SUMMARY: Backup solutions

Date: Tue Apr 20 1993 - 13:00:43 CDT

Hi sun-managers,

Last week I sent out a request for information about 8mm backup solutions
and I got loads of responses. Thanks to you all it has helped a great deal.

My original mail was:-

> We are nearing a backup crisis.
> We are currently just about coping with our current 5Gb Exabyte unit
> and 25Gb of disk. Our disk space will, however, be growing rapidly to
> the 40-50Gb range over the next 2-3 months and there is no way a 5Gb unit
> will cope. So I was wondering if anyone out there has any experience of
> 25Gb Exabyte drives and/or Exabyte stackers (intelligent or otherwise).
> (eg speed of dump/restore, software required etc and just general
> experiences and impressions)
> Please do not send any information about DAT etc as we have looked at
> the other solutions but with our current commitment to Exabyte we will
> not be changing.
> Many thanks for any and all information,

I missed out a couple of points.

        1. We are currently managing with our 5Gb unit as we have a 2.3Gb
           unit that we use for incrementals. We also have people working
           shifts who can change tapes when neccesary. This will shortly
           change so that no-one works shifts and thus we need to be able
           to backup our disks without human intervention. This means moving
           the incrementals to a 5Gb unit but still leaves the questions about
           the full backups.

        2. I neglected to mention that although we expect to see 40-50Gb of
           of disk in the next 2-3 month we expect that to increase to 65-70Gb
           of disk within twelve months.

        3. I have a demo Exabyte EXB-8500c unit on site. I had not actually
           plugged it in at the time of writing though. It has since proved
           to be a non-starter as we find it slow (it took all night to fill
           one tape) and have not been able to get more than 8.5Gb onto it.

The list of respondants is below but the basic points made were:-

        What about building some resilience into your backup schedule
        i.e. more 5Gb drives so backups are done in parrallel.

        Some people had good experiences of compression units, one person
        had a very bad experience (slow and not very good compression).
        Other people had just bought drives but not used them yet.

        Lots of people had good experiences with stackers of different
        makes (mainly ACL and Exabyte). Others have bought them but not
        used them yet. One person had a very bad experience (drive keeps

        A couple of people recommended the Amanda backup software
        available from /

So, many thanks for all the advice and comments. I have been able to
organise a loan of an EXB-10i stacker with a 5Gb drive and if this works
to our satisfaction we will probably be going for that option. Basically
because to backup 65-70Gb of disk we would need 4*5Gb units without any
room for problems or expansion.

I realise that with only one stacker we will leave ourselves open to
problems if the stacker fails but we would have the benefit of expandability
and duplicate tape drives. Also if we had a problem we could do 10 backups
over a weekend to catch up without me needing to make a forty minute round
trip to change tapes (at over time rates :-(.

Our suppliers have also come up with a hardware solution for the problem of
making the 10i "Intelligent" that is only #1,7k instead of the #5-7k for
the software needed to do this.

If anyone would like a copy of all the replies please let me know.

Again many thanks (and apologies for being so long winded),


Ian Camm
Systems Administrator
Computer Services Group
Fujitsu Microelectonics Limited
Manchester, England

Many thanks to:- (Martin Kelly) (Tim Evans)
Jonathan Corbet <corbet@stout.atd.ucar.EDU>
V{{r{nen Kari <> (Saul Pliuskonis)
Postmaster <>
long-morrow@CS.YALE.EDU (H Morrow Long) (Dan A. Zambon)
Jason L Tibbitts III <tibbs@math.UH.EDU> (Adam Shostack)
John A. Murphy <jam@philabs.Philips.Com>
hkatz@nucmed.NYU.EDU (Henry Katz)
John DiMarco <>
Martin Frost <me@CS.Stanford.EDU>
Brian Styles <>, (Mike Scott - OSI Sys Admin)

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