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Unix Backup and Recovery by W. Curtis Preston

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Chapter 18. Backup Hardware

How does one decide which backup drive to purchase? There are big drives, small drives, fast drives, slow drives, quick-acting drives, slow-acting drives, tape drives, and optical drives ranging from a few hundred dollars to around $100,000 apiece. This decision actually is much easier to make than you might think. It’s certainly much easier than deciding on a commercial backup product. There are only five critical factors in the decision: reliability, transfer speed, time-to-data, capacity, and cost. (Compare this to the backup software RFI that has more than 300 questions.) This chapter covers each of these factors in detail and provides as much market data as possible to help you decide which backup drive is appropriate for you. Specific manufacturers’ offerings are presented briefly, but due to the changeable nature of this information, updated data will be available on http://www.backupcentral.com.

This chapter also discusses common questions about backup hardware, such as compression, density, cleaning, and tape usage. Hopefully it will answer your questions in this area and assist you in getting the most out of your backup hardware.

Choosing on a Backup Drive

As you decide which type of drive to buy, see how the following five decision factors relate to your environment:

Reliability
Transfer speed
Time-to-data
Capacity
Cost

Most importantly, you should prioritize these factors based on that environment. For example, an environment with a six-terabyte ...

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