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I would like to know if there is a better, more cost effective way to run retrospect than our current tape drive. The tapes are very costly -- we have a graphic design company so it takes about 10 tapes. I was thinking about buying some small, portable hard drives that could just be taken home every night. Is this an appropriate solution?

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We use AIT tapes (35GB & 100GB native capacity). We'll stay with them for some time. They are small and allow us to store them offsite in a bank vault. Cost? Not bad considering they hold many times more in data value. Tapes also allow us to store many months, or years of data for an inexpensive price. I know drive backup is the up and coming thing, but we're happy with tapes so far.

 

As is usually the case, most people use what they are familiar and comfortable with, even though there might be other options available. Maybe a larger capacity tape drive?

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I used to use an AIT 4 tape Autoloader but found that I kept running out of space on the tapes and had to run 4 sets of tapes to get enought time between sets which cost me mucho $$$.

 

I just bought a LaCie Firewire 800 500 gig Big Disk and partitioned it into two parts. I get much better speed and better compression from Retrospect - all for little $$$. In the future, I can buy more!! This acts as my incremental backup and my laptop backup server.

 

I also have another LaCie Firewire 800 200 gig HD that I use to Carbon Copy Clone my entire Server (Xserve + Xraid = 160 gig of data for now) daily so I can bring it home as the off-site backup.

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I too am becoming increasingly more frustrated with tape backup (AIT-2 and AIT-3), especially given the increasing cost incurred for sufficient media to regularly backup over 500 Macs that generate 1.5 TB every two weeks. Never mind the effort of rotating and managing tapes.

 

Oi! The money.

 

I'm currently exploring the possiblity of migrating our backups to a host-attached storage (SATA RAID Array) device, specifically Promise's UltraTrak RM 15000. This device can contain up to 15 250 GB ATA or SATA hard drives, from any manufacturer, is supposedly OS-independent, and can be remotely administered through a Web interface. The approximate cost for the box and drives combined is only $7,100.00, small-change compared to what it costs us, and would continue to cost us, for tape.

 

If anyone out there has some experience with this or can see any gaping holes in this logic, I'd love to hear from you.

 

Thanks.

 

Michael

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