Consumer tape backup drives? Do they exist?

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by Myne_h, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Just an idle thought really. Seen some LTOs but they're very expensive - and as far as I can tell, not SATA/USB.

    Are there any consumer grade tape backup solutions?
     
  2. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    Enterprise tape drives are only just good enough for using with tapes and backups.

    If there was a consumer version for a lot less I would stay well away from it.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    That bad, ey?
     
  4. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Tape, by the numbers, is an order of magnitude more reliable for medium-to-long term data storage than any other solution, and half the price once you start getting into 100s of TB.

    Going price for a SAS-connected single tape LTO6 drive is in the order of $5,000 - $6,000. But then you're paying ~$60 for a 2.5TB LTO6 tape (uncompressed - they claim up to 6.25TB compressed, but that depends entirely on what you're copying to it).

    Generally that was seen as "enterprise only" type levels for storage in the past. However with recent explosions in data rates even for small players (even a 1-person video editor doing everything in 4K these days, or digital photographers wanting to keep all their raws forever), it's starting to offer a better outcome than constantly buying hard disks to store on the shelf. (Worth noting that multimedia files like these won't compress at all).

    Start calculating the costs of keeping a NAS running (both the need to constantly add/upgrade drives, and the power to run it) and tapes on a shelf, and see how that affects your use case. Everyone will be different, but there's a tipping point that will determine if it's for you or not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  5. power

    power Member

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    external usb drives are cheap, tapes are a pain. smaller outfits are better served with external drives IMHO.
     
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  6. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    The tape on its own stored correctly yes.

    The tape drive? Not really. Luckily tape drives through Dell etc have nice 5 year warranties available.

    Take that tape drive and make a cheap consumer version for $1000-2000? Disaster.
     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    [Citation required]

    Pro-tip: when the little light appears on "clean", put a cleaning tape in. You'll get a decade or more out of your tape drive.

    My citation: I use A LOT of tapes. (In my current job, over 1000 in storage. In my lifetime, probably 10K+ by now).

    Does that even exist? I specifically said drives in the 5-6K range for a reason.
     
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  8. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    OP's topic is specifically about it. No they don't exist as far as I know.

    This thread is not about 5-6k tape drives.
     
  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Which, in my world, is a consumer drive.

    An enterprise system has a few more zeroes at the end.
     
  10. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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  11. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    Well you would be wrong

    An enterprise tape drive can be purchased for 5k.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  12. power

    power Member

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    I miss the big esata push, didn't take off but was the best for external on consumer.
     
  13. PsydFX

    PsydFX Member

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    There are slightly cheaper options out there if you’re happy to stick with LTO6. Quantum and Tandberg will generally have Internal and External SAS drive options in the low $3K range.
     
  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Good to know. :lol:
     
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  15. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    You mean Tape Library not Tape Drive.
    [​IMG]

    Library adds many zero's.
     
  16. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    eBay (etc.) is the place to shop. Can get your 5-6k enterprise drive for 1500 - often only a year or so old so still with warranty left. And as elvis rightly points out, they ARE reliable as they ARE enterprise grade.

    Over the years I've eBay purchased at least 10 tape drives/libraries 2nd hand and each one has been retired due to no longer meeting my needs rather than breaking. I started off with a 8 DAT autoloader drive, quickly went to LTO1, then 3 and 4, and now run a 8tape LTO6 autoloader* that I paid $1800 for, well over a 10k machine when new.

    LTO is what you want, don't even consider any of the other weird formats, AIT/DAT/DLT/SDLT. AIT and DAT are old/superceeded and hard/impossilbe to get tapes for. DLT/SDLT are also end of life, so tapes will begin to dry up, LTO has taken over the market for everything except the ultra highend (where IBM dominates with their 10k system).

    Buy your tapes in bulk, prices reduce quickly in even 5-packs over individual purchases.

    (a HP 1-8 Gen2 with a SAS LTO6 drive in it)
     
  17. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    Elvis never mentioned second hand tape drives from ebay.

    In fact, nobody has mentioned second hand drives up until this point.
     
  18. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Didn't know we weren't allowed to mention them.
    not sorry

    We're not in B&EC, so for home use, it's the sensible thing to do (let someone else take the massive depreciation hit), if tape is the sensible answer for the OP's needs. Noting that tape is not always the answer.
     
  19. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    No I'm just simply pointing out that saying "elvis was right" about the $1500 second hand enterprise drives, when he didn't even say that.. is weird.
     
  20. power

    power Member

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    what's the use case?
     

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