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[Discuss] Backing up LVM partitions using snapshots

On Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 04:51:32PM -0500, Richard Pieri wrote:
> Tapes do require storage space but they don't require constant
> power. They need to be shipped to climate-controlled storage for
> archival purposes but that's a fraction of the cost of running a
> server 24x7 even at Iron Mountain's premium prices.  Tapes are
> removable so they only need one drive, loader or library -- a single
> major hardware purchase -- to handle infinite expansion.

They do require constant power: human power.  You didn't account for
paying the labor to jockey all that tape around and do back-up
verifications.  That'll probably cost your company at least $60K
(recurring yearly cost), even for a low-level tape monkey, once you
factor in benefits etc.  There's far less to manage with the disk
solution, and verification can be automated since the data is on-line
at all times.  The man-hour cost of managing the disk solution should
be far less, possibly even negligible (i.e. your existing IT staff can
absorb it without sweating the impact).  

And nothing is infinite... Your back-ups will eventually take long
enough that you need to buy additional tape hardware to get them done
in the required time frame.  

Note that up to a point, some shops can make the incremental labor
cost of tape *seem* negligible too, by forcing their existing IT staff
to work more overtime.  This eventually will result in higher salaries
or higher turnover, so the cost is still there, but it's hidden and
harder to account.

Derek D. Martin   GPG Key ID: 0xDFBEAD02
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