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Options for Tape Backup: LTO, DDS or DLT

By Doug Owens

Unfortunately, DDS hasn't really done much in terms of growth since the DDS-4 series, and I haven't heard if there will be anything else from that direction, so I would likely steer clear of that avenue. DLT has the potential (with compression) of storing up to 80 GB of data on a single tape, SDLT (Super-DLT) now has the compressed capacity of up to 600GB, and LTO- 3 comes in at an impressive compressed capacity of 800 GB.

Also, DLT/SDLT/LTO have the speed that is required to get the large amounts of data backed up in a timely fashion. If you aren't looking at libraries, then I wouldn't consider going with a solution that requires more than one tape to store the data I need to back up.

Backups tend not to complete when a second tape is required to complete the task, and nobody is available to swap media. As far as recommending one of the formats you mentioned above, I would say that either of the DLT/SDLT/LTO would be a good direction to look in.

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