Verse of the Day

 

why backups?

most people who have had a computer have found out that after about 1-2 years of use or 4-5 years that their hard disk gets slower and slower or dies and they have to get a new one. I have learned with windows you only need to change disks when warranty expires if you are putting your data on a separate drive.

partitions can get wiped or erased by Operating System installers. so simply using 1 disk and splitting the disk into multiple partitions may not work.

optical drives last 50,000-100,000 hours which works out to 5 years before they need to be replaced.

hard drives last 3-5 years before they need to be replaced.


Backup is something a lot of people avoid or dread, especially software developers, but sometimes it can be SO necessary.

times when you would need to do a backup:

  • NVMe is a new device bus that gets 2900:Mbps or ~3:Gbps.
  • just before reinstalling an OS or after installing an OS - if you have any previous pictures or videos or music or itunes apps
  • periodic full backups of developer's data there are less intensive schemes
  • if you have a database server you should perform regular hot backups
  • when you get the idea in your head (then you probably should)
  • after about 1-3 years of using a windows computer. unrepairable filesystem corruption occurs after about 1-2 years even with proactive system maintenance by a software engineer/electronics guy/computer repairman, just by using the computer, hard poweroffs or power outages, times when the cpu cooler needs cleaning, etc. windows is also an unstable OS, it doesn't last a week without a serious need for a reboot. I kept a machine running for 5 years, but it looked so "buggy" (not - filesystem corruption) I should have reinstalled the OS much sooner than this I discovered. This was XP Pro. and I am learning to either rollback the drivers or not install anything but microsoft default drivers in the case of NVidia drivers because of this.

backup to a hard drive: pros/cons

hard disks in windows appear to be getting faster and faster I think because of microsoft driver updates.

hmm. apparently windows' disk compression causes a disk speed decrease from 358Mbps down to 86:MBps, even with an i7-3970x. 358:MBps=358e6*8bps=2.864:Gbps which is the limit of SATA 3Gbps)), even with a SATA SSD.

pros:

  • if backup-drive size ≥ drive-to-backup size, then you can backup the whole drive:
    • disk image backups
    • copy+grow migration to new disk, if drive-to-backup is failing
    • file-and-dir backups using compression [utility]
  • relatively fast for hard disks, 358MBps for no compression, 86MBps for compression

cons:

  • I backed up regularly to a hard disk mounted in the same machine. I found I didn't want to disconnect it for storage outside the case and for protection against mishaps.
  • mishaps did occur - hard drive had reached its lifespan of 4 years and nearly all my hard disks lost LOTS of data.
  • I am still waiting for spinrite 6.1 to get my data back
  • hard disks can be written to and there's no readonly switch you can set or change. I need readonly backups. so I use blu-ray discs currently.

backup to a tape

pros:

  • full backups, and multiple of them per tape
  • availability of tape libraries (multiple tape slots in a robotic changer)
  • WORM (write once, read many)
  • fast, but may only be as fast as dependencies such as the network you do backups through (10GbE? 10GbE is 10Gbps ethernet)
  • big, LTO will eventually go up to 120TB with 2.5:1 compression
  • lasts a long time

cons:

  • hard to work with
  • cannot reuse tape due to WORM (write once read many)

biggest backup media so far, in order of size

fastest backup media so far, in order of highest speed

  • DLT 1.6GB tape (read/write)
  • LTO/ultrium 7 tape (ultra scsi 320,WORM - write once read many)
  • OCZ 6300 6TiB 3.5" SATA3 Enterprise SSD (NVMe) read/write
  • hard disk
  • mempile
  • blu-ray
  • dvd
  • cd

tips:

  • keep your data on a separate drive. that filesystem should be OK for the life of the drive unless you power off hard a lot.
  • LTO/ultrium 7 tape backup requires
    • a controller card - SAS or ultra320 scsi
    • ultra 320 scsi cable (check manual for interface type and appropriate cable for your tape drive)
    • 2 cable terminators for scsi (preferably active termination), 1 per cable end
    • LTO cleaning tape
    • an LTO tape
  • if you are using z zip or 7-zip archiver, you should allocate spaceUsed/2.5 for compressed files on your hard disk or SSD.
  • if your drive is getting too hot due to long backups and heat accumulation:
    • give it some airspace.
    • make sure it doesn't fail or have data loss in the heat.
  • make sure the drive has enough power. overrate your power supply by about 50-80W. if the power supply needs an upgrade, do so.
  • if the time the backup takes is going to keep you awake, consider:
    • moving the computer out of the bedroom and into the living room or some other room.
    • cover the lights on the computer. some desktops you can insert about 4 layers of folded and creased paper to block the light just enough to not hinder sleep.
    • picking a different backup media and drive that has more speed.

backup solutions

don't know if there are any special rules about working with LTO tapes. never worked with them before. there don't seem to be any cleaning tapes available, but the drive has a "clean" led, so I guess it cleans itself?

there are any special rules about working with DLT tapes. If you don't put the loop in the correct position and tension the tape, the drive will suck the loop in and miss the catch, and you will have to send the drive in for service to get the tape extricated. and it happens VERY EASILY. takes practice. not my favorite tape. there are cleaning tapes too.

here is a list of backup solutions and their Pros and Cons from what I can tell.


16TB(6.4TB) LTO Ultrium 7 Tape

pros

  • can use windows' built-in ntbackup.exe to backup system, but not very flexible.
  • very low media costs
  • higher data density than DLT
  • built-in auto cleaning? need to verify this...
  • 2 tapes

cons

  • expensive startup costs, but lower startup cost than DLT (not by much)

1.6TB DLT Tape

pros

  • can use windows' built-in ntbackup.exe to backup system, but not very flexible.
  • very low media costs
  • 2 tapes

cons

  • VERY expensive startup costs
  • had problems with lower-end DLT tapes where loop would get sucked into the tape making it useless, or get stuck in the drive requiring sending the drive to the manufacturer to repair. happened every few months with the autochanger.
  • setting up the tape (loop) for tape insertion requires special handling and precision in order for the drive to catch the loop. I forget what the rules are, but a certain amount of the loop had to be sticking out.

128GB BDXL Blu-Ray

pros

  • fewer disc changes than DL DVD
  • storage is compact

cons

  • 15 discs is very expensive. at time of this writing, one 100GB is $65, costing you a total of $975, the cost of an LTO tape drive.
  • takes hours of burn time per disc.
  • no inexpensive backup programs, or no REAL backup programs available for backing up whole system, at least for XP. no backup program except the one built into windows! 50/50 chance of it working with blu-ray media.

100GB BDXL Blu-Ray

pros

  • fewer disc changes than DL DVD
  • storage is compact

cons

  • 20 discs is very expensive. at time of this writing, one 100GB is $65, costing you a total of $975, the cost of an LTO tape drive.
  • takes hours of burn time per disc.
  • no inexpensive backup programs, or no REAL backup programs available for backing up whole system, at least for XP. no backup program except the one built into windows! 50/50 chance of it working with blu-ray media.

50GB BDXL Blu-Ray

pros

  • fewer disc changes than DL DVD
  • storage is compact

cons

  • 20 discs is very expensive. at time of this writing, one 100GB is $65, costing you a total of $975, the cost of an LTO tape drive.
  • takes hours of burn time per disc.
  • no inexpensive backup programs, or no REAL backup programs available for backing up whole system, at least for XP. no backup program except the one built into windows! 50/50 chance of it working with blu-ray media.

25GB Blu-Ray

pros

  • fewer disc changes than DL DVD
  • storage is compact

cons

  • 80 discs? that is a too much to ask. you had better have an auto-changer.
  • takes hours of burn time per disc.
  • no inexpensive backup programs, or no REAL backup programs available for backing up whole system, at least for XP. no backup program except the one built into windows! 50/50 chance of it working with DL media.

8.5GB DVD DL

pros

  • very low startup cost
  • storage is compact

cons

  • over 200 discs? you've got to be kidding! you had better have an auto-changer.
  • VERY expensive media
  • no inexpensive backup programs, or no REAL backup programs available for backing up whole system, at least for XP. no backup program except the one built into windows! 50/50 chance of it working with DL media.

4.7GB DVD

pros

  • very low startup cost
  • inexpensive REAL backup program available for XP.
  • inexpensive media
  • storage is compact

cons

  • over 400 discs? you've got to be kidding! you had better have an auto-changer.
4.7GB DVD+R disc pros/cons
high turnover on these things. drives are cheap. free shipping on discs.
DVD+DL burner drives, available from newegg.com $24-48
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache EIDE/ATAPI 22X DVDR DVD Burner - OEM, available from newegg.com $24.99+$6.98
Symantec Norton Save & Restore, available from Symantec.com $49.99
keep your software package around! Backs up to almost any media, (CDR/RW,DVD+-R/RW, USB and FireWire (IEEE 1394) storage devices, Iomega Zip and Jaz drives). Backs up the entire contents of your drive, or just the files and folders you select. encryption. incremental backups. XP/Vista.
Taiyo Yuden 8x 4.7GB DVD+R Silver Lacquer, available from mediasupply.com $35.90/100
cake box
ntbackup.exe
built into the OS (on the cd for XP home). originally meant to backup to tape and floppy. on newer editions, can I think use removable media including maybe JAZ and ZIP (not cost effective) and even optical media.
Taiyo Yuden/JVC 8x 4.7GB DVD+R Silver Inkjet Printable $41.90/100
cake box, works with any drive
Taiyo Yuden/JVC 8x 4.7GB DVD+R White Inkjet Printable $41.90/100
tape wrap, works with any drive

2TB HD

pros

  • can do backup in one sweep
  • can do image backups
  • can be always online
  • lasts for 5-7 years worth of online time

cons

  • susceptible to vibration and "drop" damage
  • not made for constant plugging-unplugging. get a hot-swap or removable drive bay. (extra costs there)

ge holographic storage 500GB is in research stages but should take 97 min. and TDK has a prototype BDR 200GB disc at this point.

7/29/2012: BD-R: for vista/7 only. is assuming 12x burners but 6x speed discs for Taiyo-Yuden BDR-SL, 6x speed BDR-DL microboards discs.

7/29/2012: DVD-R DL: for vista/7 only. is assuming 12x burners but 6x speed discs for Taiyo-Yuden BDR-SL, 6x speed BDR-DL microboards discs.

7/29/2012: DVD-R: is assuming 12x burners but 6x speed discs for Taiyo-Yuden BDR-SL, 6x speed BDR-DL microboards discs.

7/29/2012: CD-R: is assuming 12x burners but 6x speed discs for Taiyo-Yuden BDR-SL, 6x speed BDR-DL microboards discs.

LTO 1.6TB tape outlay $3249.99+15.18+$48.99+6.29+$96.89+5.99+$39.99+5.99+$189.99+6.98=$3666.28

LTO 3TB tape outlay $2749.99+13.45+$54.96+6.29+$64.99+6.69+$309.99+6.98=$3213.34

16TB LTO Tape
3TB LTO Tape
Tandberg 3520-LTO Black 3TB External SAS 600 - SCSI Interface LTO Ultrium 5 Tape Drive, available from newegg.com $2,359.99+$9.07
12/10/2011
Ultrium 5 data cartridges, available from newegg.com $59-$90
12/10/2011. 3TB tapes (1.6TB)
Ultrium cleaning, available from newegg.com $53.20+6.29
12/10/2011
Adaptec 1045 Series 1 non-RAID Unified Serial HBAs offer economical I/O with broad device compatibility, scalability, and flexibility for servers, storage, and backup applications , available from adaptec.com $190
12/10/2011. 4 external SAS ports, low profile, non-RAID.
SAS cable, available from newegg.com $20-$23
12/10/2011
ntbackup.exe
built into the OS (on the cd for XP home). originally meant to backup to tape and floppy. on newer editions, can I think use removable media including maybe JAZ and ZIP (not cost effective) and even optical media.
Symantec (formerly Arcada) Backup Exec Server and clients for windows, available from newegg.com $617-779
also available for MS SQL Server.
36TB(18TB native) LTO Tape Library pros/cons
Tandberg 2480-LTO 36TB Data StorageLibrary Tape Library - 1 x Drive/12 x Slot - LTO Ultrium 5, available from newegg.com $4,527.99
12/10/2011. ultrium 5, so uses 3TB tapes.
Ultrium 5 data cartridges, available from newegg.com $59-$90
12/10/2011. 3TB tapes (1.6TB)
Ultrium cleaning, available from newegg.com $53.20+6.29
12/10/2011
Adaptec 1045 Series 1 non-RAID Unified Serial HBAs offer economical I/O with broad device compatibility, scalability, and flexibility for servers, storage, and backup applications , available from adaptec.com $190
12/10/2011. 4 external SAS ports, low profile, non-RAID.
SAS cable, available from newegg.com $20-$23
12/10/2011
ntbackup.exe
built into the OS (on the cd for XP home). originally meant to backup to tape and floppy. on newer editions, can I think use removable media including maybe JAZ and ZIP (not cost effective) and even optical media.
Symantec (formerly Arcada) Backup Exec Server and clients for windows, available from newegg.com $617-779
also available for MS SQL Server.
1.6TB LTO Tape pros/cons
Tandberg 3504-LTO Black 1.6TB Internal SAS Interface LTO Ultrium 4 Tape Drive, available from newegg.com $1,457.99
12/10/2011
Adaptec 1045 Series 1 non-RAID Unified Serial HBAs offer economical I/O with broad device compatibility, scalability, and flexibility for servers, storage, and backup applications , available from adaptec.com $190
12/10/2011. 4 external SAS ports, low profile, non-RAID.
SAS cable, available from newegg.com $20-$23
12/10/2011
ntbackup.exe
built into the OS (on the cd for XP home). originally meant to backup to tape and floppy. on newer editions, can I think use removable media including maybe JAZ and ZIP (not cost effective) and even optical media.
Symantec (formerly Arcada) Backup Exec Server and clients for windows, available from newegg.com $617-779
also available for MS SQL Server.
50GB DL BD-RE Blu-Ray Disc pros/cons
LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA Model WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM, available from newegg.com $109.99
12/10/2011
Verbatim BD-R DL 50GB, 6X Branded in Jewel Case, available from mediasupply.com $32.70/3
12/10/2011. consider: takes 6 hours to do (1) 25GB disc. cost to do 2TB is $436, and you would have to pay that over and over again every time you back up.
BD-RE DL 50GB, available from mediasupply.com $13.99/1
12/10/2011. single disc
bootable drive image backup to blu-ray (including 50GB blu-ray DL). also can upgrade hard disks. I have not tested this program for upgrading hard disks.
ntbackup.exe
built into the OS (on the cd for XP home). originally meant to backup to tape and floppy. on newer editions, can I think use removable media including maybe JAZ and ZIP (not cost effective) and even optical media.
100GB BDXL-compatible M-Disc (archival write-once) pros/cons
supposed to last for 1000 years, made with rock-like material and can be burned in a normal blu-ray burner. no special drive required like the 4.7GiB regular m-disc which is released, but the blu-ray version is not out yet as of 9/12/2013.
wish it were available in a larger size like 1TB.
9/12/2013
mdisc.com $200/50pack of 100GB discs
8.5GB DVD+R DL disc pros/cons
high turnover on these things. drives are cheap amd everywhere and cost $25. used by Adobe products etc for their media.
Verbatim DL DVD 8.5GB, available from newegg.com $24-48
12/20/2011. some are 8x and some are 2.4x.
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache EIDE/ATAPI 22X DVDR DVD Burner - OEM, available from newegg.com $24.99+$6.98
Verbatim DVD+R DL 8.5GB 2.4X(up to 6x) White Inkjet Spindle 95123, available from $39.80/20
ntbackup.exe
built into the OS (on the cd for XP home). originally meant to backup to tape and floppy. on newer editions, can I think use removable media including maybe JAZ and ZIP (not cost effective) and even optical media.
Backup/drive upgrade Software
NTiBackup 5.5 Advanced, available from novastor.com $59.95
backup to Hard Drive/CD/DVD/Blu-ray/Pen Drive/NAS/Network Drive/FTP Server with drive spanning (multiple drives). they have a variety of backup packages available, including tape, sql, server, data center, pc, etc.
z-dbackup, available from novastor.com 32 EUR ($41.688)
backup to blu-ray/disc/tape/usbflash/ discs with drive spanning (multiple drives). they have a variety of backup packages available, including tape, sql, server, data center, pc, etc.
NovaBackup, available from novastor.com $49.95/1computer
they have a variety of backup packages available, including tape, sql, server, data center, pc, etc.
Symantec Backup Exec, available from symantec.com $1162.66-$1597.48
this is for client-server
backup4all, available from backup4all.com $49.95
can backup to any kind of disc media, network drive, ftp,or usb drive or flash drive with zip64 compression. plugins for backing up specific popular programs. 30-day trial.
Casper 7.0, available from fssdev.com $
does backups and drive copies/upgrades, even across disparate sector sizes. minor version updates are free, major version changes require you to buy new version (as with most companies). uses volume shadow copy service
Norton Ghost, available from symantec.com $69.99
does backups and drive copies, even across disparate sector sizes. offers cold backup. cannot duplicate/upgrade a drive that has differing sector sizes. uses volume shadow copy service.
Mozy.com online backup, available from mozy.com $5.99/mo-$13.98/mo
this is the same backup used inside many antivirus packages as a 2GB limit cloud backup. so they will probably conflict.
egnyte, available from egnyte.com $30/mo or so
Enterprise services
ntbackup.exe
built into the OS (on the cd for XP home). originally meant to backup to tape and floppy. on newer versions of windows, can I think use removable media including maybe JAZ and ZIP (not cost effective) and even optical media.

Software

Veritas Backup Exec
as of 4-2-2016, doesn't seem to do VM's.
Vembu VM Backup
does VMs, but only vm's? seems not the case - it seems to do more, a "complete solution".
NTI Backup Now 6
optical media: blu-ray won't be coming because of the blu-ray format issues. does backup to DVDs, tape, disk, network, etc.
gnu tar+cpio
*nix: non-gnu tar is broken, so is cpio: paths are way too short. rmt or mt controls magnetic tape.
7-zip
7-zip format (.7z) currently 30-70% better than zip. commandline version splits archives for burning or writing to disks, but currently archive must I think be on same drive you are extracting to, and doesn't read off of unwriteable media when extracting (why?). available on *nix, windows, but not mac.
backup time and cost calculator
ntbackup.exe (XP/2K/NT)
it's in NT, 2000 and xp, but not vista and up. really wish Microsoft would bring it back. it allows you to backup the entire drive. current versions of windows from vista and up only backup settings and programs from the windows drive, but not other hard disks, for migration purposes. it is assumed now that you would get your own backup program.