Backup to Magnetic Tape and LTO7 Thoughts


  • Vendor

    Hey folks,
    I want to start a discussion and got two questions:

    Are you guys using the tape media as backup storage?
    Are you looking into upcoming LTO7 release?

    Thanks!



  • We aren't using any tape backup storage types right now, but I recently wrote a proposal for our backup appliance. Recommending LTO 6 at LTO 7 isn't released yet.

    The 400MB/Sec (1.4TB/Hour) performance is pretty quick, but faster would be nicer...



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    The 400MB/Sec (1.4TB/Hour) performance is pretty quick, but faster would be nicer...

    Kind of running at the limits of the physical engineering to go faster 🙂 You can run multiple in parallel. It's not RAID, but has a similar effect for performance.



  • Not using tape currently but with ransomware on the rise I find myself talking about it and recommending it far, far more often. LTO7 has been somewhat on my radar but not watching too closely.



  • Totally depends on what kind of backup scheme is needed.

    Had a 42U tape library in each of the DCs back at the big red V. The system had 8 drives and the ability to hold well over 2 months of tapes. We still had bottlenecks with regards to streaming data to them. But we were a multi-tenant environment, backing up hundreds of customers.

    For these small shops, tape makes sense for compliance issues. To keep backups offsite easily and with less of a chance for catastrophe. A nice D2D2T system will cover most everyone's needs.



  • Not using tape here, but I know lots of people that are still using it. My take on it is that it isn't growing in popularity nor going away. It seems to have reached a steady state where companies that use it keep it now and those that found that it was not for them have moved on.



  • Have a magnetic tape is a lifesaving, fast to recover and easy to keep months of data.

    Perhaps the main problem are the programs to manage the Tapes, I use Backup Exec but I don't like to much.



  • @iroal said:
    I use Backup Exec but I don't like to much.

    I think that about sums up the Backup Exec experience. I haven't tallied the numbers, but I think I've met more people who "used to use Backup Exec" than have ever heard of that Jesus guy. Is anyone out there still using it, and if so, what is the rationale? I imagine it has to be good for someone, but I'm not sure who that case applies to.



  • @art_of_shred It's easy. It was the program the company brought before I start to work here.
    I think I'm not the only one with this situation.



  • @iroal said:

    @art_of_shred It's easy. It was the program the company brought before I start to work here.
    I think I'm not the only one with this situation.

    You are not the first to be stuck with BE nor are you the first to be stuck with "what my company bought before." 🙂


  • Vendor

    I would not say LTO reached its steady state from technological perspective (although sales among tape vendors might).

    Check the LTO Roadmap – we are on LTO7 now.



  • I did have BE before. I wanted something that worked better with VMs and I wanted to move away from tapes.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I did have BE before. I wanted something that worked better with VMs and I wanted to move away from tapes.

    That seems to be what I hear most with regards to BE, and tapes.



  • @angrydok said:

    I would not say LTO reached its steady state from technological perspective (although sales among tape vendors might).

    Check the LTO Roadmap – we are on LTO7 now.

    No, not from a technology point of view. I mean only from a market one. It's not making huge leaps that would dramatically change its market position, nor is it falling behind the advances in, say, magnetic disk drives. It is advancing along a fairly predictable path much like CPUs do. Both have an amazing amount of research and advancement but neither is experiencing leaps that dramatically change how the market would see it.

    Tape is holding steady with the top spot in the market, but even LTO7 isn't going to make most SMBs or companies that have already left tape move back to it. For companies that need it, nothing compares to tape and LTO7 will certainly help to solidify that position with better retention, faster backups, lower cost (per TB, not per tape) and smaller storage (physical.)

    Tape is great when needed, which is often. LTO is where it is at, certainly.



  • Symantec (6+ years ago) had a completely different product that they wanted VM based customers to use instead of BE. I didn't want to manage two products so I bailed.


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