A general question on current backup equipment.

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by James Silverto » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 04:33:23



I intend to install Linux from SuSE 8.0 on a 1500 Mhz AMD machine. I wonder
what is the best current method for backing up at a reasonable cost? I have
seen external USB hard disks more than twice the size of my potential Linux
partition for about $200 and it seemed to me that they could replace tapes
and RW CDs for this purpose. Can anyone tell me if there are serious
disadvantages? I have used tapes for a long time but I have never liked
their speed or cost. Incidentally, cost *is* important since this is for a
home machine [ I pay :-)  ]

--
James V.  Silverton
Potomac, Maryland, USA

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Michael Lee Yoh » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 04:53:59


Quote:> cost? I have seen external USB hard disks more than twice the size of my
> potential Linux partition for about $200 and it seemed to me that they
> could replace tapes and RW CDs for this purpose. Can anyone tell me if
> there are serious disadvantages? I have used tapes for a long time but I

The serious disadvantage is an external hard drive is the fact that it's
external - can be bumped or knocked off your desk whilst spinning the
platters causing a massive crash.  Hard drives are also highly mechanical
devices - I don't trust them with "mission-critical" data (too many
failed IBM DeskStar and Western Digital drives due to heat or some other
factor).

I think DVD+RW (or pick your favourite competing rewriteable standard) is
fantastic for backups.  The media is cheap (about $7 bucks) and reusable.

Bottom line: backing up to an external USB hard drive is better than not
backing up at all.

--


QUIPd 1.03: (330 of 817)
-> If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a
-> nail.
-> - Maslow

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by James Silverto » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 05:58:05




Quote:> cost? I have seen external USB hard disks more than twice the size of my
> potential Linux partition for about $200 and it seemed to me that they
> could replace tapes and RW CDs for this purpose. Can anyone tell me if
> there are serious disadvantages? I have used tapes for a long time but I

The serious disadvantage is an external hard drive is the fact that it's
external - can be bumped or knocked off your desk whilst spinning the
platters causing a massive crash.  Hard drives are also highly mechanical
devices - I don't trust them with "mission-critical" data (too many
failed IBM DeskStar and Western Digital drives due to heat or some other
factor).

I think DVD+RW (or pick your favourite competing rewriteable standard) is
fantastic for backups.  The media is cheap (about $7 bucks) and reusable.

Bottom line: backing up to an external USB hard drive is better than not
backing up at all.

Thanks for your comments!

I am not thinking of having the external drive permanently attached; hence,
USB! There are external drives which are designed to be carried around and,
altho' they cost a little more than the others but might be a good idea.
However, I also don't want to engage in disk swapping since a CD-RW will
contain at best 600Meg. I am planning a complete backup once a week. As to
hardware, I've had troubles with tapes going flaky and needing reformatting.

Still preserving an open mind!

Jim.

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Jean-David Beye » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 06:12:29


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|
|>cost? I have seen external USB hard disks more than twice the size of my
|>potential Linux partition for about $200 and it seemed to me that they
|>could replace tapes and RW CDs for this purpose. Can anyone tell me if
|>there are serious disadvantages? I have used tapes for a long time but I
|
|
| The serious disadvantage is an external hard drive is the fact that it's
| external - can be bumped or knocked off your desk whilst spinning the
| platters causing a massive crash.  Hard drives are also highly mechanical
| devices - I don't trust them with "mission-critical" data (too many
| failed IBM DeskStar and Western Digital drives due to heat or some other
| factor).
|
| I think DVD+RW (or pick your favourite competing rewriteable standard) is
| fantastic for backups.  The media is cheap (about $7 bucks) and reusable.
|
| Bottom line: backing up to an external USB hard drive is better than not
| backing up at all.
|
| Thanks for your comments!
|
| I am not thinking of having the external drive permanently attached;
hence,
| USB! There are external drives which are designed to be carried around
and,
| altho' they cost a little more than the others but might be a good idea.
| However, I also don't want to engage in disk swapping since a CD-RW will
| contain at best 600Meg. I am planning a complete backup once a week. As to
| hardware, I've had troubles with tapes going flaky and needing
reformatting.
|
| Still preserving an open mind!
|
| Jim.
|
|

I do not believe DDS tapes need formatting, and Ecrix VXA-1 tapes do not
require formatting, for sure (I bulk-erased a few and then used them
anyway).

I have had trouble with QIC (Travan, floppy) tapes, and DDS-2 tapes, or
perhaps the trouble was with the drives. I have never had trouble with
Ecrix drives or tapes.

- --
~  .~.  Jean-David Beyer           Registered Linux User 85642.
~  /V\                             Registered Machine    73926.
~ /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey     http://counter.li.org
~ ^^-^^ 5:10pm up 6 days, 3:46, 2 users, load average: 4.49, 4.09, 3.91
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A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Michael Heimin » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 06:26:50



Quote:> I am planning a complete backup once a week. As to hardware, I've
> had troubles with tapes going flaky and needing reformatting.

There is no formatting on a tape, it's a character device, nothing
that has a filesystem on it, which could be mounted. Even if
various commercial backup sw, wants you to belive one could 'mount'
a tape, you can't.

Michael Heiming
--
Remove the +SIGNS case mail bounces.

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Christopher Brown » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 06:50:39




>> I am planning a complete backup once a week. As to hardware, I've
>> had troubles with tapes going flaky and needing reformatting.

> There is no formatting on a tape, it's a character device, nothing
> that has a filesystem on it, which could be mounted. Even if
> various commercial backup sw, wants you to belive one could 'mount'
> a tape, you can't.

People can be forgiven for thinking about "mounting" them, seeing as
how:

 - mt sure looks like a "mount" utility;
 - tapes certainly have to be "mounted" into the drive;
 - popular OSes of yesteryear _did_ require that there be a process
   called "mounting a tape."  (VMS and MVS both come to mind.)

And if you look for the man page for mt, it has commands like
"mkpartition," and SCSI tape drives commonly _do_ have a SCSI "format"
command.

And there is a history of FTAPE drives requiring "formatted tapes"
where once they got utilities running to _do_ the formatting, it could
just about take days to 'format' a big tape.

For someone to get confused about this comes as no surprise; no
surprise at all...
--

http://cbbrowne.com/info/linuxxian.html
Wiener's Law of Libraries:
        There are no answers, only cross references.

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Michael Heimin » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 07:08:31



[..]

Quote:> And if you look for the man page for mt, it has commands like
> "mkpartition," and SCSI tape drives commonly _do_ have a SCSI
> "format" command.

Never seen, I'm used to put new tapes out of the box in the tape,
using them, no matter if DDS or DLT.

I have no reference to "mkpartition/format" in my mt man page?
GNU mt version 2.4.2

Quote:> For someone to get confused about this comes as no surprise; no
> surprise at all...

Sure, it may be a bit confusing, after all a tape is one of the
simple SCSI devices and the most reliable ways to backup...;-)

Michael Heiming
--
Remove the +SIGNS case mail bounces.

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Seymour » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 23:28:58




Quote:>I intend to install Linux from SuSE 8.0 on a 1500 Mhz AMD machine. I
>wonder what is the best current method for backing up at a reasonable
>cost?

That depends on your backup requirements. Do you want to be able to
recover data if your house burns down? Do you want to be able to
recover data that you inadvertently corrupted 6 months ago? How
frequently do you want to back up your data?

For small amounts of data, a CD-R or CD-RW drive may be attractive.
For larger amounts, a tape drive is the obvious choice but has some
issues. A removable hard drive is a good choice if you only plan to
keep a small number of backups; otherwise the price gets exorbitant.

For a home system, there are only two types of tape drives to
consider; Travan and DAT. Travan is less expensive for the drives, but
the tapes themselves are very pricy. DAT drives cost more, but the
tapes are less expensive. For a business computer, there are other
types of drive worth considering, e.g.. DLT.

A lot of people like backup devices on a parallel port or USB bus. I
understand the convenience factor, but there are driver and
performance issues. My preference is SCSI, but that costs more than
IDE. There is no one size fits all, but almost any backup solution is
better than not taking backups.

--
     Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT
     Atid/2, Team OS/2, Team PL/I

Any unsolicited commercial junk E-mail will be subject to legal
action.  I reserve the right to publicly post or ridicule any
abusive E-mail.

I mangled my E-mail address to foil automated spammers; reply to
domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me.  Do not

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Seymour » Thu, 01 Aug 2002 23:41:03




Quote:>There is no formatting on a tape,

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"

Some types of tape require formatting, others don't. Some of the types
common in the PC world over the years, e.g., QIC80, required it.
Presumably James is using a type of tape that has to be formatted.

--
     Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT
     Atid/2, Team OS/2, Team PL/I

Any unsolicited commercial junk E-mail will be subject to legal
action.  I reserve the right to publicly post or ridicule any
abusive E-mail.

I mangled my E-mail address to foil automated spammers; reply to
domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me.  Do not

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Steve Kirkendal » Fri, 02 Aug 2002 01:21:42



> I wonder what is the best current method for backing up at a reasonable
> cost? I have seen external USB hard disks more than twice the size of my
> potential Linux partition for about $200 and it seemed to me that they
> could replace tapes and RW CDs for this purpose. Can anyone tell me if
> there are serious disadvantages? I have used tapes for a long time but I
> have never liked their speed or cost.

Regarding speed: A USB port runs at 12Mb/sec., which is roughly equivalent
to an 8x CDROM drive.  If you expect a USB hard disk to be significantly
faster than a CD/RW drive, then you're going to be disappointed.
 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by nob.. » Fri, 02 Aug 2002 01:35:53


: Regarding speed: A USB port runs at 12Mb/sec., which is roughly equivalent
: to an 8x CDROM drive.  If you expect a USB hard disk to be significantly
: faster than a CD/RW drive, then you're going to be disappointed.

Not if you go with USB2.0 which is _much_ faster than that

Stan

--
Stan Bischof ("stan" at the below domain)
www.worldbadminton.com

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Jean-David Beye » Fri, 02 Aug 2002 01:38:03


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Hash: SHA1




|
|
|> I intend to install Linux from SuSE 8.0 on a 1500 Mhz AMD machine.
|> I wonder what is the best current method for backing up at a
|> reasonable cost?
|
|
| That depends on your backup requirements. Do you want to be able to
recover
| data if your house burns down? Do you want to be able to recover
| data that you inadvertently corrupted 6 months ago? How frequently
| do you want to back up your data?
|
| For small amounts of data, a CD-R or CD-RW drive may be attractive. For
| larger amounts, a tape drive is the obvious choice but has some issues.
| A removable hard drive is a good choice if you only plan to keep a
| small number of backups; otherwise the price gets exorbitant.
|
| For a home system, there are only two types of tape drives to consider;
| Travan and DAT. Travan is less expensive for the drives, but the
| tapes themselves are very pricy. DAT drives cost more, but the tapes
| are less expensive. For a business computer, there are other types
| of drive worth considering, e.g.. DLT.

You can also consider Ecrix VXA-1 and VXA-2 drives. They are much more
reliable than DDS-2 DAT drives (these are not the only DAT drives, and
it is my understanding that DDS-2 drives are no longer manufactured).
VXA-1 drives are about $750 these days. I use a VXA-1 on an Ultra-2 SCSI
controller here at home. I am very serious about backups, though, having
seen a lot of disasters since computers started getting hard drives. The
first hard drive I ever saw was an IBM 2311, I think: 10 platters, 100
cylinders, hydraulic actuators. Probably held about 10 megabytes. They
had much bigger drives pretty soon afterwards on the IBM 7090 machines,
and it has been uphill ever since.
|
| A lot of people like backup devices on a parallel port or USB bus. I
| understand the convenience factor, but there are driver and performance
| issues. My preference is SCSI, but that costs more than IDE. There
| is no one size fits all, but almost any backup solution is better
| than not taking backups.
|
It seems to me, with no proof, that devices manufactured for SCSI
interface tend to be more reliable than the floppy-disk controller
drives, for example. I believe that the assumption is that those who run
with SCSI controllers are more likely to have serious requirements, so
the stuff is made somewhat better (and priced accordingly, of course).

I agree that SCSI is the way to go if you can afford it. I can backup,
rewind, and read-check about 6.5 gigabytes in about an hour, and my tape
drive is penalized by being on the same controller as the two hard drives.

- --
~  .~.  Jean-David Beyer           Registered Linux User 85642.
~  /V\                             Registered Machine    73926.
~ /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey     http://counter.li.org
~ ^^-^^ 12:30pm up 6 days, 23:06, 2 users, load average: 2.45, 2.48, 2.34
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A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by Michael Heimin » Fri, 02 Aug 2002 02:50:30


Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz



>>There is no formatting on a tape,

> "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"

> Some types of tape require formatting, others don't. Some of the
> types common in the PC world over the years, e.g., QIC80, required
> it. Presumably James is using a type of tape that has to be
> formatted.

This is OT, in comp.os.linux.misc, Linux is a UNIX OS and you can't
mount a tape as there is NO fs on it. Talking about whatever PC
"OS" is irrelevant. Anyway, how much data does fit on a QIC80, 80
MB if I remember right, happy tape changing while backing up todays
hds with it....

Michael Heiming
--
Remove the +SIGNS case mail bounces.

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by e.. » Fri, 02 Aug 2002 04:46:10




>> I wonder what is the best current method for backing up at a reasonable
>> cost? I have seen external USB hard disks more than twice the size of my
>> potential Linux partition for about $200 and it seemed to me that they
>> could replace tapes and RW CDs for this purpose. Can anyone tell me if
>> there are serious disadvantages? I have used tapes for a long time but I
>> have never liked their speed or cost.

> Regarding speed: A USB port runs at 12Mb/sec., which is roughly equivalent
> to an 8x CDROM drive.  If you expect a USB hard disk to be significantly
> faster than a CD/RW drive, then you're going to be disappointed.

Good point, there is an option to use firewire though.
I get roughly 10 MB/sec. Costs: (what i paid, will vary of course)
Adapter - about 30$
Interface for disk - about 95$
Disk - whatever suits you best

Erik

 
 
 

A general question on current backup equipment.

Post by nob.. » Fri, 02 Aug 2002 05:18:27


:>
:> Regarding speed: A USB port runs at 12Mb/sec., which is roughly equivalent
:> to an 8x CDROM drive.  If you expect a USB hard disk to be significantly
:> faster than a CD/RW drive, then you're going to be disappointed.

: Good point, there is an option to use firewire though.
: I get roughly 10 MB/sec. Costs: (what i paid, will vary of course)

or go with USB 2.0 and get up to 60MB/sec. Of course this is fast than most
hard disks so there would be a limit, but it is certainly conceivable
that external USB drive access would be faster than internal drives.

Stan

--
Stan Bischof ("stan" at the below domain)
www.worldbadminton.com

 
 
 

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