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Re: Inexpensive archiving for tapeless media

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Andrew Richards
Re: Inexpensive archiving for tapeless media
on May 26, 2011 at 10:12:59 pm

[Eric Susch] "Do we know for sure that computer tape is more reliable than hard drives? I have to say, I was backing up to DDS-2 and AIT for years and I abandoned the practice because it was too slow, too labor intensive, and the tapes failed sometimes anyway. I've actually had more tape failures than hard drive failures so I'm not convinced about the superior reliability of tape. Anyone have hard evidence?"

Depends on what your criteria is for "reliable". This thread is discussing archiving, and your past experiences are with backup on obsolete formats. Tape is ideal for writing to and setting aside most of the time, disk is ideal for always-on applications. If you want storage you can reliably set on a shelf for years and still successfully access later, tape is intrinsically superior. HDDs have motors and bearings that will seize if not used regularly. That's why you will see many posts on these forums from people archiving to bare HDDs explaining that they spin them up avery few months just to make sure they still work. Tape is designed for archive duty, and LTO in particular is very sturdy. I can only speak from personal experience, and the 800+ tape LTO-3 archive I built for my old job is still restoring data from 2006 regularly and uneventfully.

Andy Richards

VP of Product Development
Keeper Technology

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