noir

your thoughts on a lto-2 for home use

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nearly a year ago i built my 2tera fileserver for home use.

nothing special, 7x200 and 2x320gigs, on Asus P5GD2 motherboard. Like every storage fanboy, i planned on adding either soft- or hardware raid5 sooner or later.

Now i start realising (a bit late) that i don't need the speed advantages that high-end raid5 controllers would give me, but that i would be better off with a secure storage solution.

So i've started eyeing enterprise-solution streamers, which are imo the only solution that makes backup viable. i also considered building a seperate server for backup, but now that i have seen lto-2 drives under the 1000$ pricepoint (used, on ebay), i seriously start looking at those streamers.

The only thing i'm worried about is the continuous streaming of 30mbytes/sec to the drive. But any of my hds should be able to move that kind of data continuously.

One thing i'd need would be an scsi controller with fast interface. unfortunately my motherboard only has free pcie 1x slots, on no pci-x. is there any pcie 1x scsi controller out there?

A more secondary concern is searching for a backup software (possibly freeware) able to spawn the backup data over several tapes, and do an update-only backup.

As the fileserver will grow in size (3 tera soon), and as the data is not crucial (movies&music), i thought an update-backup every 2 weeks, and a full backup every 6 months would be more than sufficient, reducing my cost for media by quite a margin.

So, i wanted to ask for your opinions on this foolish idea of mine. The only streamers i have "worked" with is an old 400mbyte quantum i used 7 years ago or so.

Thank you in advance :D

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nearly a year ago i built my 2tera fileserver for home use.

nothing special, 7x200 and 2x320gigs, on Asus P5GD2 motherboard. Like every storage fanboy, i planned on adding either soft- or hardware raid5 sooner or later.

Now i start realising (a bit late) that i don't need the speed advantages that high-end raid5 controllers would give me, but that i would be better off with a secure storage solution.

So i've started eyeing enterprise-solution streamers, which are imo the only solution that makes backup viable. i also considered building a seperate server for backup, but now that i have seen lto-2 drives under the 1000$ pricepoint (used, on ebay), i seriously start looking at those streamers.

The only thing i'm worried about is the continuous streaming of 30mbytes/sec to the drive. But any of my hds should be able to move that kind of data continuously.

One thing i'd need would be an scsi controller with fast interface. unfortunately my motherboard only has free pcie 1x slots, on no pci-x. is there any pcie 1x scsi controller out there?

A more secondary concern is searching for a backup software (possibly freeware) able to spawn the backup data over several tapes, and do an update-only backup.

As the fileserver will grow in size (3 tera soon), and as the data is not crucial (movies&music), i thought an update-backup every 2 weeks, and a full backup every 6 months would be more than sufficient, reducing my cost for media by quite a margin.

So, i wanted to ask for your opinions on this foolish idea of mine. The only streamers i have "worked" with is an old 400mbyte quantum i used 7 years ago or so.

Thank you in advance :D

I use an HP Ultrium LTO-2 manual load tape drive with a Adaptec PCI scsi ard. Although the card is a 64bit 66mhz PCI-X card, it works just fine in my PCI slot. The only non-raid SCSI PCI-e controller that I'm aware of is the Atto UL5D, but it's PCI-e 4x lanes and not 1x. I backup on my home network about 7TB and just make sure you have plenty of LTO-2 tapes, at least twice your storage needs (1 current backup, 1 prior backup, and incrementals).

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So, i wanted to ask for your opinions on this foolish idea of mine.
Foolish ? Cool !

I still do my backupping with a Compaq 40/80 GB DLT (10-tape library)

And making a full backup takes a lot of time, even with a library.

You value your data apparently. Go for it !

Find the biggest capacity drive your budget allows... as you say your data will keep on growing.

And in a few years or sooner you will find that nice big LTO drive... not so big anymore.

On the other hand... does that 2nd hand drive come with warranty ?

They are reliable but all things break eventually.

I also have a 2nd server that mirrors my data, using Volume Shadow Copy 'set it and forget it'.

It's a PIII 866 with 512 MB memory. The really expensive part of this server is the harddisks.

But those are new and come with 5 years of warranty.

For the price of that tape drive plus tapes and SCSI card you can build yourself a nice server too ...

Sorry i cannot make your choice easier ;-)

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i did some calculus. After the 3tera mark, backing up on tapes becomes way cheaper for me than backing up on HDs... (due to the initial cost of the tape drive). so i guess tape will be my thing.

oh, another foolish question: does tape, like CDs, have its own fileformat? Like a CD being readable on all OSes. (backing up on windows -> putting back the data on linux)

Talking of Linux, i wondered how i could organise the multitude of HDs into an easy network share. (i mean, sharing each HD as folder, making up 20folders or more isnt that viable). I thought of JBODing them in LVM, but i'm a bit scared of files spawning over 2HDs (in case of a crash, it won't be fun to track those down). Or does Samba know a way sharing multiple HDs as one folder?

Thank you for the fast responses :)

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oh, another foolish question: does tape, like CDs, have its own fileformat? Like a CD being readable on all OSes. (backing up on windows -> putting back the data on linux)
Tape does not have its own format - backup programs do.

So if you can find one that has a Windows version as well as a Linux one you might be okay - otherwise i strongly doubt it.

Talking of Linux, i wondered how i could organise the multitude of HDs into an easy network share. (i mean, sharing each HD as folder, making up 20folders or more isnt that viable). I thought of JBODing them in LVM, but i'm a bit scared of files spawning over 2HDs (in case of a crash, it won't be fun to track those down). Or does Samba know a way sharing multiple HDs as one folder?
I am pretty sure Linux, as well as Windows, knows 'mount points'.

That way you can make folders or disks visible as mounted in a folder.

How backup programs treat mounted folders/drives i am sorry i cannot tell you.

Testing should not be too difficult..

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