Tape Backups Are Not Reliable - EVER

Discussion in 'Backup Software' started by Jolly Student, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Okay Folks:



    Here is one for all of you who thought that people could not get any dumber.



    Yes, I am cross posting here but the recommendations for such are only in
    the case where the subject matter concerns a bunch of groups. I think this
    qualifies as such.



    I work for a mid-sized company (600 employees) whose "Technology Director"
    has openly said that "Tape backups are not reliable". This director had a
    "consultant" come in to back up his assertion, a consultant who asked to
    check his email via his "AOL" account (indeed, his email address is
    something like ).



    Enough jokes aside - its going to get serious and this group seems to be
    spreading the rumor that "Tape Backups are Always Unreliable".



    So we now we have a huge, Raid 5 server that has a pretty decent amount of
    capacity and are using a company's software to that backups are quick and
    slick. Cool, my life is so much easier. But thats it. . . we do NOT have
    an offsite backup, we do NOT have another inhouse SDLT tape backup drive and
    the entire compliment of our backup resides ONLY on this single Network
    Attached Raid 5 server. Sure, its housed in a closet somewhere, but what if
    we had a catastrophic failure, how about a huge fire, or a plane hitting us.



    See, this "consultant" has "clients" in Manhattan who have their offices on
    the 89th floor, but their Tapeless Backup servers in the basement. Errr, is
    it me or do basements and the safes that may be contained therein get buried
    under rubble, or are there some group of IT specialists out there who
    specialize in nothing but digging out backup servers from the rubble.



    As stupid as this question is, I need to basically find credible, reliable
    sources of published information that basically say its really, really,
    really dumb to not archive stuff onto some type of medium tape or otherwise.
    This Raid 5 server that we have at our company is not a bottomless pit, but
    the higher ups do not listen to me, only to the "director" who, along with
    their "consultant" has them believing that the system we currently have in
    place is relable.



    Normally I would just shut my face since my life is a lot easier in terms of
    backup, hell, set it and forget it is the name of the game. However, I know
    full well that if we ever got hit with a major disaster the "director" would
    be off on his vacation while the rest of us poor slobs had to restore data
    from God knows where. Oh, and if we were to get hit by a brand new,
    spanking virus because the "director's" kid came in and did so, well, our
    Network Attached Storage pig would also suffer.



    In short, I need some type of recommendation, in writing, in some type of
    white paper, from some type of credible sources, that SDLT tape backup
    drives, at least for the purpose of long term archiving are not "unreliable"
    , they are only as "unreliable" as the poor work habits of the person who is
    responsible for them.



    Oh, and for the record, dear friends of mine swear by SDLT tape drives and
    the like, but I cannot bring an IT manager from CitiCorp into this
    discussion because, since he is a friend of mine, his opinion is not
    "neutral".



    Please help



    Roger.
     
    Jolly Student, Jun 18, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Jolly Student

    Steve Stone Guest

    In article <a0IAc.10835$>, says...
    > Okay Folks:
    >
    >
    >
    > Here is one for all of you who thought that people could not get any dumber.
    >
    >
    >
    > Yes, I am cross posting here but the recommendations for such are only in
    > the case where the subject matter concerns a bunch of groups. I think this
    > qualifies as such.
    >
    >
    >
    > I work for a mid-sized company (600 employees) whose "Technology Director"


    Tapes do go bad and so do tape drives or the tape is recorded on a drive
    with an alignment problem and results in failures trying to read the tape on a
    different drive.

    Hard drives crash and burn too.

    You site two different problems:

    A single backup stored only onsite
    and
    no tape backup

    In my mind you have to follow the proper procedure to have reliable backups on any type
    media.

    Depending on a single onsite backup without a remote stashed away at an alternate location
    is foolish or desperate (no money to do so).

    Steve
     
    Steve Stone, Jun 18, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Dear Steve:

    I will not argue that tapes and drives go bad. Espcially if you dont test
    them on a regular basis or if you throw them to your dog as a chew toy from
    time to time. Thats not the point here.

    The point here is that the director maintains that we do not need any other
    type of backup device. I only suggested SDLT because of its portability. I
    mean, I take an SDLT full backup once a week and stick it in a safe deposit
    box is a lot better than just relying on one backup server in one location.
    Thats the point.

    Thanks,

    Walt
     
    Jolly Student, Jun 18, 2004
    #3
  4. PS. Money is NOT the object. Its a director who just wants to be right.
     
    Jolly Student, Jun 18, 2004
    #4
  5. Jolly Student

    Ivan Marsh Guest

    On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 21:06:52 +0000, Jolly Student wrote:

    > Dear Steve:
    >
    > I will not argue that tapes and drives go bad. Espcially if you dont
    > test them on a regular basis or if you throw them to your dog as a chew
    > toy from time to time. Thats not the point here.
    >
    > The point here is that the director maintains that we do not need any
    > other type of backup device. I only suggested SDLT because of its
    > portability. I mean, I take an SDLT full backup once a week and stick
    > it in a safe deposit box is a lot better than just relying on one backup
    > server in one location. Thats the point.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Walt


    Please allow me to preach to the choir: Always get tape!

    RAID is very cool and helps quite a bit when you loose a drive.

    RAID controllers do fail on occasion and in the most amusing ways.

    I had an HP LF server that had a bug in the firmware. It lost a drive, I
    replaced the drive, It happily went about stripping the blank drive over
    the data on the remaining good drives.

    If it weren't for a tape backup I would have had a LOT of empty disk
    space.

    --
    i.m.
    The USA Patriot Act is the most unpatriotic act in American history.
     
    Ivan Marsh, Jun 18, 2004
    #5
  6. Jolly Student

    Steve Stone Guest

    In article <MRIAc.11607$>, says...
    > PS. Money is NOT the object. Its a director who just wants to be right.
    >
    >
    >


    Then it is time for you to prepare yourself to replace him when the backups are needed and
    fail !

    Steve
     
    Steve Stone, Jun 19, 2004
    #6
  7. Jolly Student

    David Bailey Guest

    On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 20:11:50 +0000, Jolly Student wrote:

    > Okay Folks:
    >
    >
    >
    > Here is one for all of you who thought that people could not get any
    > dumber.
    >
    >
    > As stupid as this question is, I need to basically find credible,
    > reliable sources of published information that basically say its really,
    > really, really dumb to not archive stuff onto some type of medium tape
    > or otherwise. This Raid 5 server that we have at our company is not a
    > bottomless pit, but the higher ups do not listen to me, only to the
    > "director" who, along with their "consultant" has them believing that
    > the system we currently have in place is relable.
    >
    >
    >
    > Normally I would just shut my face since my life is a lot easier in
    > terms of backup, hell, set it and forget it is the name of the game.
    > However, I know full well that if we ever got hit with a major disaster
    > the "director" would be off on his vacation while the rest of us poor
    > slobs had to restore data from God knows where. Oh, and if we were to
    > get hit by a brand new, spanking virus because the "director's" kid came
    > in and did so, well, our Network Attached Storage pig would also suffer.
    >
    >
    >
    > In short, I need some type of recommendation, in writing, in some type
    > of white paper, from some type of credible sources, that SDLT tape
    > backup drives, at least for the purpose of long term archiving are not
    > "unreliable" , they are only as "unreliable" as the poor work habits of
    > the person who is responsible for them.
    >
    >
    >
    > Oh, and for the record, dear friends of mine swear by SDLT tape drives
    > and the like, but I cannot bring an IT manager from CitiCorp into this
    > discussion because, since he is a friend of mine, his opinion is not
    > "neutral".
    >
    >


    RAID is all well and good as a reliable first line of defence, but it
    ISN'T a backup strategy. The ONLY things that RAID (5) does is improve
    performance and give *some* resistance to disk failure (I have seen a RAID
    5 system with 2 bad disks!). It still needs a backup strategy on top of
    it.

    If you don't have a secondary backup device / medium somewhere, what do
    you do after say a virus gets into your system, or someone deletes a file?

    An example is a company I have done some work for. They have about 2Tb in
    a raid 50 array (two raid 5s mirrored). They had a hardware issue where
    the first array got some corruption (I believe it was a firmware issue
    with one of the controllers that caused the initial problem). This then
    mirrored across to the other array. So now they have 2 sets of identical
    *corrupt* files. They did have tape backup as well. It took a while, but
    they did restore their data.

    Tapes may not last forever, but what is the purpose of your backup
    strategy? Do you want to restore files from 10 years ago? Do you want to
    recover from something like a virus attack or deleted files over a
    relatively short time frame? Tape may or may not be able to do the
    former, but it can definitely do the latter. If tape can't do the former,
    I don't really know what else could.

    Tape also has the advantage that you can have offsite storage if you want.

    If you are concerned about the reliability of your tapes, test them every
    now and again. Anyone who is really serious about their backup strategies
    tests their entire strategy, including a full restore on a regular basis.

    If you really want documentation try this search:
    tape backup reliability "white paper"
    It gives *plenty* of hits.
     
    David Bailey, Jun 19, 2004
    #7
  8. Jolly Student

    Gerard Bok Guest

    On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 20:11:50 GMT, "Jolly Student" <>
    wrote:

    >I work for a mid-sized company (600 employees) whose "Technology Director"
    >has openly said that "Tape backups are not reliable".
    >Enough jokes aside - its going to get serious and this group seems to be
    >spreading the rumor that "Tape Backups are Always Unreliable".


    There's only one thing more stupid than backup on tape: no
    backup. (As you have now.)

    >As stupid as this question is, I need to basically find credible, reliable
    >sources of published information that basically say its really, really,
    >really dumb to not archive stuff onto some type of medium tape or otherwise.


    Well, can't promise on either 'credible' or 'reliable', but heck,
    I said it.

    --
    Kind regards,
    Gerard Bok
     
    Gerard Bok, Jun 19, 2004
    #8
  9. Jolly Student

    Bill Unruh Guest

    (Gerard Bok) writes:

    ]On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 20:11:50 GMT, "Jolly Student" <>
    ]wrote:

    ]>I work for a mid-sized company (600 employees) whose "Technology Director"
    ]>has openly said that "Tape backups are not reliable".
    ]>Enough jokes aside - its going to get serious and this group seems to be
    ]>spreading the rumor that "Tape Backups are Always Unreliable".

    So? What conclusion does he draw from this?
    Anyway, one option would be to buy an offsite large hardisk computer, and
    once a day do an rsync from your office computers to the hard disks on this
    offsite computer. that saves the stuff on hard disk, which also has its
    problems.
    Secondly, it depends on what the size of your backups are (600 people
    sounds like a lot) but a DVD will hold 4GB. If you have to change 100 DVDs
    a night, this is a hopeless solution, but if it all fits on one, this is a
    possibility. Or use them for incrimental backups.

    But do you need backups? YES.


    ]>As stupid as this question is, I need to basically find credible, reliable
    ]>sources of published information that basically say its really, really,
    ]>really dumb to not archive stuff onto some type of medium tape or otherwise.

    Many businesses have gone under because they lost everything in a
    fire/sabotage/earthquake/whatever.
    Just imagine what your business would do if they lost everything on their
    computers.
     
    Bill Unruh, Jun 19, 2004
    #9
  10. Jolly Student

    Gerard Bok Guest

    On Sat, 19 Jun 2004 14:35:21 +0000 (UTC),
    (Bill Unruh) wrote:

    > (Gerard Bok) writes:
    >
    >]On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 20:11:50 GMT, "Jolly Student" <>
    >]wrote:


    No offence Bill, but if you cut all of my text while quoting,
    would you please also delete the "Gerard Bok writes" part ?

    --
    Kind regards,
    Gerard Bok
     
    Gerard Bok, Jun 19, 2004
    #10
  11. Thanks to all who have responded with the obvious, common sense approach to
    this matter, ERGO, that tape backups, or some other offsite type of backup
    system is a necessity.

    What I forgot to mention here is that I am dealing with "Educators" who are
    really, really dense when it comes to anything having to do with technology.
    Essentially, you have one director who feels that tape backups are not
    reliable, ever, period and that experience is based upon his personal
    feelings or the feelings of others who are just plain too lazy to set up
    some type of disaster mechanism off site be it tape, hard drive, magic
    F***ING oxide pixie-dust media or what have you.

    I know guys and gals, I know. . . just relying on stuff on site no matter
    what is just plain dumb. Even for those of you out there who may think that
    tapes do fail from time to time (of course they do), you would have to say
    that if you regularly check the tapes, the backup devices, perform routine
    restorations and all of the other "Duhhhh-basics" you are going to be in
    better shape.

    My "thing" is wanting to walk off-site with a tape or two in my briefcase,
    come home and stick them in my firebox on a rotating basis. If a plan
    decided to land on our facilty, or if a nicely placed bolt of lightning hit
    the building and used the network cable as a means to send its electron
    offspring to to their worst, we would be screwed, the director would go on
    break or hide their head in the sand and the grunts would have to be the
    ones doing the clean up. Except that, in this case, all of us grunts are in
    agreement that we will go so very high up in our chain of command that we
    will let them know this was preventable and produce a plethora of
    documentation despite the "director's" 'feelings that tapes are never
    reliable".

    In short, I know that all of you here are credible sources, Jesus, its like
    telling you to keep a spare tire in the trunk of your car or to wear your
    body armor when you are going into Bagdad, but what I cannot convey enough
    to you guys is that I need the shit, the goods, in the form of papers.

    Theres got to be some white papers out there, hell, I got calls to MIS
    buddies of mine as far as the NSA asking if they have anything along the
    lines of "duhhh, you better backup off site" white papers to show this
    director.

    I can't believe that its come to this. That there are those in our industry
    that are so stupid and are permitted to be in charge of people like us.

    Anyways, enough rambling (jokes about breaks, drinks, drugs, etc., will be
    heartily laughed at, I assure you), but I think that if such a paper or set
    of papers could be found, perhaps some other poor slobs out there besides me
    will be able to sigh when a restoration is performed and not fry when they
    are into their fifteenth cup of coffee while the supervisor is home banging
    his mother up the butt.

    Thanks for your time,

    Rog
     
    Jolly Student, Jun 19, 2004
    #11
  12. Jolly Student

    Bill Unruh Guest

    "Jolly Student" <> writes:

    ]come home and stick them in my firebox on a rotating basis. If a plan
    ]decided to land on our facilty, or if a nicely placed bolt of lightning hit

    Yes, but that seems really really unlikely-- far less likely even than a
    plane hitting the school.
     
    Bill Unruh, Jun 19, 2004
    #12
  13. "Bill Unruh" <> wrote in message
    news:cb244f$ogs$...
    > "Jolly Student" <> writes:
    >
    > ]come home and stick them in my firebox on a rotating basis. If a plan
    > ]decided to land on our facilty, or if a nicely placed bolt of lightning

    hit
    >
    > Yes, but that seems really really unlikely-- far less likely even than a
    > plane hitting the school.
    >
    >


    Bill. . . so is it your position that offsite backups are not necessary - or
    am I misunderstanding what you are saying.
     
    Jolly Student, Jun 20, 2004
    #13
  14. Jolly Student

    Bill Unruh Guest

    "Jolly Student" <> writes:


    ]"Bill Unruh" <> wrote in message
    ]news:cb244f$ogs$...
    ]> "Jolly Student" <> writes:
    ]>
    ]> ]come home and stick them in my firebox on a rotating basis. If a plan
    ]> ]decided to land on our facilty, or if a nicely placed bolt of lightning
    ]hit
    ]>
    ]> Yes, but that seems really really unlikely-- far less likely even than a
    ]> plane hitting the school.
    ]>
    ]>

    ]Bill. . . so is it your position that offsite backups are not necessary - or
    ]am I misunderstanding what you are saying.

    Read your original sentence carefully -- especially the last word in the
    first line I quote. And then think about educational establishments.
     
    Bill Unruh, Jun 20, 2004
    #14
  15. Actually, our campus has been hit by ligthning several times. Its one of
    those wide open spaces and it has taken out devices in the past.

    I take it that I misundertood what you were saying, in that you would not
    disagree that offsite backups are generally a good thing to have
    irrespective of the nature of the organization.


    "Bill Unruh" <> wrote in message
    news:cb4kdu$tnl$...
    > "Jolly Student" <> writes:
    >
    >
    > ]"Bill Unruh" <> wrote in message
    > ]news:cb244f$ogs$...
    > ]> "Jolly Student" <> writes:
    > ]>
    > ]> ]come home and stick them in my firebox on a rotating basis. If a plan
    > ]> ]decided to land on our facilty, or if a nicely placed bolt of

    lightning
    > ]hit
    > ]>
    > ]> Yes, but that seems really really unlikely-- far less likely even than

    a
    > ]> plane hitting the school.
    > ]>
    > ]>
    >
    > ]Bill. . . so is it your position that offsite backups are not necessary -

    or
    > ]am I misunderstanding what you are saying.
    >
    > Read your original sentence carefully -- especially the last word in the
    > first line I quote. And then think about educational establishments.
    >
    >
    >
     
    Midnight Java Junkie, Jun 21, 2004
    #15
  16. Jolly Student

    Jim Dauven Guest

    Gerard Bok wrote:
    > On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 20:11:50 GMT, "Jolly Student" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I work for a mid-sized company (600 employees) whose "Technology Director"
    >>has openly said that "Tape backups are not reliable".
    >>Enough jokes aside - its going to get serious and this group seems to be
    >>spreading the rumor that "Tape Backups are Always Unreliable".

    >
    >
    > There's only one thing more stupid than backup on tape: no
    > backup. (As you have now.)
    >
    >
    >>As stupid as this question is, I need to basically find credible, reliable
    >>sources of published information that basically say its really, really,
    >>really dumb to not archive stuff onto some type of medium tape or otherwise.

    >
    >
    > Well, can't promise on either 'credible' or 'reliable', but heck,
    > I said it.
    >

    Psst.
    Contact the insurance carrier for the company and tell them that
    there is no off site backup or tape backup to be installed in a disaster
    recovery site.

    The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) will get a call from the
    friendly insurance agent notifying him of a steep increase in coverage
    because of no off site backup.

    The CFO and possibly the CEO will have a real intense sit down
    talk session with your IT director and I will guarantee that you will
    have a tape back up app in a few weeks.
     
    Jim Dauven, Apr 30, 2006
    #16
  17. Jolly Student

    Guest

    Jim Dauven <> writes:

    > Gerard Bok wrote:
    >> On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 20:11:50 GMT, "Jolly Student" <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I work for a mid-sized company (600 employees) whose "Technology Director"
    >>> has openly said that "Tape backups are not reliable". Enough jokes
    >>> aside - its going to get serious and this group seems to be
    >>>spreading the rumor that "Tape Backups are Always Unreliable".

    >>
    >>
    >> There's only one thing more stupid than backup on tape: no
    >> backup. (As you have now.)
    >>
    >>
    >>>As stupid as this question is, I need to basically find credible, reliable
    >>>sources of published information that basically say its really, really,
    >>>really dumb to not archive stuff onto some type of medium tape or otherwise.

    >>
    >>
    >> Well, can't promise on either 'credible' or 'reliable', but heck,
    >> I said it.

    <snip>>>
    > Psst.
    > Contact the insurance carrier for the company and tell them that
    > there is no off site backup or tape backup to be installed in a
    > disaster recovery site.
    >
    > The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) will get a call from the
    > friendly insurance agent notifying him of a steep increase in coverage
    > because of no off site backup.
    >
    > The CFO and possibly the CEO will have a real intense sit down
    > talk session with your IT director and I will guarantee that you will
    > have a tape back up app in a few weeks.


    Right; or he'll just find himself out of a job for telling the insurance
    company. Much less expensive than instituting adequate backup.
     
    , Dec 27, 2011
    #17
  18. Jolly Student

    Linea Recta Guest

    That's what I found out 20 years ago...



    --
    regards,

    |\ /|
    | \/ |@rk
    \../
    \/os
     
    Linea Recta, Dec 31, 2011
    #18
  19. Jolly Student

    Vahis Guest

    On 2011-12-31, Linea Recta <> wrote:
    > That's what I found out 20 years ago...


    "Only wimps use tape backup:_real_ men just upload their important stuff
    on ftp,and let the rest of the world mirror it."

    Linus Torvalds 1996.

    Vahis
    --
    http://waxborg.servepics.com
    openSUSE 11.4 (x86_64) 2.6.37.6-0.9-default main host
    openSUSE 12.1 (x86_64) 3.1.1-48-desktop Tumbleweed in VirtualBox
    openSUSE 12.1 (i586) 3.1.0-1.2-desktop in EeePC 900
     
    Vahis, Dec 31, 2011
    #19
    1. Advertisements

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Ian Singer
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    370
    Ian Singer
    Aug 26, 2005
  2. ks
    Replies:
    0
    Views:
    466
  3. (PeteCresswell)

    Re: Backups Backups Backups

    (PeteCresswell), Mar 24, 2007, in forum: Backup Software
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    436
    (PeteCresswell)
    Mar 28, 2007
  4. Howard Kaikow

    Re: Backups Backups Backups

    Howard Kaikow, Mar 24, 2007, in forum: Backup Software
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    395
    louise
    Mar 28, 2007
  5. Jolly Student

    Tape Backups are NEVER Reliable - EVER

    Jolly Student, Jun 18, 2004, in forum: Storage
    Replies:
    34
    Views:
    708
    Anton Rang
    Jul 12, 2004
Loading...

Share This Page