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 Post subject: backup solutions?
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:23 pm 
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just wondering what you guys would recommend as a decent backup solution these days. i have a PC and an SGI both with 200 - 300 gigs of disk space and want to do regular backups of parts of this stuff. DVD-ROM is way too small, so i was thinking about DLT, is that a reliable solution and how well does backing-up to tape work on an SGI? lot's of cryptic commands to memorize or is it a bit more straight-forward, perhaps?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:41 pm 
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I'm currently using a Quantum DLT 35/70. Pretty straight forward - connected the drive, a 'DLT' icon appeared on the desktop. Once a week I use the 'Backup and Restore' tool <double click on the DLT icon or from the System Manager> to do a 'Full System Backup'. MY 'system back up will fit on a single tape, so I usually start the back ups just before going to bed 'n' let it have at it while I'm sleeping.

They do make SDLT <Super DLT> drives, I briefly had one that would hold 320GB compressed, but they usually go fairly high <won mine at an auction and someone offered me too much money for it>.


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 Post subject: Re: backup solutions?
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:46 pm 
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GIJoe wrote:
just wondering what you guys would recommend as a decent backup solution these days. i have a PC and an SGI both with 200 - 300 gigs of disk space and want to do regular backups of parts of this stuff. DVD-ROM is way too small, so i was thinking about DLT, is that a reliable solution and how well does backing-up to tape work on an SGI? lot's of cryptic commands to memorize or is it a bit more straight-forward, perhaps?

I've found DLT to be quite reliable, even with "aged" tapes. I used to use DDS, but it was a "write-only" medium on a couple of occasions, and thus not trustworthy. My DLT drives (Compaq/Quantum 15/30 GB) were cheap (off eBay) , and, while new tapes in a couputer store are US$40 each, I've bought new ones off eBay for about $10 ea.

Straightforward SCSI connection, IRIX 6.5.11 detected it, knew what it was, built the /dev entries, and I was on velvet. Subsequent OS updates were fine with it, too.

As for the commands ... there's a GUI thing off the System Manager, but it uses a format only another SGI would recognize. You can also use any of the usual UNIX tools, like tar or dump (called xfsdump under IRIX), etc.

I just worked out a suitable command from the xfsdump man page, wrapped it in a script, and stuck it in root's crontab. Now, as long as I change the tapes (cron even sends me a reminder), it's automatic.

You will probably want bigger, faster, newer, nicer DLT drives than I have, since you have a lot more data.

-Shel


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:53 pm 
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Same here, but mine are all DEC TZ87's. Never had a problem with DLT, very reliable.

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 Post subject: Re: backup solutions?
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:23 pm 
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These days I just use xfsdump/xfsrestore to a DLT drive at home, now that I am finally comfortable with the xfsdump/xfsrestore syntax. Before that, I used bru for many years -- it has a straightforward command-line, is quite speedy, and restore operations worked well when I needed them.

shel wrote:
I've found DLT to be quite reliable, even with "aged" tapes. I used to use DDS, but it was a "write-only" medium on a couple of occasions, and thus not trustworthy.

Agreed. DLT is rock solid on IRIX. I've been using DLT7000 drives for almost ten years without any troubles.

shel wrote:
As for the commands ... there's a GUI thing off the System Manager, but it uses a format only another SGI would recognize.

The GUI is a frontend to cpio in IRIX 6.5, to tar in IRIX 6.4, and to bru in IRIX 5.3-6.3.

shel wrote:
You can also use any of the usual UNIX tools, like tar or dump (called xfsdump under IRIX), etc.

IRIX xfsdump is not the same thing as IRIX dump. They each have a different syntax and behavior, although they perform analogous functions. IRIX includes dump for EFS filesystems, and xfsdump for XFS filesystems.


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 Post subject: Re: backup solutions?
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:52 pm 
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GIJoe wrote:
i have a PC and an SGI both with 200 - 300 gigs of disk space and want to do regular backups of parts of this stuff.

By the way, if you are looking for a way to do cross-platform backups using one system as a server and the other as a client, there don't seem to be many simple cross-platform options which support both Windows and IRIX, aside from some of the (expensive) commercial packages like Legato Networker, Veritas, and Tivoli Storage Manager.

I've seen some articles on a free network backup tool called Bacula, but I don't have any experience with it, and it looks like it needs a linux, solaris or freebsd box to act as the server.

If it is just the two systems, you might be better off just attaching a DLT to both and using each operating system's native backup tools. Depending upon your needs, it might also be enough just to attach a large external drive to each box, particular the Windows box, since USB2/Firewire drives are relatively cheap now.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:27 am 
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ok, so DLT sounds good :) was looking into models which can do 70 gigs/tape. is there anything to be aware of in regards to which model to choose and which to avoid? compatibility problems on the SGI? i'm running 6.5.28, btw. and while i do have SCSI in both machines, i have no space anymore for an internal DLT drive in the PC but the octane still has free drive bays.
if backing up on IRIX is as easy as it sounds, i'm fine with copying stuff from the PC over network. it's all work-data anyway, no bootable drive-images, system-files, whatsoever. for that i already have a cloned bootpartition on the PC and a cloned IRIX harddrive.

oh - and: to mount a DLT drive in an octane - will i need a special drive tray, adapters or somesuch?

cheers!


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:34 am 
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GIJoe wrote:

oh - and: to mount a DLT drive in an octane - will i need a special drive tray, adapters or somesuch?

cheers!


DLT drives are usually full height 5 1/4' drives, I doubt you'll be able mount it internally in an Octane. I'm not sure about the newer drives though.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:06 am 
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I'm with Keith on this one - AKAIK you'll have to run a DLT externally - I just searched eBay.uk for "DLT" - looks there are quite a few in external cases to choose from.

It is possible to get one with a 68 pin SCSI connector on the outside of the SCSI box - makes connecting to the ext SCSI port on the Octane fairly simple - I've seen both Sun and Compaq drives with 68 pin connectors <ask questions tho - seems like I've seen a few that were HVD as well>.


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 Post subject: Tape backup on SGI
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:29 am 
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I use the LTO HP StorageWorks Ultrium 460 on IRIX and works perfect to backup data up to 200GB uncompressed, using the LTO2 tapes 400GB/200GB compressed/uncompressed.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:03 pm 
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Have these HP LTO drives native support from IRIX or is the extra APD software needed?

regards
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:28 pm 
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Also, is there any way to interface an HP drive like that to a PeeCee? I currently have a machine with about a TB hanging off of it, so the more storage per single piece of media I can get when doing a backup, the happier I am.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:32 pm 
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MooglyGuy wrote:
Also, is there any way to interface an HP drive like that to a PeeCee? I currently have a machine with about a TB hanging off of it, so the more storage per single piece of media I can get when doing a backup, the happier I am.


Sure.. all of our DLT,LTO, Tapeloaders are SCSI based systems and runs on windows or novell servers.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:34 pm 
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I further recommend the use of DLT drives. Personally, I'd hold out for a DLT8000-based library; I was able to score a 15-tape DLT8000 Overland library a few months ago for like $15 plus like another $80 for shipping.

There's nothing wrong with DLT7000's per se, but the cost difference between a DLT7000 and DLT8000 is fairly minimal, and you do get a slightly faster drive with a slightly higher capacity per tape.

Just keep in mind that the likes of DLT/LTO/etc. are not infallible. They beat the pants off the likes of Travan/etc. consumer-grade tapes, and are better than DDS/DAT tapes, too, but DLT/LTO/etc. do occasionally have problems. And if you run into a problem with one of those tapes part of the way into the tape while restoring a backup, you're pretty much screwed. So, just be sure to perform a backup with full verify if you are backing up critical data, and try to keep the tapes environmentally controlled, as much as you can.

My backups currently include daily incremental of all storage and weekly full of critical storage to a single SDLT320 tape, and occasional backup of large blocks of data (including redundant backups of the same stuff the SDLT320 backs up) to the DLT8000 library.

Normal people would probably be fine with a single backup. But I'm paranoid, and am very risk-averse.

Chris


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:00 pm 
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I use a external SUN DLT 35/70 and will not trust a DLT 40/80.
They are supposed to be much more picky when it comes to tapes and I was told that they are more error-prone.
The last 5 GB do not make it really.
My tape is connected to my Debian server, which is my central data dump. I do backups once a week, if I have time for it.
I will be looking out for a LTO-drive when it will take more that two tapes for the DLT to backup all important data like pictures.
My mp3s are not written to tape that often, since I could re-rip them id needed.

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