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Author Topic: Best large capacity backup in addition to hard drives  (Read 3557 times)
sullins
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« on: February 09, 2011, 10:31:19 AM »

I know I need to be using permanent backup besides hard drives (I have 3 copies). I need 500 GB now but am working with a 1 Tb capacity. What is the best large capacity archival? Blue Ray, Tape Drive, other?
Thanks
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Sullins
rdonahue
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kdrryand
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 08:44:24 AM »

I don't trust Optical one. bit.  While 1TB is a little small for tape (You'd need like.. 2 LTO tapes), it is the big-iron industry standard.  Tape drives will start at about $1000, with tapes starting in the $50-$80 range. 

Where tape becomes "cheap", is when you've got ~30 tapes (probably closer to 40, to account for spare tapes and whatnot), so its likely not an economical choice if you're only looking to backup .5-1TB.

Best bang for the buck is probably a 1TB NAS device, it's not tied to a host machine, which makes recovery from a failed machine a little easier.  They are hard disk based, but are "always on" negating the problems with leaving drives "on the shelf" (bad, bad bad!)

Hope that's at least slightly helpful!
-Ryan
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Ryan Donahue
Manager of Information Systems, George Eastman House
sullins
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 09:31:38 AM »

Thank you!
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Sullins
JoeThePhotographer
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 09:40:59 AM »

I wonder if it's possible to rent a tape drive.

Joe
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ianw
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 10:12:59 AM »

I don't fully trust Optical, although when I've had to go to old archives (DVDs burnt 5 years ago) I've not had a problem recovering files.

I don't fully trust Hard Drives - had too many go kaput on me, although quite often it's the power supply and not the drive.

I certainly don't trust tape drives - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tape_drive#Reliability  We backup about 400GB of data to tape each night at work and have a legal requirement to keep one set of tapes each month for at least 7 years.  We've had problems restoring from tape before - and our tapes are kept off-site in a specialist storage facility i.e. correct temperature and humidity - and had to rely on specialist data recovery firms.  This is for financial data at work rather then photographs at home.

I think the moral of the story is never to trust your data source - be it the backup or the original.  Therefore you need to have multiple copies of your data on multiple media types stored in multiple locations.  Data failure will happen to you and the countdown clock for your personal disaster is already ticking.

Ian
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sullins
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 10:37:54 AM »

thanks
When a power supply goes out, is it cost effective to fix it or should it just be replaced?
I usually keep 3 copies of the database, so when a drive fails I trash it and get another one.
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Sullins
ianw
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 12:12:19 PM »

When a power supply goes out, is it cost effective to fix it or should it just be replaced?

Ken,

Most of my external hard drives are of the same type, so share the same power supply.  These are Western Digital Elements drives.  On their website they do sell power supplies, but not for every type of drive, at least not in the UK.  I guess most people think it's the drive when there's a problem rather than the power supply.

I used to have Lacie external drives and these were notorious for power supply problems, although you could buy spares more easily.  Of course some people will have these drives and never have a problem but will cuss and curse at Western Digital for killing their data!

I do keep a couple of spare power supplies with my off-site drives, just in case.  Also reduces the amount to carry back and forth!

Ian
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Mathew Farrell
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2012, 09:11:54 PM »

...They are hard disk based, but are "always on" negating the problems with leaving drives "on the shelf" (bad, bad bad!)...

Ryan, I don't understand the implications/problems of leaving drives on the shelf. I would have intrinsically assumed the opposite - that a constantly powered drive is more likely to blow a gasket. Could you explain for me (or point me another thread)?

Also a few comments here about not completely trusting optical. I understand the 'completely' part, but what are people's big fears? Is it mechanical damage (eg, scratches to the top)?

Cheers,
Mat
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Mathew Farrell
Flowstate Photography
photography.flowstate.com.au
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