Tape Drive backup?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by user1690, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. user1690, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013

    user1690 macrumors regular

    user1690

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    #1
    -Previous Information Removed, current information below-

    Backstory: I wanted a Tape Drive backup solution and i had asked the MacRumours Forums members for some assistance in what would work, and what wouldnt.




    Heres what i have, what worked, and what didnt;

    1.) Sony SDX-460V (AIT1-Turbo IDE Drive)

    2.) Sony StorStation Firewire/USB External Tape Drive (AIT2-Turbo ver.)

    2.) (Software/Driver) IOSCSI 0.1 Driver for PowerPC Architecture

    3.) (Software/Driver) BRU PE (30Day Demo)

    4.) (Software/Driver) BRU LE (30Day Demo)

    5.) (Software/Driver) Retrospect Express


    SDX-460V
    This Drive works with both the IOSCSI driver and the BRU PE software (Not with both installed together though due to how they access the drive. (RST0 for IOSCSI and ntape0 for BRU PE). Because the drive can be set to compress files via its own hardware, no compression in software settings was needed (BRU PE).

    When testing with the IOSCSI driver, basic manipulation was able to be done. I was able to write files to the tape and then retrieve them, i was also able to rewind the tape but not eject it, i was also able to change the block size. Writing files to the tape was a bit iffy at times. Trying to write to tape without the SUDO command didnt work and the terminal would always report "Function not implemented!". Even using the sudo command, running it first time failed (With above error) but running it again right after worked.

    Using the BRU PE software, things were a bit easier as no terminal was needed, the GUI interface interpreted the commands for me. I was able to manipulate the drive fully (Write, Read/Extract from Tape, Verify, Rewind, Eject, Block size changes).


    Sony StorStation Firewire/USB External Tape Drive (AIT2-Turbo ver.)

    This drive, just like the internal AIT-1 Turbo worked effortlessly with the BRU PE software. Unfortunately i could not test with the BRU LE version because the GUI appeared to be hard-coded to refuse to launch if more than 1 tape drive was present and since it was detecting the internal IDE drive first that is all it would accept or it would force quit itself. I did however test the drive via the Terminal since BRU LE had functionality to access both drives that way. I had to enter long commands and state each file i wanted to backup and to which drive (in this case; ntape1). The downside to this was that, even though the file was big enough for an 80GB native capacity tape, it still reached the end of the tape before all the file was on. I think this may have been either a block size issue or data transfer speed problem resulting in alot of blank tape being wasted. (FireWire 400, surely fast enough?).

    I didnt test this drive too much yet with IOSCSITape beyond it being detected by the driver

    Using Retrospect Express was dissapointing, i was not able to set a block size that would work so, files that would all get onto tape in the BRU softwares, would not in retrospect express. (So, for example if a whole 39GB DMG went on 1 tape in BRU softwares, in Retrospect Express more than 1 tape was needed). This was confusing
     
  2. gooser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    #2
    all i know is that when i had a tape drive the tapes themselves cost more than a firewire hard drive.
     
  3. Giuly, Oct 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

    Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #3
    Get yourself a 72GB DAT72 tape for $13.50 and try it out.

    You need the IOSCSITape package (may or may not work on PPC).

    First, you need to rewind that tape:
    Code:
    mt -f /dev/rst0 rewind
    Tapes are written with tar (tape archive):
    Code:
    tar cf /dev/rst0 /
    And also read (rewind first, obviously):
    Code:
    cd /whereever
    mt -f /dev/rst0 rewind
    tar xf /dev/rst0
    It doesn't mount because it's not supposed to do that. You can only access the data sequentially, not randomly like a hard drive (well, you could, but you'd have access times measured in 10s of seconds).

    If you want to be all Macintoshy, you could also cat DMGs to and from the tape instead, or anything else that consists of 0s and 1s for that matter.

    Bottomline: Just backup to dropbox, alright.
     
  4. user1690 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1690

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    #4
    Thanks for that information Giuly, my initial plan is to make a backup containing all my basic software/files and then leave it for whenever its needed. (Like a base-backup with the essentials, saving time if i ever need to re-install whole OS) Tape seems to be able to accomplish that while also being able to keep all my data 'whole' for quite a long period of time.

    What i'd specifically like to know now is, what would the command be to do this; Copy a .DMG file directly to the tape via terminal?
     
  5. ekiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #5
    Let's not kid around. Who uses that crap still? Anything tape is dated and uncool.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #6
    Many large businesses and organizations use tape backs. It's still a better alternative than havingany hard drives. Google, Amazon, and Apple all backup their cloud data on tape. My work place uses tapes as well. They look about the size and shape of VHS tapes.
     
  7. ekiro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #7
    Dude that's so weird! It just sounds so ancient! You'd think someone would have invented something better by now...
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    There honestly isn't anything better than a nice VHS sized tape for long term remote storage. They can take abuse better than a hard drive and are much bigger than a SSD. Plus, the the tapes are really cheap. The ones where I work store about 20-50GB depending on the settings used. They apparently have records going back into the 90's on similar tapes at some IronMountain place.
     

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