Backup to tape drive
Backup of data to tape is one of the most well-known
backup methods and has been well-proven for many years.
With their large to very large capacities and long durability,
magnetic tapes are the first choice for backups. A tape drive is a magnetic tape drive for archiving and restore of data.
On a tape drive, the data is written sequentially to the medium, i.e. from the beginning to the end. This also means that
search process can take some time.
With the appropriate software, backup archives can be automatically copied to a
tape drive, i.e. the backup archive is always created on a local hard drive first and then copied to tape in one go.
Popular drive types: TRAVAN, QIC, DLT, MLR, SLR, LTO, Ultrium, AIT, DDS and DAT tape drives
Tape drives are established as an ideal backup tool because of their numerous security concepts, for private as well as
Tape backup to Travan
Travan drives (Quantum, Seagate,
Certance) are the ideal backup solution for smaller servers, workstations, PCs and notebooks. They are particularly suitable
for businesses with a few PCs or home offices, where only small amounts of data have to be backed up. Travan drives are characterized
by their simplicity. They consist almost exclusively of the drive motor, the read/write head and some electronics. That makes
them very robust and extremely reliable. Problems that one knows from e.g. DAT drives are not an issue here. Quantum Travan
drives are now available in the 7th generation with 20 GB net capacity.
Tape backup to SLR
SLR (Scalable Linear Recording) is
a recording method for tape drives and the product name of Tandberg drives. The tape drives of the Tandberg SLR series (Single
Linear Recording) are suitable for 4 to 200 GB of data at a transfer rate of up to 600 MB/min. The SLR technology was already
developed in the end of the 70s, and the devices were initially known as QIC tape drives. Because of their robust mechanical
layout, SLR drives offer a maximum of data security and reliability. Because 80% of the wear parts are contained in the data
cartridge, including the tape guide, the wear and tear is extremely low. The modern drives of Tandberg Data are all equipped
with Multi-Linear-Recording (MLR) technology, by which both the capacity of a cartridge and the speed is increased. Through
magnetic head servo technology, unique in this class, a very high technical reliability of the drives is achieved. According
to experience, Tandberg equipment runs very cleanly and stable. It is used in the professional sector.
Tape backup to DAT
DAT (Digital Audio Tape) drives are
based on the 3.5'' format (4mm technology). Conventional DAT drives are available in sizes of 2 to 40 GB. DAT tape
drives record data using the helical track procedure (helical scan). The corresponding medium is very cheap, although comparatively
not as durable as other drive types. The storage period is restricted, the requirements for the storage of such a medium are
The capacity figures for DAT are usually determined with unrealistically high compression rates. In practice,
only the uncompressed value is of any relevance. Because of the relatively large "cut" due to bad tape sectors ("Drops"),
the real achieved capacity is usually smaller. In addition to that, DAT drives using the DDS-3-standard recognize and report
pollution to the head too late. However, these devices are very popular and used frequently.
Tape backup to LTO
LTO-Laufwerke (Linear Tape Open) were introduced in 1998 by HP, IBM and Seagate. The cardridges are 105 x 102 x
21 mm in size and can hold between 100 and 2500 GB, depending on the LTO version, recored in several parallel tracks
over the whole length of the tape.
The LTO format was updated to the fifth generation in 2010, where each new generation had a doubled data rate and
capacity over the previous one and new features. Generation 6 introduced WORM tapes and drives for one-time writing.
Generation 4 added the option for 256 bit AES encryption. Generation 5 introduced a new and better file system for
direct tape access.
Tape backup to DLT
The DLT (Digital Linear Tape) technique was developed in 1994 by DEC. It also uses longitudinal tracks, but only
one reel. The tape is wound onto a fixed reel in the drive with a special mounting mechanism.
The drives offer
a transfer rate of 10 MB/sec and data capacities between 40 and 80 GB with automatical error checking (parity checking,
CRC and EDC (Error Detection Code) of the data blocks).