Image Map Image Map
Page 2 of 8 FirstFirst 123456 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 73

Thread: What is the best storage media?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Principality of Xeon
    Posts
    1,861
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    But the cost of the media, not taking in to account the cost of the drive, exceeds that of the equivalent hard drive, even an external. And I imagine it's way slower then a hard drive. No offense, but I can't see the point. Tape at one time made sense I guess. But at least it's magnetic and not the accursed optical diseased Frisbees.

  2. #12

    Default

    Data disposal is key to keep the volume down significantly. I use the cloud.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    462

    Default

    Modern hard disks are extremely reliable, and if you can keep them spinning continuously with nice clean power they'll run for a very long time. The problem of course is keeping them spinning in the face of power outages, PSU failures, system upgrades, etc. In my experience few drives have failed while running, compared to the number that were running fine but then failed after a cold boot (power cycle). Based on this, I suspect your best bet for storage is to build yourself a NAS or a file server using as many drives as you need to hit the storage capacity you need, using RAID1 or RAID10 (avoid RAID4/5, with large drives those are no longer good options). After 3-5 years or so, set up another one (growing capacity as needed) but keep the previous one on-line and use it to back up your new one. 3-5 years later, repeat, setting up a new unit #3, making previous unit #2 your new backup device, and retiring #1 which has by now given you 6-10 years of faithful service. If you're using drives with 3-year warranties, aim for replacements at around the 3 year mark. If you use drives with 5-year warranties, you can wait longer. Try not to buy all your drives at the same time from the same place, spread out your purchases so you'll get drives from different manufacturing lots.

    That said, I don't do this myself. My own practice is to run a single large file server for 8-10 years or so (using RAID1 or RAID10 of course), backing it up to tapes which I then store somewhere reasonably far away. I trust tape for backups, but the key here is that they are *backups* of data which is normally available on a file server. I do not use tapes for off-line archival storage, not because I don't trust the tapes themselves but rather because I don't trust the tape drives (and the old software) to continue working, which may put me into a position where I decide I want to read a tape one day but no longer have working hardware/software to read it with. Tape is very durable and easy to transport, hard disks are more fragile.

    Regarding the cost of tape, I use LTO4 tapes and drives right now, which are very reasonably priced and hold a lot of data. I typically get between 800 and 1000 GB per tape, so a 'full' backup is 7 tapes (then I use LTO2 tapes for incremental backups). This is getting to be a lot (it was 4 tapes when I started with LTO4) so I'm thinking it's about time to upgrade to LTO6 (LTO8 is the current generation, so bargains on LTO6 stuff should be easy to find). Even so, I'm still spending more on tapes and tape drives than it would cost to buy external USB hard disks. The problem is, I don't trust USB hard disks to actually work when I need them. I have had too many that just fail to power on when I go to access them. My backups need to be stored on something *more* reliable than an internal hard disk because I'll only need to access them if my already very reliable RAID1/RAID10 disk volumes have failed. Since external USB drives have proven themselves to be *less* reliable than internal drives, they are logically a terrible choice for backups.

    In a nutshell, I am using disks as my primary storage because they are incredibly economical. I'm also using disks as my primary on-site backups via RAID1/RAID10 (yes I understand these aren't 'technically' backups but relax because); for off-site backups I have another copy of my data on LTO4 tapes which are kept somewhere far enough away that a fire, hurricane, or other disaster is unlikely to destroy both the primary and backup copies of my data. I also have incremental backups on LTO2 tapes which I don't bother to store off-site; those would be used only if I had to recover from data loss due to a malware outbreak, hardware failure, or stupid mistakes.
    Last edited by kgober; December 3rd, 2018 at 08:21 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    31,491
    Blog Entries
    20

    Default

    But what would you use to store data for 40 or 50 years? Surely not the cloud (i.e., other people's computers) or a continuously running RAID server. How about 75 or 100 years?

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    462

    Default

    For 40 or 50 years I actually would use a continuously-running server (but using a 'consumer' definition of "continuous"). It's the only way I would trust myself to keep something usable that long -- to be using it every day, fixing issues immediately as they arise. If I wanted to recover data from a 40-year-old tape I would look at the amount of work required to get a 40-year-old system running (including finding everything I'd need among all the piles of junk), then I would get discouraged, and I would decide that I don't actually need to read this tape today, I should do some cleaning first. Which never seems to happen. I have boxes full of 40-year-old floppy disks that I've been meaning to archive but I never get to it because setting up a system to do it is a lot of work, and I'm a busy person. Maybe when I retire I'll have time for all this.

    It turns out the most unreliable component in the entire chain is me, so I've set up a system that will work reasonably well despite me.

    To be fair I wouldn't actually keep any single server running for 40-50 years, I would expect to replace/upgrade the server periodically. I started with a NetWare 5 server decades ago but lost most of that data due to a disk failure of my NSS volume, unrecoverable because I wasn't verifying that my backups were readable (dust on some of my optical disk platters due to being kept in the drive with shutter open for long periods). Then I had a Windows 2000 server, whose data was migrated to Windows 2003, then migrated to OpenBSD on the same hardware, then migrated to OpenBSD on new hardware. Migrating data has turned out to be reasonably easy and a good opportunity to verify that my backups are actually usable. Along the way I've gone from using 650MB magneto-optical disks (325MB per side), to DDS-1 (2GB per tape), to DLT2000 (15GB per tape), to DLT7000 (35GB per tape), to LTO1/2 (100/200GB per tape), to LTO3/4 (400/800GB per tape).

    Cloud storage isn't quite where it needs to be yet for me to be comfortable using it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it eventually becomes normal, expected and ubiquitous in enterprise settings. At that point I'd probably be comfortable using it myself. For now I'm happy using my own servers and doing my own backups.

  6. #16

    Default

    On such long time periods it becomes a philosophical debate whether the data is still relevant.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    31,491
    Blog Entries
    20

    Default

    You'd be surprised. What would you pay for, say, Gene Roddenberry's production notes for "Star Trek"?

  8. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    But what would you use to store data for 40 or 50 years? Surely not the cloud (i.e., other people's computers) or a continuously running RAID server. How about 75 or 100 years?
    Quote Originally Posted by kgober View Post
    For 40 or 50 years I actually would use a continuously-running server... I have boxes full of 40-year-old floppy disks that I've been meaning to archive but I never get to it because setting up a system to do it is a lot of work, and I'm a busy person. Maybe when I retire I'll have time for all this.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeterNC View Post
    On such long time periods it becomes a philosophical debate whether the data is still relevant.
    More important is whether any of you old geezers are still going to be relevant in 40 to 50 years.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  9. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterNC View Post
    On such long time periods it becomes a philosophical debate whether the data is still relevant.
    Samuel Pepys's ghost would like a word with you.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    31,491
    Blog Entries
    20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    More important is whether any of you old geezers are still going to be relevant in 40 to 50 years.
    Almost exactly 50 years ago, we landed men on the moon. What have you guys done lately?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •