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The Institute for Backup Trauma


The Institute for Backup Trauma

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Institute for Backup Trauma

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OCTom
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Since this editorial is 5 years old, I wonder how many are now using disk instead of tape. We still use tape but have discussed disk backup?

And, is a cloud service better than in-house to disk backups?
Nakul Vachhrajani
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I would still prefer a tape for shipment offsite. The reason? No impact of mechanical forces!
Secondly, tapes have stood the test of time. Optical disks are a good alternate, but I am not sure if anyone has ever tried to recover 10 year old business critical backup from an optical disk.

My home backup strategy is to have two external drives for regular monthly backups. The laptop's data goes into the desktop every week, and then every month, that is flushed on to the external drives. Every year, I copy it over to optical disks. Heavy-weights (videos/music/pictures) which are also available on the desktop are removed from the external drives and only the essential work/study data remains ready for a new year.

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Ron Porter
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We backup exclusively to disk and have never been happier. We've always hated tape with a passion, mostly because they've been so unreliable (tape-eating drives and media not readable on identical replacement hardware because of imperfect head alignment). We've experimented with a number of disk-based systems over the years and have now settled on two NAS devices, one on site and the other off site. (We have our own fiber between two buildings separated by about a block, so off site doesn't mean off network.)
Dave Schutz
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We run all our backups daily to tape and keep some tapes offsite. Would love to have disk storage but not in the budget. I do keep 3 days of SQL backups on the network as a convenience, easier and quicker than tape.
Elliott Whitlow
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All the environments I've been in typically use a two hop approach, backups are written to disk and the backups are then swept to tape which are taken offsite. If you have a LOT of servers this can be problematic as the network becomes a bottleneck.

And as always you have to periodically TEST that the tapes are readable, at a former employer we had to spend like $15K to send a couple tapes out for recovery when there was a disaster and a server died. They hadn't been testing and just assumed that if it was on tape it was OK. Altogether I think for the better. But 3 days of downtime, a bunch of idle people, and $15K for recovery, I would guess the costs were over $100K..

This was a HARD lesson and there was real change after to make sure the backups were good.

CEWII
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We use a two-op approach but don't use tape backup anymore. We backup to disk and then those backups are retrieved into an appliance that is disk based. The backups once there are mirrored between sites for DR.



Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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Ron Porter
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Elliott Whitlow (12/20/2010)
All the environments I've been in typically use a two hop approach, backups are written to disk and the backups are then swept to tape which are taken offsite. If you have a LOT of servers this can be problematic as the network becomes a bottleneck.

And as always you have to periodically TEST that the tapes are readable, at a former employer we had to spend like $15K to send a couple tapes out for recovery when there was a disaster and a server died. They hadn't been testing and just assumed that if it was on tape it was OK. Altogether I think for the better. But 3 days of downtime, a bunch of idle people, and $15K for recovery, I would guess the costs were over $100K..

This was a HARD lesson and there was real change after to make sure the backups were good.

CEWII


Even with testing, we've had to send tapes out for recovery. One tape drive died and the new one wouldn't read the tapes because the old drive apparently had head alignment problems. It wrote and read tapes just fine, but the tapes created were not readable even on supposedly identical hardware.
jessicadisney
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We do both as well. Grandfather system, full weekly, daily incremental, all written to the disk, then nightly to the tape for off site. Looked into the disk only options but no reliable network (fiber) that can handle the data transfer requirements in a timely manner. The tapes seem like they are better than they used to be. Direct SCSI from the backup server to the tape drive makes the backup window really reasonable.



Elliott Whitlow
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CirquedeSQLeil (12/20/2010)
We use a two-op approach but don't use tape backup anymore. We backup to disk and then those backups are retrieved into an appliance that is disk based. The backups once there are mirrored between sites for DR.
I've seen that as well, as disk costs have come down this has become more practical. Just like I don't use DVD's for personal backup anymore, I keep several copies of data on external hard drives, so just in case one gets destroyed I am not screwed. Or I use an online service like Norton Online Backup (NOBU). For the stuff I simply CANNOT lose I back it up to DVD's but that is rare.

I categorically don't like losing data I want to keep and will go to lengths to make sure it doesn't happen.

CEWII
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