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409 comments

Sudan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644685)

I was wondering if my fellow lefties can help me out here. As you are aware, there is currently a huge humanitarian crisis in Sudan. Some would even call it genocide. I have no problem with that. But what I can't seem to figure out is how the United States is to blame, as we usually are at fault.

Please advise. Thx.

Re:Sudan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644715)

Just blame it on the US.

What is there to figure out?

Re:Sudan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644733)

Hmm. Let me see. There was this bombing of an alleged chemical weapons plant in Sudan back in Clinton's times. This plant turned out to have produced medicals. As a result, tens of thousands of people died, because they couldn't get the medicines they required. See, it's still all your fault.

Since everything is dead... (4, Funny)

DarthBart (640519) | about 10 years ago | (#9644693)

I should stop using the tape jukebox system I have on my NetBSD box?

Re:Since everything is dead... (4, Funny)

why-is-it (318134) | about 10 years ago | (#9644736)

I should stop using the tape jukebox system I have on my NetBSD box?

I dunno... Has Netcraft confirmed that tape jukeboxes are dying too?

Re:Since everything is dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644870)

No, but they said Stephen King was feeling a bit off.

Re:Since everything is dead... (2, Funny)

Mick Ohrberg (744441) | about 10 years ago | (#9644936)

Geez, I can remember back in the old days when I tried to convert a DEC TU81 into a 9-track tape player...

If it ain't broke... (5, Informative)

GuyinVA (707456) | about 10 years ago | (#9644698)

We're still using tape back up, and will continue to do so. It works.

Re:If it ain't broke... (4, Interesting)

Jhon (241832) | about 10 years ago | (#9644770)

Yup. When I can get 10 or 15 2in x 3in sized doo-hickey that can store 80+ gigs at under $20-$30 per doo-hickey, I may change.

Although, we *do* also use live HD backups as part of our backup procedure -- just for a single nights backup. Sometimes you need to go back 5 or more days...

Re:If it ain't broke... (1)

skatull (166201) | about 10 years ago | (#9645032)

Not only do we still use tape for backup at my place of employ, we are still using a reel to reel(9348-001)for some (non-backup) applications.

But why oh why... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9645039)

Why are tape drives so expensive?? 20/40gb tape backup drive at compusa by Sony is 756.80! [compusa.com]

That's a lot of money for a home user... Sure, tape backups are what you use in a corporate setting, but for home use, my dvd burner is about as good as it can get (unfortunately).

Got any idea where I can get a sub 300$ tape backup system?

Hmmm... (0, Troll)

SaintBucky (791975) | about 10 years ago | (#9644702)

GNAA Announces Victory over Apple Community
GNAA Announces Victory over Apple Community

San Francisco, California - Just three days after being the first in the world to leak photos of Apple's upcoming revision to MacOS X, version 10.4, Steve Jobs announced to the world facts about the new Operating System consistent with information leaked by elite GNAA operator Gary Niger and prospective member Ron Delsner.

"We've pulled it off!", noted Niger during Jobs' announcement at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. "The GNAA plan was clever from the start with this one I think. When we received our leaked copy of the OS, we knew that by releasing only partial information and some screenshots, the association people would make with the GNAA would lead them to believe the screenshots were fake. Now that Steve 'Rim' Jobs has verified everything we leaked, we have managed to fool the entire Mac community. In essense, a few hundred thousand people have been trolled, a few hundred thousand people have lost. Though I do wish they have a nice day"

"I don't think it could have worked out any better; Every single one of the features shown in our screenshots, particularly Dashboard, which everybody called as fake, was demoed by Jobs. This is my revenge for being beat up on the rent", quoted Ron Delsner on being approached by reporters. "I've been wanting to join the Gay Nigger Association of America for quite some time, and knew that I help pull off something big if they were to let me in."

Delsner was right, as upon hearing this, Gary Niger immediately produced a vial of what he called the "Holy Gay Nigger Seed" from his front pocket, and asked Ron to kneel, at which time the Seed was poured upon Ron's head, making him an official member of the GNAA. Noticing the television cameras present in the press room, Gary cited that this was in fact the first televised induction of a member into the GNAA.

"But back to the troll", Niger said quickly after. "I had a sneaking suspicion that the homosexual caucasians of the Mac community would feel threatened by the GNAA's massive nigger cocks and immediately cast doubts upon any screenshots we produced for them. I saw this as an opportunity to troll hundreds of thousands of people. It just goes to show that GNAA is greater than j00, and that fristage postage is mine."

And Niger certainly did not fail it, as can be seen from the following excerpts taken from various Internet website's covering the leak:

ThinkSecret.com - "In fact, it was the source that led many users to call the shots fake; the information in that story, as well as this one, was provided by Gary Niger and Ron Delsner of the GNAA, an organization that deals in crapfloods and Slashdot trolling."

AppleInsider.com - "Enjoy the photoshop work. I seriously don't think Apple would be so crazy to use those jargons."

MacRumors.com - "Hmm... Information by "Gary Niger" of GNAA. Sounds too stupid to be true. And that dashboard thing? Hogwash me thinks ..."

MacRumors.com - "I immediately thought of them when I saw "GNAA". Anyone who reads Slashdot would be familiar with them - they put big spam posts everywhere. Yes, and it doesn't surprise me. I don't think the screenshots are real (at least not the Dashboard ones), but I have no trouble believing the PDF."

Kim Kap Sol on AppleInsider.com said "I can guarantee those are fake." He then continued by saying "Hello I R Korea KEKEKEKE OMG ZERG RUSH GOGOGOGO ^_^"

Gary's reply to this was "Way to make a complete idiot of yourself you dog-eating douchebag."

Steve Jobs was unavailable for comment immediately following the keynote address, though WWDC attendee and GNAA member Porfa noticed "A cute wiggle in Jobs' ass as he walked away."

About Apple

Apple Computer is the creator of the Macintosh, popularly known as the "gay computer". 87% of GNAA members are Mac users. Founded in 1974 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple was nearly out of business in the mid 90's, when Jobs was rehired. He then started the now infamous iGay marketing scheme which involved both the Step 2 ???? Profit model, and a 100% effort towards marketing towards homosexuals.


About GNAA:
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [klerck.org] ?
Are you a NIGGER [mugshots.org] ?
Are you a GAY NIGGER [gay-sex-access.com] ?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing GAY NIGGER community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America and the World! You, too, can be a part of GNAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!
  • First, you have to obtain a copy of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [imdb.com] and watch it. You can download the movie [idge.net] (~130mb) using BitTorrent.
  • Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA First Post [wikipedia.org] on slashdot.org [slashdot.org] , a popular "news for trolls" website.
  • Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on irc.gnaa.us, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today! Upon submitting your application, you will be required to submit links to your successful First Post, and you will be tested on your knowledge of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE.

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is NiggerNET, and you can connect to irc.gnaa.us as our official server. Follow this link [irc] if you are using an irc client such as mIRC.
clicking here.
-->

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

.________________________________________________.
| ______________________________________._a,____ | Press contact:
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | Gary Niger
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ | gary_niger@gnaa.us [mailto]
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ | GNAA Corporate Headquarters
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ | 143 Rolloffle Avenue
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ | Tarzana, California 91356
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ | All other inquiries:
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ | Enid TBD
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ | enid_tbd@gnaa.us [mailto]
| ______-"!^____________________________________ | GNAA World Headquarters
` _______________________________________________' 160-0023 Japan Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku Nishi-Shinjuku 3-20-2

Copyright (c) 2003-2004 GNAA [www.gnaa.us]

We still use them (4, Interesting)

thedillybar (677116) | about 10 years ago | (#9644709)

We still use tapes for backup, and have no intention on killing them anytime soon. It's a good system that is proven to work. Companies need more than a well-dressed salesperson to convince us otherwise.

Re:We still use them (2, Informative)

jlechem (613317) | about 10 years ago | (#9644741)

Ditto several places I used to work for had huge automated 30 tape backup systems that would back up the entire server drives every 24 hours. They had to pay a monkey to go in and fill the tape resevoir once in a while when it ran out.

You hired a monkey? (-1, Flamebait)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | about 10 years ago | (#9644783)

I guess that a MCSE could not handle it.

Re:We still use them (1)

thedillybar (677116) | about 10 years ago | (#9644786)

>Ditto several places I used to work for had huge automated 30 tape backup systems that would back up the entire server drives every 24 hours. They had to pay a monkey to go in and fill the tape resevoir once in a while when it ran out.

Yes, our automated systems tend to cost much less than the monkeys :)

Re:We still use them (1)

DarthBart (640519) | about 10 years ago | (#9644773)

Exactly. Show me something else that I can store 70+GB per piece of media, can read and write to without having to blank first, and can build a mechanical media rotation system around...then maybe I'll consider it.

You're living in the past (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644790)

We still use tapes for backup, and have no intention on killing them anytime soon.

You're living in the past.

A RAID-5 array with hot spares or a remote backup site is much more reliable and cost-effective.

With tape drives you have to cope with tape standards changing every year. Want to read tapes that are more than 5 years old? Not a chance. Want to back up anything above 40 GB? You have to buy incredibly expensive DLT instead of DAT, most likely with a robotic tape change mechanism. Costs you about $40000.

If anything, that's a mug's game.

Re:You're living in the past (5, Insightful)

DarthBart (640519) | about 10 years ago | (#9644862)

A RAID-5 array with hot spares or a remote backup site is much more reliable and cost-effective.

BZZZZZT! I'm sorry, but thank you for playing.
What happens when the CEO deletes his stack of porn off the file server? Your RAID-5 isn't going to help you one damn bit. And maybe your company doesn't have the bandwidth to move the 100+GB of data on the fileserver to an offsite backup.

Backups don't just cover hardware failures. They cover people failures.

Re:You're living in the past (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644998)

What happens when the CEO deletes his stack of porn off the file server?

Every time I have a new boss, I present him with two strategic alternatives.

a) You can either pay more and get sufficient tape storage or,
b) You can rely on RAID-5/remote backup with the full knowledge that it doesn't protect data from stupidity.

Invariably they've chosen the option b. And yes, I do get the decision in writing.

Re:We still use them (1)

GICodeWarrior (794483) | about 10 years ago | (#9644852)

They are fairly cheap, effective, and are small enough to lock away in a fireproof safe if deemed necessary.

My backup tapes are dead (3, Informative)

maxphunk (222449) | about 10 years ago | (#9644710)

I just inherited aN HP 3000 running MPe/iX, nasty. Went to retrieve some files from tape, both tape drives were shot. Ate the tapes, with years of work. The last other full backup was 9/03... Ouch. Our vendor is coming to fix the drives, but I'm looking elsewhere long term. (Especially killing the HP 3k!)

'CATWOMAN' SPOILERS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644721)

Halle Berry shits in a litterbox, menstruates on the bad guy, and gets fucked by the crazy diseased dog in the alley played by Ol' Dirty Bastard

Backups are here to stay... (5, Informative)

Shoeler (180797) | about 10 years ago | (#9644728)

The pundits of backup-to-disk always neglect to mention the fact that though disk costs continue to decrease and storage capacity continues to increase, so do the capacities of tape storage mechanisms. Even at $50 US a tape, they would still have a lower cost-per-gigabyte (or is it now cost-per-terabyte?). Especially with organizations with SANs, backup-to-disk is TOO expensive and too wasteful for prescious SAN resources.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 10 years ago | (#9644765)

You're forgetting to figure in the cost of the tape drive itself. Depending on your backup needs, tapes can be anywhere from insanely cheap to more than 10 times more expensive. All depends on what you need...

Re:Backups are here to stay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644798)

precisely what is "10 times more expensive" than "insanely cheap"?

Re:Backups are here to stay... (1)

Shoeler (180797) | about 10 years ago | (#9644863)

Not forgotten - just fractional over time. Example:

1 160G FCAL disk = $2k (SAN now people - don't panic)
1 AIT-2 backup drive = $2k
1 AIT-2 backup tape (130G capacity) = $50

Each additional disk costs you that same 2k whereas the backup tapes only have an incremental cost of $50.

Now - assume you use regular SATA or U-160/320 SCSI and the price per disk costs in the $200-400 range, but you still have to factor in the cost of the enclosures for each (which offset). Since nobody with that much data will only ever keep ONE backup (we had daily incrementals and weekly fulls), you want the same concept, assumably, for backup to disk.

Point being tape is still cheaper for backups.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (4, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | about 10 years ago | (#9644778)

We tried backup to disk in house to see how it would behave - backing up big SQL Server clusters.

The problem that killed it for us is when you're transfering to an 80 gig drive over firewire, you completely hog the hell out of the system, making it all but unavailable during the meantime. I don't know of any way to "throttle" the backup, there's probably some obscure tweak though.

Tape transfer rates are comparitively slow, which leave plenty of room for the computer to carry on it's tasks. Sure it might take all night to do a full back up, but the servers available during that time.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (1)

Chewie (24912) | about 10 years ago | (#9644800)

Plus, since they should be taking backups offsite, backup-to-disk requires either a) easily removable disks, that can be reliably catalogued (so that you know what's on what disk), or b) a high-speed link to an offsite storage system (which can be muy expensivo).

Re:Backups are here to stay... (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about 10 years ago | (#9644831)

a) easily removable disks

Yup, gotta get one of those bays for swapping drives, and a few trays. The bays cost around $50 IIRC, and the trays about $15 per drive.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (1)

Chewie (24912) | about 10 years ago | (#9644933)

Right, except that if you have a good backup strategy, you've got a lot of media to deal with. You want (copies of) your backups to be stored offsite, so the ideal way is to have one medium for each day. Then you need a retention policy for how far back you want to keep your backups, so you will need that many weeks times the media per day. You're handwaving at the low cost of the bay and trays, but you neglect the cost of the hard drive itself. Also, tapes are extremely rugged and will survive harsher environments than hard drives.

Basically, if you don't have at least a TB of data to back up consistently, HDs may be a better choice. For anything bigger that I wanted to have decent restore options for, it's tapes for me.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (2, Informative)

osu-neko (2604) | about 10 years ago | (#9645043)

Oh, I agree entirely. I just don't have a TB of data to back up, nor do any of my customers (heck, nor do all of my customers combined, I suspect).

Re:Backups are here to stay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9645063)

You're talking about those chincy IDE things that you install in a computer case, right? Where you have to turn the computer off to swap drives? The cost of 'real' removable drives is a bit more.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (2, Informative)

Laroue (213278) | about 10 years ago | (#9644825)

Yes backup to disk is more expensive, always will be. However the reliability of backup to disk is so much higher as to make the two almost incomparable. If having a reliable backup is important then tape is not the way to go.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644833)

Actually it'd be more accurate to same *home* tape backup is dead. Businesses will use tape backup for a long time because it's more reliable. At home though, I'm still facing problems of reliably backing up my 850GB of data (video, music, applications, etc.) without breaking the bank. I've had to settle for a big RAID-5 array and hope I don't accidently rm -rf the thing. Also I have a seperate machine where I keep duplicates of my vital data (less than 100GB), but it's still in the same house and will be lost if I had a fire.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (2, Insightful)

rufey (683902) | about 10 years ago | (#9644895)

We are currently using AIT-3 media, at a cost of about $43 a tape, with a 100 Gbyte native capacity (200 Gbyte comressed). With 200 Gbyte of data on a 8mm form factor, its hard to see that tapes are going out anytime soon. AIT-4 is coming out this year and will have double the capacity of AIT-3. I don't follow LTO much, but I'm sure their capacity is increasing all the time too.

Also imagine trying to do disk drive rotation for off-site storage versus the same thing for tapes. I'd prefer tapes any day given the delicate nature of disk drives.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644957)

Well considering that _all_ enterprise tape libraries are capable of connecting to a SAN fabric and that most all enterpises with a fabric are utilizing those capabilites; I fail to see where the issue of "precious" SAN resources stands. If most of your machines are conencted to the fabric and so is your tape library there is almost no reason why you wouldn't want to backup your systems via a 2GB/s fibre channel network opposed to saturating a 10/100/1000 ethernet netowrk. Now if you are refering to disk as your "precious" SAN resource there are plenty of SATA solutions that will get you close to the price/GB of tapes. One of the major issues with disk based solutions is the inability to bring them offsite. Many enterprises, mine included, use the disk-to-disk backup solely as means to a fast restore instead of a replacement for backups. This way the disk-to-disk backup shinks the backup windows allowing for tapes to backup from intermediate disk, while still allowing for unbelievabley fast restores. Tapes will be around for a long time, but more and more people will start to look at disk-to-disk backups because it fixes the one major flaw in the tape backup world: restore time.

Re:Backups are here to stay... (4, Insightful)

miked50 (466948) | about 10 years ago | (#9644986)

They also forget to mention that you can't just disconnect a disk array, send it off site for 30 days, and expect to easily restore it when it comes back. With tapes, even if the OS it was originally backed up on is Windows, and the new OS was Linux, it will work (seemlessly if the backup software allows). The other thing that most people ignore besides the above mentioned sneaker quality is the larger cost associated with rack space, power, and cooling when using disk. I can stack a hell of a lot more TB/sq ft. with tapes than even some of the highest density hard drives, and I won't have to pay as much for power. Also disk systems produce considerably more heat than a tape library.

None of this really matters to small installations, but to enterprise installations these things are a lot more important.

I remember using tape in my old C64. (3, Interesting)

Power Everywhere (778645) | about 10 years ago | (#9644730)

And now the medium is still being used well into 2004 and shows no signs of fading away. That's over 20 years the medium has been around for, relatively unchanged. Geez.

Oh yeah!? (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 10 years ago | (#9644993)

You ever try to SELL that old C64 tape drive!?

I couldn't give mine away! (though it served me well for several years)

Tapes are here to stay (for now) (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | about 10 years ago | (#9644731)

Until optical media surpasses them in storage capacity, ease of use, and reliability, I don't see tape technology going anywhere. They serve a specific purpose and serve it well.

Re:Tapes are here to stay (for now) (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 10 years ago | (#9644951)

Until optical media surpasses them in storage capacity, ease of use, and reliability, I don't see tape technology going anywhere.

A very good point, especially for archival purposes. Even the most expensive CDs still do not age well, yet tapes 30 years old still have readable data with few errors. Now, the machines/software to read those tapes may not be around...

It sure isn't dead here! (2, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | about 10 years ago | (#9644742)

We have an ADIC Scalar 1000 with 12 tape drives and something like 200 terabytes of storage space. I doubt tapes are going to die any time soon.

Re:It sure isn't dead here! (1)

Keith Maniac (136803) | about 10 years ago | (#9645020)

The most impressive thing about the Scalar 1000 isn't the storage space, it's the wasted space in that big honkin' refrigerator cabinet.

Having a glass front looks really cool, but it's a huge waste of space compared to a circular robot design. The back side is all wasted space as well. We pondered mounting a bunch of Sun X1s in the back of our ADIC...

(but your point about tape not going away is completely valid.)

PB? That's a lot of data... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644747)

The article wasn't much more than a press release, but it was nice to see that tape is the obvious answer if you have *petabytes* of data to backup.

With CD/DVD Rot, tape sounds good (3, Insightful)

grunt107 (739510) | about 10 years ago | (#9644759)

Since prior stories have illuminated optical (laser) retention problems, tape does not seem as outdated as it once was. Tape's biggest problem now seems mainly cost. I had a 5GB Travan in a system and the per-tape cost was around $40. DVD blanks are around $1 for about the same amount of storage.

Re:With CD/DVD Rot, tape sounds good (1)

mdvlspwn99 (172473) | about 10 years ago | (#9644834)

Yes, plus, when I interned, there's no way CD/DVD backup could've handled the 500GB or more of data that we needed to back up monthly. It just wasn't practical. CD/DVD may work at home and possibly small businesses, but sometimes tape is just the way to go.

Re:With CD/DVD Rot, tape sounds good (1)

JiMbOb_ka (232846) | about 10 years ago | (#9644865)

Yeah, well 7 years ago I paid $200 for 8MB of RAM. A Travan backup system is pretty ancient in terms of technology.

For perspective, a 100GB/200GB LTO1 tape costs like $55US. I'd say that is a pretty good deal in the price department. Tapes will be around for many years to come. For archival and most sisater recovery, there aren't many better solutions.

Re:With CD/DVD Rot, tape sounds good (2, Insightful)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | about 10 years ago | (#9644930)

Yeah, well 7 years ago I paid $200 for 8MB of RAM. A Travan backup system is pretty ancient in terms of technology.

For perspective, a 100GB/200GB LTO1 tape costs like $55US. I'd say that is a pretty good deal in the price department. Tapes will be around for many years to come. For archival and most sisater recovery, there aren't many better solutions.

On the other hand, that LTO tape drive is going to rock you over $2500. Compare that to the $250 I bought my original Colorado Jumbo 250MB tape drive for when a 250MB hard drive was about $400. Tapes were under $20. So basically, with compression, I could backup my whole hard drive. I'd need a $2500 tape drive and $55 tapes to backup the $120 200GB ATA hard drive in my workstation. That's a bit impractical. Tape drive prices have NOT kept up with hard drive price drops by any stretch of the imagination making home tape backup impossible.

Re:With CD/DVD Rot, tape sounds good (1)

JiMbOb_ka (232846) | about 10 years ago | (#9644969)

Assuming you do a full backup every night, then yes it could be percieved as impractical. However, most place do Incremental/Differential and only backup full once a week. Also, I don't think the engineer's at HP/StorageTek were targeting most geek's pr0n/MP3/Star Trek collection when they designed the LTOs :)

I can verify this (1)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | about 10 years ago | (#9644772)

I do bi-weekly tape backups. Hard drives aren't reliable/durable enough, and their shelf life isn't good enough for backups. Optical media have the same problems, but worse. I can't imagine tape going away for a good long time.

Offsite Backup Services? (1)

cft_128 (650084) | about 10 years ago | (#9644973)

I do bi-weekly tape backups. Hard drives aren't reliable/durable enough, and their shelf life isn't good enough for backups. Optical media have the same problems, but worse. I can't imagine tape going away for a good long time.

True, but I've had tapes go bad on me and become unreadable too. Others have posted about having tape drives eat tapes and destroy them. Any real numbers out there on the reliability of tapes on the shelf versus drives on the shelf?

I have been casually looking into using an offsite backup service (like Iron Mountain [ironmountain.com] ). Does anyone have any real experience?

there in good use at my work (1)

garretwp (790115) | about 10 years ago | (#9644782)

We are on the verge of getting some new silos in that will contain the new 500gig tapes. Right now our current setup has about 4-5 petabytes worth of storage for just tapes Thats Each storagetek silo holding about 7000 tapes. And lets just say the silos never have a break. Garrett

Tape's still alive...according to HP (4, Informative)

lxt (724570) | about 10 years ago | (#9644784)

A couple of weeks ago I went to a careers conference at which the product manager for HP tape drives (based in HP, Bristol, UK) waxed lyrical about tape drives...it appears that HP are still actively researching tape drives, and have devoted significant resources towards future development.

tape smackdown (1)

Glog (303500) | about 10 years ago | (#9644785)

Whoever submitted this story sounds like s/he is really rooting for backup tapes... perhaps even has tape vs. optical storage showdowns at home while watching "Myth Busters" on Discovery.

Re:tape smackdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644864)

speaking of Myth Busters, they had a show where they tested how fast a cd could go without shattering (literally). How fast can a tape system go while still being reliable?

Tapes are nice.. (4, Insightful)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | about 10 years ago | (#9644795)

..but what about recovery plans for catastrophic events? Those backup tapes sitting in a filing cabinet next to the server are useless when the building burns down or is flooded. I suppose you could just ship the tapes to another location, but then restoration becomes and even longer ordeal.

Re:Tapes are nice.. (1)

Omicron (79581) | about 10 years ago | (#9644830)

We have two data centers - we cross ship tapes every day. Restores aren't a major problem - we just have someone open up the tapes we need and throw them into a server at the other location.

Solves the major disaster problem...it does occasionally cause restoration delays when a tape is in transit that we need, but not bad.

Re:Tapes are nice.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644846)

So make duplicates. Keep one set onsite for fast restores and ship the second set offsite for those catastrophic events.

Re:Tapes are nice.. (1)

stratjakt (596332) | about 10 years ago | (#9644877)

It's no different if you use DVDs, HDDs or punchcards. If the datas in another building, yeah, you have to go there to get it.

Different servers have different backup and recovery needs. It's all about common sense and good practices.

My companies source code archive, for instance, is fully backed up twice every month, one copy goes home with the boss. It's incrementally backed up every night, those copies stay on site.

If the server bombs, we can get it back up in a few hours and not lose any work. If the office burned down, we could lose (at most) a months worth of work - which would be acceptable to us, since we're all jack-of-all-trades and generally dont sit down knocking out code all day.

Now and then when a significant update gets put into the tree, something that I'd dread having to re-do, I'll go down and hand-bomb a backup for my own piece of mind.

Re:Tapes are nice.. (3, Insightful)

emgeemg (182902) | about 10 years ago | (#9644888)

Which is why any good backup strategy includes moving tapes beyond a certain age off-site. Even so, I don't see your point--are harddrives suddenly impervious to flame?

Re:Tapes are nice.. (1)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | about 10 years ago | (#9644964)


No, I was suggesting some sort of networked, distributed alternative. Like a P2P service. The server would have all the files, but there would exist multiple copies of the image distributed and shared among several clients. If the server goes down, you could rebuild it from the nodes.

You'd obviously need a high-speed connection to pull this off.

Re:Tapes are nice.. (1)

jhagler (102984) | about 10 years ago | (#9645054)

That's all part of a good backup plan.

You have to figure out just how important your data is to you. The most common solution is to take one backup tape (a complete backup, not just a delta) home with you each week. You buy a couple of extra tapes and you can always have one month's worth of weekly backups at home. If you want you can become more anal you can take each nights tape home with you the next night, but most small companies can live with being able to recover from one week old data. The bigger the company and the more time sensitive the data is, the more you have to move tapes off-site, and the more the company is usually willing to spend to put a real solution in place.

Another question, why are you so worried about restoration times after a catastrophic failre? If your server room burns to the ground, you will be able to get your hands on the tapes long before you can get your hands on new servers.

Re:Tapes are nice.. (1)

_14k4 (5085) | about 10 years ago | (#9645060)

Companies ship the tapes to an offsite location; in Connecticut it's usually Iron Mountain. A big hole in the ground. ;)

Tape let me down.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644796)

We use 4TB of SCSI Disks, and removable 250GB firewire drives for backup. Tape has let me down way to many times. Plus, I can restore from a catalog with in seconds. I would love to see tape do that.

Re:Tape let me down.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9645031)

Maybe you should just learn how to use tape properly? Almost every failure I've ever seen regarding this was because of improper setup and/or maintenance. I have saved a lot of ass over the years with tape. Doubt that I could have stored 100+ TB on hundreds of hard disks and been able to retrieve it.

In big data centers, tape is a necessity. Knowing how to use it is a bigger necessity.
-E

Definitely Not Dead Yet... (2, Interesting)

Omicron (79581) | about 10 years ago | (#9644802)

I don't think tapes are dead. We have 10 tapes for every server in our company (5 for M-F, 5 for each Saturday of the month). At around 400+ servers, that racks up in numbers pretty quick. Plus, we have to cross ship the tapes to offsite storage every day.

Also, 270 some of our servers are on WAN links, between 56k and 256k circuits. Not exactly speedy when you think of backing up over the network. Also, the bulk of our data is done in our data centers - two of them. We have to have the data offsite. I don't want to try and transfer who knows how many terabytes of data over three T1's every night. We actually have higher data throughput using a courier!

Old saying (3, Funny)

Nick of NSTime (597712) | about 10 years ago | (#9644806)

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon filled with backup tapes.

Re:Old saying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9645009)


Yeah, that's a lot of bandwidth.. but the latency!

Wow (2, Funny)

arieswind (789699) | about 10 years ago | (#9644816)

Some of those backup drives can hold up to 90PB of data.. holy crap.. think of what you could do with 90,000,000 GB of space... it hurts to even think about it..

The only thing that hurts worse is trying to find a space to put an 8ft x 30ft x 200ft storage device that weighs 310k pounds (140.9 metric tons(2200lbs))

Media Changes (1)

Alaskan Snake (795157) | about 10 years ago | (#9644819)

[Salesperson] Sssoooooooooo....how much software do ya wanna buy? [/Salesperson]

And I was worried (1)

jjholt1213 (784390) | about 10 years ago | (#9644847)

that I wouldn't be able find a use for this box of 8 Tracks

someone back me up here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644849)

but i do believe backing up data is mostly for faggots. well not all backing up, but a vast majority.

Long live 4mm and 8mm tapes (2, Interesting)

why-is-it (318134) | about 10 years ago | (#9644857)

We still use some 8mm tapes to back up some RS/6000 systems. We use 4mm tapes for the Sun and HP servers.

I would like to migrate everything to one format, but red tape has thus far prevented me from doing anything about it. I have a proposal for converting to sDLT, but corporate policy forbids anyone except the purchasing department from speaking to vendors about pricing, and purchasing won't speak to vendors at all unless they have an authorized capital expense form. I can't build the business case to get a capital expense form until I get pricing information from the vendors. It's a bitter cycle

So, I sincerely hope my 4mm and 8mm jukeboxes stay alive and functional for the forseeable future, since I can't get approval to evergreen those systems with something cheaper and better!

Re:Long live 4mm and 8mm tapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644900)

I would like to migrate everything to one format, but red tape has thus far prevented me from doing anything about it.

That's because there's no universal red tape format that we can all standardize on.

Not going ANYWHERE anytime soon... (2, Informative)

nbvb (32836) | about 10 years ago | (#9644868)

We use TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) to backup our systems.

We backup from the systems via gigabit Ethernet, to the TSM server, where the data is stored in a disk pool.

That disk pool gets flushed out to an IBM 3584 tape library. LTO2 tape drives. Great stuff.

TSM then duplicates those LTO2 tapes, and ejects
the copies from the library, for offsite storage.

Tape's going to be here for a LONG, LONG time.

Requisite links:

TSM - http://www-306.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/st orage-mgr/

IBM 3584 -
http://www.storage.ibm.com/tape/lto/index.html

Still "alive" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644872)

The title of this article seems to imply that the author is somehow surprised by the contined use of tape.

There is NO SUBSTITUTE for tape for many backup scenarios. Are you going to backup large multi-gig file servers onto hundreds of CDs or a USB key? Are you going to take that RAID array off site every night?

There are still reasons to backup to tape (1)

vg30e (779871) | about 10 years ago | (#9644878)

The cost of moving large amounts of data "off site" (like 3 TB or so) and the business requirements to keep stuff for many years to meet legal regulations and such make this a neccessity right now. Hopefully, (not holding my breath) archive storage media with long term stability will come out in the density we need at the cost we can afford will arrive soon. Otherwise Tape is going to be around for a long time.

Something for the home user? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644884)

I've been thinking about doing backups to tape. I've yet to find something affordable for the home user with above-average storage needs. (I have around 800GB hard drive space that I would like to transfer to tape occasionally). Lower-capacity models seem too slow or too small (I don't want to use 20 tapes for each backup), while anything better costs a lot more. Sure, you are in the terrabyte regions then, but I don't need that much. Any suggestions?

If backup tapes are alive and well (1)

mcleodnine (141832) | about 10 years ago | (#9644894)

...then all we need is a revival of the big station wagons!

Um... huh? Who said tape had no future? (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | about 10 years ago | (#9644898)

I don't ever recall anyone I work with speculating on the future of nearline storage. Anyone who works in a real environment will tell you tape is not only alive and well, but a critical component of datacenter infrastructure.

They'd also probably laugh you out of the room if you proposed backing stuff up to anything but tape...

- A.P.

The problem with all these tape technologies... (4, Insightful)

Gavin Scott (15916) | about 10 years ago | (#9644906)

The Register intoduces some new products that are about to come,[...]

The problem with all of these endless new tape technologies is that after they come they (or their vendors) tend to become lethargic and lose interest in the whole process so that six months later they're trying to sell you yet another replacement technology.

That's fine for something like a computer that can run the same software each generation, but for tape devices the need to change media is like having to re-code your application in a new language every time you upgrade the computer. People don't want to do it.

Most customers want a backup media that will still be viable in at least seven years because of legal requirements. That can mean needing to be able to buy a drive that can read their tapes 5-12 years from now. How many of these new tape technologies will have that kind of staying power?

The standard 9-track 2400 foot open reel tape served the computer industry for about 30 years, providing a standard storage and interchange mechanism for pretty much every computer larger than a PC. The Internet has rendered the need for an interchange mechanism less critical, but the instability in the archival storage formats is now giving people serious headaches.

G.

who said tapes were dying? (1)

skotte (262100) | about 10 years ago | (#9644916)

who said tapes were dying? I'm happy to at last be migrating into a tape system, myself.

btw, that SL8500 has what appears to be a max capacity of 90 Petabytes (!!!) so i'm wondering .. who would have that much data to backup? I can think of lots of businesses with large amounts of data .. but 90,000,000,000,000,000 is a huge number. Anyone I can think of who would have data that size would probably over write much of it quickly. Like google is always updating their databases, fFor example. And i believe the government prefers dead-trees.

Anyway, it's a beautiful system.

Re:who said tapes were dying? (1)

wmeyer (17620) | about 10 years ago | (#9645026)

In the context of products such as video servers, where terabytes are common, and the rate of change surprisingly high, a really big fast, inexpensive and reliable tape system would be a boon. Unfortunately, it's a case of the old adage: Good, fast, cheap -- pick any two.


So far, I haven't seen any tape scenario that is as cost-effective as a redundant server, with both using RAID. Next best is to simply back up each file to optical, as it is recorded. That's easy to do, cheap, and much of the content is has a useful life of only weeks or months, anyway.

Separation of media and r/w h/w (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | about 10 years ago | (#9644918)

An important property of a reliable backup device IMHO is a good/clean separation of the actual recording medium and the read/write mechanism.

Normal Harddrives fail pitifully on this point. The drive electronics, read write heads, etc is so tied in with the physical disks that it makes it difficult to remove the disks and pop them into a working device with the ease of tapes, CDs etc.

Tapes, CDs, floppies are very clean and hassle free from this standpoint. The cartridge/media is of a standard size and can usually be popped into any "player" for playback.

Further, hard disk manufacturers also haven't been able to reach an agreement on the size, error correction and other protocols to write to disk, (like an ISO, but not quite), which is one of the reasons for difficult/expensive error recovery on hard disks. Ofcourse, tapes are also more rugged than harddrives, but I think once these other issues are sorted out, HDDs could replace tapes as a "reliable" backup device.

Tapes Will Stick Around (1)

Ag3nt (790820) | about 10 years ago | (#9644924)

I work for a rather large company with around 350 HP Proliant servers. They contain a vast variety of important data from customer information to finance. We still use 8mm tapes to keep all of this information secure and on file. We have a massive library of them (Around 250,000) going back 10 years. This is the only issue that I have a problem with, space. CD recordable media is infinitely more compact. Another option we are looking into is setting up a server with 13 250 gig hardrives and specifying it as a DMZ on the network. However, for now, tapes are our primary means of back-up.

Dear The Register, (1)

Mr. Neutron (3115) | about 10 years ago | (#9644926)

I have always found optical backup to be far more reliable than tape.

Sincerely,
Erik Lehnsherr

Dead? (0, Redundant)

devphaeton (695736) | about 10 years ago | (#9644934)

Hell no.

Tapes still have the most bang-for-the-buck value.

90 petabytes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9644947)

90 petabytes.. that is a lot of porn storage. *dreaming*

Interesting topic... (1)

yaroze32 (689185) | about 10 years ago | (#9644974)

.. Since I am configuring a new $12,000 Autoloader library, at this time

Buying server for new business today (2, Insightful)

sheddd (592499) | about 10 years ago | (#9644975)

Only need to backup 160GB (do not forsee that growing in 5 years). Gonna just buy two 160GB IDE HDD's & 2 firewire enclosures.

~$340 for both. Keep one plugged in for daily backup, keep the other in a safe place... swap them every month.

Pretty cheap, plenty fast, and won't take up much space!

Re:Buying server for new business today (1)

hyperstation (185147) | about 10 years ago | (#9645061)

do not forsee that growing in 5 years

you're gonna regret that...

yes, they save, they scale but does the hardware? (1)

HealYourChurchWebSit (615198) | about 10 years ago | (#9644983)

Yeah, I've been around long enough to have backed-up data on drums, TK50's, QIC DC 600A and DAT ... the burninating question though is: what about the hardware?

Yeah, I've got all my data stored from 20 years ago on big old 1/2" Open Reel Nine Track Tape, so what? Without working hardware that can be read and scaled on a system I currently have, then I'll need to convert it.

Note the emphasis on "working hardware" ... let's not forget, we're talking about hardware with movable parts, which means they break. Backups are afterall made to be restored. Otherwise they're only good to string in the yard to keep the birds away from the grape vines and grass seed.

So perhaps along with your off-site storage of your backup tapes (you do have off-site storage don't you?) you may want to stow a hot-swap.

90 Petabytes? (0, Redundant)

ralf1 (718128) | about 10 years ago | (#9644987)

I'll need three just to back up my porn collection.

Optical media is too small. (4, Insightful)

nlinecomputers (602059) | about 10 years ago | (#9644996)

I sell servers to small SOHO type businesses, doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. There is never large amounts of data but it does exceed the CD-ROM limits and DVD are just to unreliable. It is too easy to burn a coaster and they have poor shelf life. And even at 9gb they are often too small to put all the data on one disk.

And getting the office receptionist(often the person who will do the job of managing the media) to swap disks is often asking too much. It has to fit on one tape/disk/whatever or it isn't going to get done.

Tape especially DAT drives give most bang for the buck.

Tape Backup not dead for PACS (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 10 years ago | (#9645007)

Our PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System)uses a Qualstar 180 tape jukebox with AIT3 tapes(100gb/tape). In a year we will be upgrading the carousels to hold 360 tapes, and upgrading the drives to AIT4(200gb/tape). We will have around 54tb storage when full due to half AIT3/AIT4 mix when full. This system is storing large medical images. (like 2000x2000x12bit).

Backup tapes (2, Interesting)

earthforce_1 (454968) | about 10 years ago | (#9645008)

I always wondered why they don't use off the shelf VHS tapes for data backup. You could probably build an inexpensive, yet reasonably reliable backup unit from the mechanism+record/playback heads of a low end VCR.

Re:Backup tapes (1)

hyperstation (185147) | about 10 years ago | (#9645035)

i've seen just this sort of setup before, with an Amiga way back when. anyone know more about it?

Tape is a good, solid storage solution. (4, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 10 years ago | (#9645027)

I have yet to see these new fangled, so-called 'floppy disks' prove themselves in any sort of meaningful way. I have been using my TRS-80 with it's casset tape storage since 1980, and I have no intention of switching horses in mid-stream!

Harumph!
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