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 Please allow writing to tape drives!!!
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Chris Wilson
Starting Member

United Kingdom
4 Posts

Posted - April 26 2015 :  17:44:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would love to have Reflect able to write images to to LTO tape. Used earlier generation LTO tape drives like my LTO4 Tandberg are now available very reasonably if you are happy with 800gb native tape capacity and a potential 1.6tb compressed. New old stock LTO4 tapes are like 5 to 8 UK Sterling each. I have a morbid fear of hard drives with back ups on failing to spin up after prolonged inactivity. An LTO tape cartridge is pretty rudimentary, and stored sympathetically they have a 20+ (some say 30+) year storage lifespan. If the ability to write to LTO tape was inbuilt I wouldn't have so much software to fiddle with! I appreciate that for "some technical reason" I have never seen software that will write a disk image *direct* to tape, they all seem to write images to a HDD first then to tape. But a means to automatically then write the image to tape as well would be great!!

Best regards, Chris

john.p
Moderator

887 Posts

Posted - April 27 2015 :  15:16:30  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,

Thanks for your query. You are correct that tape still remains the best solution for archival storage. Imaging to tape would not be advisable due to the slow tape write speed would involve maintaining the snapshot for long periods.

We may at some point integrate tape archiving into Reflect. However, till then, we would recommend backup to disk followed by a scripted copy of the image to the tape device post backup.

I will compile a knowledge base article on how to script such a post backup action along with some considerations that must be taken into account.

Kind Regards
John - Macrium Support
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Chris Wilson
Starting Member

United Kingdom
4 Posts

Posted - April 27 2015 :  16:09:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That would be truly superb John. Right now I am using Macrium Reflect to create a system or drive image and saving to a HDD. Then using Z-DATdump to copy 1 to 1 to tape. Takes ages, but done overnight once a week it's not too bad. We (the PC end user) seem faced with the dilemma of cheap, huge hard drives of dubious longevity, without the marketplace having a similarly cheap way to archive stuff on the drives. With digital movies and images taking up TB's of drive real estate finding a sensible archiving method is something that the PC developers seem to have ignored, a cheap and 100% reliable storage method for archiving multi GB drive contents would make someone a fortune. Tape *seemed* the better option for me, but it can be a bit tedious. Most of my friends, unless in IT, think tape development stopped with the DAT tape!

I look forward to any tips and warnings when you find time to post again, many thanks.

Best regards, Chris
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GoneToPlaid
New Member

USA
35 Posts

Posted - June 14 2015 :  20:05:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maybe there is an efficient way for Reflect to support writing to tape. Possible options for backing up to tape within Windows could be:

1. Only backing up a data partition for which System Restore is disabled. A popup message should be shown which warns the user to not access any of the data on the data partition while backing up to tape. In this way, VSS would not be overloaded over time. Basically the idea is that backing up to tape should be an advanced user feature which the user must specifically enable and in which the user is informed of this information, and only if the tape drive's performance meets some minimum specifications.

2. Backing up an active Windows partition, but only a partition which mostly includes Windows and installed programs and mostly no other data. This is along the lines of the above, and with the consideration that the user doesn't use the machine while backing up so as to not overload VSS during the backup.

Another option is a utility to backup to tape via the Reflect boot menu such that the tape backup is performed via the WIM before the OS loads.

Just some thoughts for what they are worth.


quote:
Originally posted by john.p

Hi,

Thanks for your query. You are correct that tape still remains the best solution for archival storage. Imaging to tape would not be advisable due to the slow tape write speed would involve maintaining the snapshot for long periods.

We may at some point integrate tape archiving into Reflect. However, till then, we would recommend backup to disk followed by a scripted copy of the image to the tape device post backup.

I will compile a knowledge base article on how to script such a post backup action along with some considerations that must be taken into account.

Kind Regards
John - Macrium Support

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