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Iomega's Rev drive vs. standard tape or disk backup

Our company currently backs up close to 40 GB of data as a full backup on a daily basis. We have a DDS drive with a maximum of 40 GB compressed per tape. Our backups normally take seven hours overnight. We are looking to upgrade to something that will close to double our backup space but still have the portability to off site. I have seen all the articles claiming that either disk-to-disk or disk-to-tape is the best solution. We are a SMB and cannot afford an expensive D2D solution with the same portability. I have recently seen that Iomega's Rev drive is pretty much the best of both worlds. Can you tell me how it compares to standard tape or disk backups?

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At the highest level, the comparison can be as follows: Iomega Rev technology offers a faster data seek (access) time than conventional tape. This is because it is a random access device (much like a hard drive) as opposed to a sequential access device like tape. This means less time is spent locating data blocks. However, unlike hard drives (disk) the Rev media is better suited for off-site storage as it can be ejected from the device just like tape media. However, there are a few questions you must ask yourself when designing a backup data storage infrastructure.

For example:

  • Does your backup software support this type of device?
  • What kind of data growth are you projecting over the next 2-3 years?
  • Will that growth cause you to exceed Rev media capacity?
  • Has the requirement to manually insert media (tape or other) on a daily basis ever caused you to miss a backup window because someone forgot?
Answering these questions first should help you choose the appropriate solution for your organization.

This was first published in November 2004

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