LTO and the 3-2-1 rule

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by Quantum Flux, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. Quantum Flux

    Quantum Flux Member

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    Opinions - would LTO tapes from two different manufacturers fulfill the 2 mediums rule for backups? (assume there are no copies on disk).

    What risks are being mitigated by this rule?
     
  2. DavidRa

    DavidRa Member

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    In my opinion no, though I'll admit it's a slight grey area. What if the drive has an error while reading the backup? Or writing it? What happens if the drive fails and you can't get a replacement? What if the original had misaligned heads or something and no drive will read the tapes?
     
  3. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Are you backing the data off the production data or a copy? If copy then you have 2 copies of production on different media.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Quantum Flux

    Quantum Flux Member

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    Just conceptualising an on-prem deep archive for various large datasets.
     
  5. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    No. Both are susceptible for the same things.

    That said, more and more I see people moving away from tape and using cloud storage as a second tier/archive. You can go 'cheap and deep' with both disk and cloud as long as you don't have to fetch much data from the archive.
     
  6. Gunna

    Gunna Member

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    Wasabi S3 storage, $5.99 per Tb with no egress charges
     
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  7. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    So I did a thing w/ a client who if they proceeded with their Data Protection plan in the cloud was up for 2-3% of their annual revenue by year 5 in cloud "cool" storage consumption. Thats Cost in $ that starts with a B.

    The cloud is not, infact, cheaper.

    No, I did not stutter.

    Cloud is convenient because its "easier" to manage - but tape annihilates it in terms of cost at scale, even when you include media exercising and format shifts.
     
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  8. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Remember 3-2-1 remember 1 = 1 copy offsite.
     
  9. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    TCO does not just consist of $ per TB. That said, it is not the right solution for everyone and blindly saying one always beats the other all the time is not a good way to approach a solution.
     
  10. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    On what fucking planet is a billion dollars per year with $hyperscaler for archive data ok?

    Hint, this *dwarfs* their current global IT spend.

    No magic TCO/ROI Gartner fucking bullshit is going to convince a company that doesn't have rocks in their head to do that.
     
  11. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    not right for your customer does not equal not right for everybody.
     
  12. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    Cuhrekt. Sounds like a sore point :p
     
  13. Gunna

    Gunna Member

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    I have not touched LTO in 15+ years but even then at a small scale it was a bitch to manage as the jnr lvl 1 help desk guy promoted to senior admin when my boss left. Remembering to swap tapes, replacing failed tapes and the speed wasnt the best. Granted our hardware was probably crap too.

    Generally curious, How does a client at that size, with complaince requirements manage that level of data retention on tape? I mean you're still talking < 1GB/s transfer yeah?
     
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  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    More tapes, more tape drives, bigger robots, better software to manage it all, better pre-tape caching (VTL, ZWS, object store, enterprise HSM, etc).

    I have one client with 10s of PB on tape, legislation to keep it all "forever", and a very expensive HSM to manage it all.
     
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  15. leighr

    leighr Member

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    What's the testing regime like on something like that? I inherited a smaller one of those (with similar "forever" requirements) at one point in the past. It had been passing all it's "testing" - restore a random mailbox from a random date, that sort of thing, but the day we actually needed to use it for something large, it fell over. The drives/robots weren't the issue, it was the software that let us down.
     
  16. Onthax

    Onthax Member

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    Cloud Archive Tiers are tape FYI from what I've seen.
     
  17. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Checksums. They are a thing.
     
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  18. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    HSM provides this. You tell it things like

    * I want X copies
    * I don't want any given media older than X years
    * I don't want any given media older than X technology

    And periodically it'll tell you "hey, I need tape serial numbers <blah> so I can migrate this data". So you recall your tapes from your offsite storage mob, plug 'em in, and the HSM migrates the data for you. How it does that is also up to you. Newer ones will do tape-to-tape on identical media to save you needing to store it on disk in the middle. But, say, you pull an LTO4 from storage and want to write that stuff to your shiny new LTO8, then the HSM can throw it back into the file system and then back onto the new media along with other stuff to ensure you're not wasting media.

    Beyond that, I do data preservation stuff as a hobby. So even if you don't have squillion dollar budgets for massive enterprise HSMs, there's lots you can do with free tools, and I wrote lots about that here:
    https://stickfreaks.com/misc/digital-data-preservation

    The short version is: migrate things constantly, verify with checksums. Also, don't fall into the "I need cryptographic checksums to be sure" trap. You don't. xxhash exists and is faster than any storage any of us have access to right now:
    https://github.com/Cyan4973/xxHash

    Storing data "forever" is an active, full time job. Many businesses who say "store it forever" fuck this up - typically by not putting BOTH the infrastructure and human labour behind it. But even when lots of money gets spent on tools, many places still don't allocate the human time and brain power needed to both do the work and automate it sensibly. (There's only so much you can automate when a requirement is data that's offline and off site).

    Hard to confirm what cloud vendors use, but yes, there's strong indication that many of their "long term cold store" type offerings are just tape with a high latency API over the top, which is why they're cheaper than advertised lower latency disk offerings from the same vendors.

    But as we all know, cloud storage of any sort is still more expensive at scale than doing it yourself. But the line shifts constantly. I store all my personal home stuff in the cloud, because it costs me single digit dollars per month, which works out to less than doing it myself, and easier to automate in a "safe even if my house burns down" way. I'd dare say that for small businesses it's viable too, especially factoring in the cost of not needing IT people to help. As storage densities improve, I dare say we'll see it creep into medium sized business financial viability soon too.

    I absolutely believe there will be a future (and quite soon), where all but the absolute largest enterprises bother with complex DIY backup any more. SMB and even sub-500-employess level backup tools will look VERY different 10 years from now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
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  19. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Lol no it won't.

    It will look the same as it does now - with 70-80% of it being untested, inadequate or non-existent.
     
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  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Haha fair point. I mean for those that actually do something and care. :)
     
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