Use the word "upgrade" carefully

Guy said in the comments.. “Our tape drive has run out of capacity (at 30 gb). We use the built in SBS 2003 backup system. We like to keep reasonably up to date so would upgrade to SBS 200(8) once available and stable. Does this mean that we should definitely replace the tape system with removable disks or is that still a “religious” question with half supporting tape and half supporting disk ?

Guy.. you and everyone else needs to be real clear on this.. there is no “upgrade” from the 32bit world of SBS to Cougar’s 64bit SBS world.  So when you use the word “upgrade” I want you to use that carefully.  There is no inplace upgrade on a 64bit capable box running 32bit SBS 2003.  One of the guys at the ITPro Conference this last weekend (that if you didn’t go, you missed out on meeting) is the “Migration” Program Manager.  Notice I didn’t say “Upgrade” manager.  He is tasked with “Migration” in Cougar. So set the expecations accordingly for the next version of SBS.  But I’m actually looking forward to migration as we’ll get cleaner boxes as a result. 

Next as far as that backup system, if a tape backup is working now.. leave it.  If you want to do tape in the future, it will be third party software.  And quite frankly, a lot of folks are wanting to do one backup AND another one… another one image based… or another one online…or whatever.

If I were in your shoes I’d do harddrives.  And that’s not a religious argument.. just someone who knows a bunch of harddrives are cheaper.

4 Thoughts on “Use the word "upgrade" carefully

  1. Are you saying that SBS 2008 won’t have the capability to do tape backups by your comment about using 3rd party software ???

  2. bradley on May 29, 2007 at 7:51 pm said:

    Longhorn backup only supports disk drives. It’s a sector/volume backup and thus will be/is faster than tape.

    Not ugly at all. The writing is on the wall that tape is dead and dying.

  3. I’ll believe tape to be “dead and dying” when I see it. I’d argue that buying hard disk drives in sufficient quantity to allow for retention and off-site storage, as compared to tape, is unrealistic for multiple TB of data.

    Obviously, the “small business” market isn’t typically dealing with multiple TB of data. This market is woefully under-served by backup technologies at present, to my mind. “Serious” tape systems are too expensive, and it’s difficult to get hard disk drive-based backup to perform in as routine and predictable a manner as tapes (at least for me… telling a Customer to “change the tape every day” is a lot easier than “logon to the server, ‘Safely Remove’ the hard drive from yesterday’s backup, physically remove it, then attach today’s drive”.)

    Block-level backup may look nice, but it’s more difficult to restore individual files from. Yes, yes– we can argue that “Volume Shadow Copy” should take care of that, but it hasn’t come close to eliminating the need for single-file or single-folder restores in my experience, though it has cut it down.

  4. Even,
    I wouldn’t worry about tape dying right away, because
    Just like people still use 3.5″ floppies, because they “believe in them.”

    However, I just cant understand why the price hasn’t dropped?
    It’s like they think they are invincible and price won’t matter.
    Kind of reminds me of the Beta vs VHS issue..

    Just look at this Article Written last year on Cost of TAPE vs hard Drive Backup

    Hard Drives are only Cheaper now
    a 500GB hard Drive cost $110.00
    So that’s around $0.22 cents per GB
    Tape is around 0.13 per GB

    Tape is cheaper?
    Wait, You need to replace Tape every year
    A HD warranty is 5 years so a Tape is now .78 cents per GB

    Oh you say Long term?
    Well that Tape has to be stored correctly and in a Controlled environment, and still Reliable recovery? NOT from my Experience over the last 22 years.

    A HD can take Extreme Conditions a TAPE would Never Survive..

    I won’t even Touch the COST of a Tape Unit and backup Solution, Retrieving files off a tape etc etc. the article covers that very clear…

    So Tape dead? Nope, just like the people using 3.5″ floppies, Use the Commodore 64, still play with their Apple II, and trying to find Beta Movies on EBay, there will still be those who back up to tape.

    HD backup is a new Religion, I’m just glad Microsoft has embraced it.

    It’s hard for people to accept new things like HD backup SATA Drives vs SCSI.

    But Change is good, embrace it and accept it…

    I remember the Big STINK about Intel having to put a Heat Sink on a CPU, it was supposed to be the Death of INTEL… Laugh

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