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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Cloning from LTO3 to LTO5 tapes

    We do full backups monthly on LTO3 tape. We also clone those tapes on LTO3 tape. However, we are trying to use less tape, so we are considering cloning to LTO5 tapes, which hold a lot more data than LTO3 tapes. (They also backup faster than LTO3 tapes.)

    Does anyone forsee any problems with using different LTO tapes for the clones than for the original backups?

    We use EMC Networker version 8.0.2.0.Build.235 as our backup software, and we use a Spectralogic T950 (with BlueScale12.1.5) as our backup machine. Also, we do volume clones, not saveset clones.

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  3. #2
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    Volume clones may be a different kettle of fish and you may not end up saving tapes. I would try several with some test data before taking the plunge.

    cheers, Paul

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    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Tape? I thought that went out with high button shoes.
    Seriously, I've not seen tape backup system since 1990.

    Seriously, unless tape has changed drastically, in the past 20 years, its negatives far outweigh its positives.

    If you'd take the time, I'd love to know why you're using Tape instead of a much faster media.

    I do daily progressive updates to a USB 3.0, 32gig, Flash Drive and it only takes a few seconds.
    A Ghost backup of my entire C drive, to a second HD, takes only about 20 minutes.

    Just curious,
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Tape? I thought that went out with high button shoes.
    Seriously, I've not seen tape backup system since 1990.
    "If somebody tells you that tape sucks and that you are dumb and stupid for using it without giving any informed basis for those comments then call them dumb and stupid requesting they come back when then can learn more about your environment, needs, and requirements ready to have an informed discussion on how to move forward."
    Tape is still alive


    Quote Originally Posted by DrWho View Post
    Seriously, unless tape has changed drastically, in the past 20 years, its negatives far outweigh its positives.
    Tape has not changed much in the past 20 years, but its positives still far outweigh its negatives:

    Six reasons why tape is still alive and kicking!


    Bruce

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Paul: We have run several test clones of LTO3 tapes to LTO5 tapes, and all have run fast and have been successful.

    DrWho: In the situation you have described, I would most definitely backup to disk. Tape would make no sense.

    However, we run 381 backups every night. Most of these backups are Windows, some are Linux, some are Exchange, and some are SQL.

    We do a full Windows, Linux, and Exchange backup monthly, and we keep those backups forever.

    Tape is far cheaper than disk for our situation: all we are storing is the actual storage medium (the tape); we aren't storing the drives. Also, we have perhaps 20,000 tapes in our library. Imagine how much more that would cost if those were all disk drives.

    Also, tape is longer lasting than disk: We are very confident that, if we need to do a restore years from now, it is very likely that the tapes will still be good. But we are not as confident about how long hard drives would last and still be reliable. Not only that, but would said disk drives still be compatible with whatever OS and hardware we had when it came time to do a restore?

    If we had the money, we would implement a combination disk / tape backup system, using disk for short term storage and tape for long term storage. But we don't have the money for it, so we continue with tape.

    Here is a very good article comparing disk and tape backup:
    http://www.backupcentral.com/mr-back...inmenu-47.html

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    "If somebody tells you that tape sucks and that you are dumb and stupid for using it without giving any informed basis for those comments then call them dumb and stupid requesting they come back when then can learn more about your environment, needs, and requirements ready to have an informed discussion on how to move forward."
    Sorry, Bruce, I don't call people dumb and stupid, even if they are. I simply come back with a good answer.

    By the way, the two articles you linked to were exactly that -- good answers.

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    One question, why clone the LTO3 tapes? Aren't LTO5 Drives able to read the LTO3 tapes?

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    The clone is our 2nd copy. We keep one copy onsite and the other offsite.

    And you are correct about LTO5 drives being able to read LTO3 tapes.

    One day (soon, I hope), when we have gone entirely to LTO5 tapes and drives, we will still be able to read the old tapes.

    (For some reason, we skipped over LTO4.)

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    I meant "clone multiple volumes to a single LTO5". It depends whether the software allows you to do this, but there is no practical reason why it won't work and save you tapes.

    cheers, Paul

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    Backup is so important (primarily in business and institutions) I would advise keep LT03 cloning LTO3, not to LTO5.
    If it works don't mess with it.
    You never know what would happen when cloning LTO3 to LTO5. Detailed tests help but it still *adds* failure probabilities (statistical summing), and lots of effort notwithstanding.
    Advise to create milestones to transition from LTO3 to LTO5. Here, nothing adds to failure probabilities. Clean step forward. Easy to manage and understand 2 years down the road. Easy on the guy who takes over too.

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaisson View Post
    Backup is so important (primarily in business and institutions) I would advise keep LT03 cloning LTO3, not to LTO5.
    If it works don't mess with it.
    You never know what would happen when cloning LTO3 to LTO5. Detailed tests help but it still *adds* failure probabilities (statistical summing), and lots of effort notwithstanding.
    Advise to create milestones to transition from LTO3 to LTO5. Here, nothing adds to failure probabilities. Clean step forward. Easy to manage and understand 2 years down the road. Easy on the guy who takes over too.
    There is one major problem (and I do mean major) with sticking with LTO3 -- we have no place to put all of the tapes we are generating every month!

    Last month we generated 46 LTO3 clone tapes at the facility where we are also using LTO5 tapes. We are hoping to cut that down to maybe 15 LTO5 tapes this coming month.

    We have been transitioning from LTO3 to LTO5. Some of our backups (Exchange and SQL) are LTO5. The Windows and Linux stuff is still LTO3. The problem is that we have only four LTO5 drives, and budgetary concerns are preventing us from getting more LTO5 drives. That's why we are doing only some of our backups with LTO5.

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    This past month we did about 1/3 of our clones onto LTO5 tapes -- the original backups were on LTO3. From all appearances, the clones were successful.

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    I would expect the clones to be successful - it's only a data copy. I assume from this that the volumes happily cross tapes, or do you get several on one not quite full LTO5?

    cheers, Paul

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    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    We used 13 LTO5 tapes in the past couple of weeks when cloning from LTO3 to LTO5. Each LTO5 tape held approximately from two to four times the amount of data that an LTO3 tape would hold. They held from 1 TB to 3.1 TB each. The most recent 13 LTO3 clone tapes held from 341 GB to 732 GB each.

  16. #15
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    As a final follow-up on this topic, all of our clones at our main location are now on LTO5 tape. Some of the original backups are on LTO3, and some are on LTO5; but LTO3 to LTO5 has never been a problem during the time we have been doing it. And we are saving a lot of tape rack space, since we are generating a lot less tapes.

    I believe we can safely conclude that LTO3 to LTO5 cloning will never present any issues for the cloning process.

    I consider the issue closed. Thanks to everyone for your helpful information and interesting questions.

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