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The Need for Tape


The Need for Tape

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Annette Ehrlich
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My boss once asked me how we can stop hackers from attempting to hack our Web site. We get the most hack attempts during the night when the other side of the world is awake and we are sleeping.

My response to him "Either get all of these losers gainfully employed or at least help them 'get a life'."Cool
Steve Jones
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blandry (3/26/2009)

What we need are much more stringent legal avenues to meet this problem. This is just the sad reality of it.


Here, here. Let some of these kids dig ditches or pound nails as a punishment for a year.

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Steve Jones
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Tape allows for a disconnected medium that isn't active. Moving to disk, often means that you have a process there. you could make this offsite, and offline, but then you are connecting some of the time, which is when a hacker (or more likely, insider) can attack.

If you move to tape, and physically remove tapes from machines, you have a layer of protection in the physical act.

this is less a hacker concern, and more a disgruntled employee concern. A good reason to have someone else other than the admin handle tapes. Even at a small company, I used to do the backups, but we had a secretary handle the tapes. Granted, I could have stopped backups, but we did perform a restore from tape periodically and the secretary got the tape from the offsite company, so I would have a limited window to do damage.

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Matt Miller (4)
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Steve Jones - Editor (3/26/2009)
blandry (3/26/2009)

What we need are much more stringent legal avenues to meet this problem. This is just the sad reality of it.


Here, here. Let some of these kids dig ditches or pound nails as a punishment for a year.


That's all fine an dandy in the case of the disaffected youth concept. The reality however seems to be very different, since there is an increasing amount of such incidents which are government-sponsored (from certain countries in Asia and the Middle East in particular) or, tolerated by said government swhen used to neutralize threats to the local economy, or - just not prosecutable in said coutries. Just look at the published events during the US presidential elections (From China, Niger, North Korea just to cite a few), and it becomes fairly clear that you can't expect that legal channels will tackle this beast.

Once again - our dogged attachment to open networks/open lines of communication leaves us with no other option than making sure that a. we are protected as best we can in our online systems and b. that we maintain a certain set of offline systems or backups to account for those incidents where a breach occurs.

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Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
DPhillips-731960
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Steve Jones - Editor (3/26/2009)[hrTape allows for a disconnected medium that isn't active. Moving to disk, often means that you have a process there. you could make this offsite, and offline, but then you are connecting some of the time, which is when a hacker (or more likely, insider) can attack.

If you move to tape, and physically remove tapes from machines, you have a layer of protection in the physical act.

this is less a hacker concern, and more a disgruntled employee concern. A good reason to have someone else other than the admin handle tapes. Even at a small company, I used to do the backups, but we had a secretary handle the tapes. Granted, I could have stopped backups, but we did perform a restore from tape periodically and the secretary got the tape from the offsite company, so I would have a limited window to do damage.


With relation to backups, there is no difference between disk and tape, only that disk is far faster. This equates to less connected time.

I'd never go back to tape if I have a choice about it. Hot swap SCSI was difficult, but USB has turned the issue around. I've been backing up to removeable HD's for 5+ years now, and no regrets.
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Tapes are simple and compact. I haven't looked recently, but 40Gb tapes were available 5 years ago.

DVDs can't match the storage (haven't checked Blu-Ray, but the technologies a bit new for general use).

Removable hard disks can match or execeed the storage but come with a mass of sensitive electronics built into the media which could fail.

Hence tape is still the backup medium of choice in most situations.

Derek
DPhillips-731960
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Derek Dongray (3/26/2009)
Tapes are simple and compact. I haven't looked recently, but 40Gb tapes were available 5 years ago.

DVDs can't match the storage (haven't checked Blu-Ray, but the technologies a bit new for general use).

Removable hard disks can match or execeed the storage but come with a mass of sensitive electronics built into the media which could fail.

Hence tape is still the backup medium of choice in most situations.


300 GB HD were available 5 years ago (and bigger). Tape not sensitive?! Very funny. And do you enjoy the time spent backing up to or restoring from tape?

The speed and capacity of hard disk far outweighs any argument tape can propose. Lets see someone pull off a backup to a mirrored set of tapes... yes, it can be done, but whoa... Electromagnetic interferrence will smoke a tape much easier than a disk.

Championing tape in this day is like saying we should go back to 486 DX4 100MHZ PCs.
BobAtDBS
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After a read, a re-read, and digesting the posts before mine, I've come to the conclusion that the best concept in the discussion is using a pull based method to get the backups from the main server(s) to the backup servers. (Whether the backups are stored on tape or disk). It means the server being backed up doesn't even have a clue (much less any access rights) to where it's backups might be being copied.

I am one who has abandoned tape a long time ago. But we've been pushing backups to another server, I'm going to reverse that.

Thanks for the article, and for provoking some thought!


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Charles Kincaid
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I knew a DBA who:
(1) Backed up using a script
(2) zipped up the backup via command line
(3) Used a QIC 40 tape to backup the zip.

ATBCharles Kincaid
GSquared
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Backup to USB HDDs is pretty good physical alternative to tape. They do take up a bit more shelf space, and cost more.

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