happen, I will need two have two simultaneous hard drive failures, followed by a power loss while I attempt to restore the drive. One hopes that this is an extremely unlikely occurrence. In the three years I've been working here we've had one power outage. I mean, one can always think of circumstances where all data is lost - but one has to draw the line somewhere. At this point I'm not archiving to tape at all, so it will be a big step just to add that to my current storage system.

Tim Jones so run with LTFS for a while. If you do determine that you need more, while I can't speak to the other solutions, BRU will be here to help you out.

And I will gladly eat large helpings of humble pie while you repeatedly tell me "I told you so" :-) Seriously, thanks for your input, I really do appreciate it. And for what it's worth, BRU is basically the only paid for option I've even considered, so I would be coming straight in your direction.


Return to posts index

Bob Zelin
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 9, 2013 at 10:01:27 pm

Tim Dowse writes -
I thought that this was the Tandberg free LTFS solution. Is that not right? (he said trembling, preparing to be publicly humiliated)


REPLY - OK Tim, I have to ask, since I was 100% unaware of the Tandberg LTFS OS X software that you posted. HOW COME YOU HAVE NOT TRIED IT ? When we see new software, or 10gig card, or switches, etc. that look cool, we try it, and then we say "wow, this works great", or say "boy, this was a useless piece of junk". This is how we got started with BRU (which we tried, and was great, and we use it all over). It's not like you have to spend a lot of $$$ to try the Tandberg LTFS software to see if you can do a simple archive and restore. So my only question to you is "how come you have not downloaded this and tried this, to report back how it works".

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
maxavid@cfl.rr.com


Return to posts index

Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 9, 2013 at 10:38:29 pm

Hi Bob and all,

LTFS is LTFS in the manner in which it works. All of the major vendors are simply repackaging the default code produced by IBM back in 2010 with the minor updates that have occurred.

Since we have the LTFS source code and build our own version here to provide purchasers of the TOLIS Group version of the HP tape solutions, we are fully invested in testing the versions of LTFS that are available for OS X, Linux, and Windows. This is how we know that our caveats list still stands as correct after over 3 years.

On the other hand, what we do not test are the add-on packages like Crossroads or Codex and the like as these are not LTFS but rather those companies' custom wrappers and extensions to the LTFS format.

Therefore, whether you're getting your primary LTFS drivers from HP, IBM, Tandberg Data, Imation, Quantum, or any other drive vendor for OS X, Linux or Windows, the core to the LTFS mechanisms is the same. And, all of them will tell you the same thing when something gets sideways - it's open source software.

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


Return to posts index


Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 5:24:03 pm

Sorry, Bob - I got my Tim's confused :)...

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


Return to posts index

Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 11, 2013 at 9:11:05 pm

Bob Zelin HOW COME YOU HAVE NOT TRIED IT ?

I have not tried it because I don't have an LTO drive. I downloaded and installed the software, and it opened. So that much is good.

I am trying to figure out (given the money I have available) whether I can "get away with" a tandberg LTO-5 drive and free software. If not, then I'll need to spend on BRU, meaning that I'll have to get an older drive like LTO-1 or 2. I'd prefer a bigger capacity cartridges and open-source formatting if I can get it to work.


Return to posts index

Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 5:23:34 pm

Hi Tim,

What kind of budget are you looking at? Our LTO-4 solution is still very viable (800GB/tape at ~90MB/sec) and the full bundle price including BRU PE is $2,699 and includes everything form the ATTO SAS card to the cables and starter media.

Check out: ArGest Desktop Bundles

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


Return to posts index


Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 5:43:38 pm

Tim Jones What kind of budget are you looking at? Our LTO-4 solution is still very viable (800GB/tape at ~90MB/sec) and the full bundle price including BRU PE is $2,699

I can get the bundle at the top of this thread for just over $1800. I know people will laugh at how little I want to spend, and if I was working in my own shop it would be a different story... but I can't stretch to $2700... the money just isn't there (I don't control budgets where I work).


Return to posts index

Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 6:05:56 pm

Not trying to throw a wet towel on your find - and that is a good price, but does that $1,800 include the external drive, ATTO ExpressSAS H680 and the SAS cable?

I know the physical costs of these items and anyone selling them as a bundle for that price is either taking a loss, selling refurbished, limited warranty items, or selling gray-market units that were originally sold to another OEM. Double check with the vendor that these are not refurbished and that the full manufacturers' warranties are in affect from the time of YOUR purchase.

Just use caution as there is a reason why everyone else's prices are higher on these things.

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


Return to posts index

Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 12, 2013 at 6:40:50 pm

It's the supplier that we have a state contract with. So I'm assuming it's legit. Not sure why it's that low.

I appreciate all your input on this issue, thanks Tim.


Return to posts index

Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Oct 7, 2013 at 7:46:10 am

So Tim, what did you end up getting?

I'm curious because I was in your boat about a year ago. After mulling over various options, I went out and got a Tandberg LTO-5 and Atto SAS card. Popped it into a MacPro and thought (like you) "I could use the extra $500 so why bother with BRU-PE".

I tried Tandberg LTFS and try as I might couldn't get it to work reliably. Some tapes formatted some didn't, some mounted some didn't. Maybe it was some Fuse incompatibility maybe something else. Changed systems too. A newer MacPro system worked slightly better.

Eventually went and got BRU-PE. Just bought it didn't even bother with the demo. I was handling data for a multi-million dollar feature and simply couldn't take chances with LTFS tapes.

A year later I'm happy to say I've managed data for about a dozen features all with BRU. Did a few restores as well. Bought a second drive and second BRU for one of my clients. Then last week another LTO-6 and another BRU for another client.

Just today I reexamined LTFS as some clients are asking for an 'open' solution. So I downloaded the OEM LTFS package at Tandberg site and managed to make LTFS mount as a drive. I dragged and dropped a folder on to the tape and then tape began whirring away.

After about 15mins I got the Mac -36 error some file couldn't be read. It was a Compressor droplet. Which when double-clicked on the source worked fine. So I tried the copy again, this time just the unreadable file. Again same error. I copied the same file to another drive and it copied, but LTFS simply didn't like it.

So I've postponed trying out LTFS for another day. Maybe LTFS works better with IBM or HP tape drives.

Maybe your experiences are better hence I'm curious to see how you're managing with LTFS. For me, BRU is doing fine. Maybe LTFS works better with IBM or HP tape drives.

People who use StorageDNA seem to have better experiences with LTFS. Or maybe ProRoll Post which is also LTFS based.

I'm now going to start a large portable backup at a client site with BRU-PE running on a 15" MBP and driving a Tandberg LTO-5 drive off a Thunderbolt - SAS converter which is an Atto SAS inside a Mercury Helios. Done test runs. Seems to work. Will try with a large set of data and see.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


Return to posts index

Tim Dowse
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Oct 7, 2013 at 2:34:07 pm

Hi Neil,

This is funny timing. I did end up getting the package described at the top of the thread, but it just arrived a few days ago. The ATTO card installed and worked perfectly in my MacPro (from 2010, running 10.6.7).

The drive connected to the computer. I used the Tanderg LTFS to mount my first tape just a couple of days ago. It mounted fine. I copied about 900GB of files, and they all copied fine except there was an error message with the very last folder. Didn't get to the bottom of what that was, but managed to copy one of the two files (the other was just a re-coding of the original file anyway, so I just left it at that). Unmounted fine. Now I need to get more tapes and see if the error message re-appears.

Sadly, I'm leaving my current position so won't get to continue testing this. My advice to my successor will be to try a few more times with LTFS. If there are still issues, then BRU is the next choice.

The most important thing I guess is that the drive/card/computer combo works. If we need to spend another $500 on BRU so be it. Will make that decision later.


Return to posts index

Mel Feliciano
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 13, 2013 at 8:55:37 pm

Tim Dowse, thank you for this thread. I'm in the same boat as you. I had a look at the bundles offered by Tolis Group and figured that even though their prices are not too bad, I can save money if I buy only the parts that I need. For example, I don't need an HBA since I already have one. The one year support is nice to have but many times, just like extended warranties, is just a peace of mind insurance that we seldom use and if we need to, it usually turns out in a very unsatisfactory experience that does not meet our expectations as customers. I usually get better support from the forums. Tim Jones here has been very helpful, and he is the reason I would purchase BRU PE if the less expensive alternatives don't work. Bob Zelin with his vast knowledge and experience also offers a lot of good info and advice, but I'm afraid he tend to focus more on larger, high-end operations.

It is not about being "cheap". It is about new markets and business models. There is a huge market of freelancers and independent producers that have the same problems and concerns (albeit in a smaller scale) as the big television networks; how to backup and archive hours and hours of content (Terabytes of data). We need companies to do to the LTO archiving market what Apple and Blackmagic Desing did to the video production market..."Democratization".



Return to posts index

Tim Jones
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 13, 2013 at 9:27:59 pm

Keep in mind that the bundles and pricing shown are "general" in nature. As it mentions on the web site, we're happy to adjust the package contents for HBAs and cables if you're already set.

As for our support package, I believe that anyone that has interacted with our team will quickly admit that we stand behind our support plans. Also, unlike so many other vendors, that 1 year of support includes all updates / upgrades to the software that's included with the bundle.

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


Return to posts index

Kevin Francis
Re: Tandberg LTO5 + Atto HBA + Mac + LFTS = reasonable?
on Aug 8, 2013 at 12:53:07 am

I definitely wouldn't recommend using LTFS with the barebones software packages distributed by HP and IBM, at least on a Mac. That is the cheap way to go, but I think if you tried it awhile you'd be disappointed. But in the $500 range you could use PreRollPost, as Bob mentioned, which makes LTFS much more effective and eliminates many of the pitfalls mentioned in the BRU article Tim linked to. And of course, for about the same price there's BRU, but don't plan to use it for LTFS, best to use BRU format if you go that route. Retrospect is a little more expensive, but its a proprietary format as well, and not as user friendly.

Archiving to tape is a good thing, all of these products have demos available, so try them out and see what works best for you.

Kevin



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]