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Tape media: Right-sizing your servers

A new day is here for tape storage. Variations in media lengths have become a consumer choice with several attractive benefits. Both Linear Tape Open (LTO) and Exabyte's Mammoth-2 (M2) SmartClean media give a storage professional options that were not available last year. By design, you decide the most cost-effective means to store data to tape.

Our example uses a 100G Byte server & Mammoth-2.

Tip1: When using automation, you can select larger capacity media (150G Bytes) to store your full backups. Then, you can select less expensive smaller capacity (50G Bytes) media to store your daily incremental backups. This saves money and reduces the need to place multiple daily backups on a single large cartridge (which can also increase data integrity risks).

Tip2: Media cost often exceeds the purchase price of backup software and hardware over a 3-year period. Use differential backups to reduce the size of archived or off-site disaster recovery media sets. Differential backups save all information since the last full backup. If you allow the differential to grow to 75% of the full capacity, you can often stretch your rotation cycle from 7 days to 14 or 21 days. This stretched cycle is determined by the delta in file modification/creation on each server.

Using modern backup applications with flexible scheduling and archiving options and incorporating faster, and higher capacity tape drives -- such as LTO, SuperDLT, and Mammoth-2 -- you can lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and improve backup performance.

About the author: Darrell Johnson works for Exabyte Corp.

This was last published in February 2001

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