Tape Backup Software

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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After having another close encounter with data loss recently I decided I needed to have a more permanent backup strategy (non disk) and decided to get a tape drive.
I scored a LTO7 drive yesterday for cheap (relatively, still way too expensive for home use and total overkill but this forum's is to fault for that o/c :p)
I know, inform first buy after but this was a nice opportunity.

So I am looking for software to use it now.
I saw a bunch of open source software (Bacula, Amanda) but have no experience with those. I could get TSM as well via our company, but with little info what makes a good tool this is as good as any other.

Basically I need tape for 2 kinds of data - persistent data like documents and pictures which atm don't change that often.
Then it would make sense to save moving data (core infrastructure VMs )to have a fallback in case of all else failing - those should be updated maybe once a week.
I don't have tape library, only a single drive. Not sure whether I can leave the tape in the drive for weeks and months or whether thats bad for it (dust & heat)?

For vmBackup I use Nakivo atm, all my docs&pics are on a FreeNas filer , so no real Client Backup requirements

Thanks:)
 

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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LTFS :)
You could just treat it as a file system. LTO7 supports this.
Otherwise for cheap I don't really know, TSM is great but way overkill and not 'simple' at all.

Mind sharing the price and deal ? I am half tempted to use tape also as a backup.
 

Rand__

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Yes I have seen LTFS as option - still not sure how to drive it - simple OS based scripting ?

Got it for €900 on Ebay. Not cheap for home, but I hope cheap for LTO7.
Refurbished, but if the pic's don't lie its rather new (manuf in January 17)
 

Evan

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Never used LTFS and realized I don't even have a standalone tape drive to try. Should be easy to try it out.
 

Rand__

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:)
Just d'ling the TSM (or "Spectrum Protect" as it seems to be called now) Appliance to give it a whirl.
But will try LTFS as well, maybe its enough:)
 

Rand__

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There is no need to stick to the drive vendor's brand of tapes is there?
I can use HP for my IBM/Tandberg drive, can't I ?
 

cheezehead

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An LTO7 tape is an LTO7 tape. You'll need to check with the tape drive vendor but in theory you should be able to write to LTO-6 tapes as well as reading as old as LTO-5's.

As for software, it all depends what OS the system attached to the drive is.

LTFS works well for fulls but if your looking at differentials, it will block out space and write to a new spot on the tape....you cannot reuse blocks with LTFS without reformatting.

If your already using Nakivo for all your backups, there are methods to detach the repository and then copy it to tape.
Creating Backup Repositories
 

Rand__

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Thanks. I read that with write-1/read-2 versions, but while the lto6 tapes are cheaper it seems a waste of a good drive to save a few bucks on older generation tape media. But given the prices of them I prefer to take the cheaper option if possible. Not keen on shelling out >€100 for a single tape;)
And thanks again for the Nakivo link. I guess I will have to play around a bit when I got everything :)
 

Evan

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There is no need to stick to the drive vendor's brand of tapes is there?
I can use HP for my IBM/Tandberg drive, can't I ?
Yep, sure can. LTO is LTO, nothing special about the tapes.
 

Terry Kennedy

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Yep, sure can. LTO is LTO, nothing special about the tapes.
The cartridge colors aren't constant between manufacturers - see the Wikipedia article for more info.

LTO5 and older tapes used MP (metal particulate) tapes. LTO7 and (presumably) newer use BaFe (Barium Ferrite) tapes, LTO6 can use MP or BaFe. IBM at least (not sure about the other drive manufacturers) says you should only use BaFe in their LTO6 drives.

If your drive is an IBM drive, you can buy a caddy for it that lets it be used in the IBM TS3100/3200, Dell TL2000/4000, and many other libraries. Every once in a while a good deal comes along on eBay - for a while, you could get a Dell-branded, IBM-recertified TL4000 (48-tape, up to 4-drive) library, complete except for the drive, for < $300.

For media, I suggest you contact:
Code:
Miguel Saldivar [miguel at tape4backup dot com]
Account Services & Sales
www.Tape4BackUp.com <http://tape4backup.com/>
The Price & Service Leader
888.491.4949
888.449.5050 Fax
Feel free to mention I sent you.
 

cheezehead

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Only reasons I mentioned LTO6 tapes was the cost savings (if you didn't have that much to backup) and availability (LTO-7 is sometimes hard to come depending where are the globe you are). LTO-7 tapes have almost double the write speed as LTO-6, so that may factor in as well.
 

Rand__

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@Terry Kennedy Thanks - Bidding on an auction for 5 HP branded drives at €200 now, will see how that goes. If not I might contact Miguel to see what his prices are but i am in the EU so not sure this will work out.
The drive is a Tandberg drive Neo LTO 7 - at least thats what the depicted manual says. The drive itself lists IBM information ... it might be this one - IBM 3573-8447 LTO7 HH SAS Tape Drive Module 00VJ127, 38L7456 (based on the P/N 38L7509) but the auction shows it without the caddy.

Is there a reason to get one Tape Library over the other - eg TL4000 over TS3100 ? Only number of storable tapes/drives?

@cheezehead Yes I thought about that but as I said it seems a waste of a good drive. There is some availability of LTO7 media lower than official price (ie €80 obo), which is still not 'cheap' but better than double that. I probably will need only 2 or 3 tapes atm at LTO7 size so it should be bearable.
 

Rand__

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So got the 5 HP tapes for €200 which is good. Received the drive today as well, looks fine. Couldn't really test due to missing tapes o/c.

@Terry Kennedy found an old post by you here ;) - https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/48751/ - link inside freebsd.org is dead though. Was looking into running the tape directly from FreeNas or jail, thats why I went back to Bacula today

Tried setting up Bacula and Bareos but didnt work out in Windows. Tried TSM appliance yesterday but that had some issues too, so still have no tape program which detected the drive as expected, but drive looked ok ( in windows device manager).
 

Terry Kennedy

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Is there a reason to get one Tape Library over the other - eg TL4000 over TS3100 ? Only number of storable tapes/drives?
Dell TL2000/4000 (24 / 48 tapes, though a couple of slots are reserved for a cleaning tape and exchange) are the same as IBM TS3100/3200. The difference is that Dell doesn't charge for firmware updates and is pretty current with the IBM updates. IBM charges, HP charges. Overland apparently doesn't charge (and uses generic IBM drives, not OEM ones) so that's a possibility for firmware updates as well.
@Terry Kennedy found an old post by you here ;) - https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/48751/ - link inside freebsd.org is dead though. Was looking into running the tape directly from FreeNas or jail, thats why I went back to Bacula today
Yup, I sold the tmk.com domain a while ago and didn't want to go edit the 1000's of posts where I posted links (a lot of sites were willing to do a global replace for me). You want:

The RAIDzilla II project

The RAIDzilla II upgrade project
 

Rand__

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Thanks :)

Edit:
Just to be clear, can any of the older Tape Libraries run with a LTO 7 drive?
Would the only thing I need be a caddy to fit the drive into the TL?
So I'd need to check which caddies I could get and then pick a matching TL (or the oter way round depending on whats pricier) ?
 
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Terry Kennedy

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Just to be clear, can any of the older Tape Libraries run with a LTO 7 drive?
For any of the IBM 3573-derived libraries (TS3100/3200, TL2000/4000, etc.) all you need is updated library controller firmware (hence the suggestion to use a Dell library, since they make the firmware available for free without registration).
Would the only thing I need be a caddy to fit the drive into the TL?
Assuming you have an IBM-built drive, yes. You need the appropriate caddy (single- or dual-port SAS, with or without the Ethernet diagnostic port, half- or full-height, depending on your drive). You need a caddy that still has all of its cables (in addition to the SAS connector, there are one or more smaller cables that attach to currently-unused connectors on the drive). You also need to remove the drive faceplate. The conversion the other way is more common, which is the reason you can buy a bare caddy.
So I'd need to check which caddies I could get and then pick a matching TL (or the oter way round depending on whats pricier) ?
Again, the above is specific to the IBM 3573 family. Non-IBM drives won't work in those libraries, and IBM drives probably won't work in other types of libraries. The proper caddy has blue thumbscrews on the left and right sides.

The only other library I'm familiar with is the Quantum Superloader 3, and you don't want any of those (they're a triumph of engineering over common sense).
 

Rand__

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Ok, thanks again :)
Not sure its IBM built or not unfortunately. It has IBM labels but looks like a Tandberg built drive:
lto7_1s-l1600.jpg lto7_2s-l1600.jpg
 

Rand__

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No visible fan but two interface connectors;)
lto7_3s-l1600.jpg

id'd as IBM ULTRIUM-HH7 G9Q1 as well :)
 
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