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Vol. 2 No. 9 November 2003

Most Tape Libraries Have Too Much Horsepower

It's human nature to gravitate toward the latest and greatest technology, but in the case of tape backup, most storage managers should probably resist the temptation. According to W. Curtis Preston, president of The Storage Group, one of the most common errors his clients make is to put tape drives in their backup that spin faster than their backup servers can sustain them. Buying tape drives that are too fast for your environment leads to one of two things: If tape drives don't receive a continuous stream of data, they stop, back up and start up again. This scenario, called shoeshining, is hard on both drives and media, and slows down backups. Alternately, backup managers interleave multiple backup streams to a single tape, which can lead to problematic restores. Yet manufacturers continue down a relentless path of building ever faster and larger tape drives. Last month, Quantum unveiled SDLT 600, the third generation of its super drive technology, which clocks in at 72MB/s (compressed) and can store up to 600GB. LTO-2 ...

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Features in this issue

  • Defragmenting Disks Falls by the Wayside

    The deal on disk fragmenting

  • Too many SAN islands

    by  Jeff Moad

    One of the main challenges to growing SANs is the proliferation of independent SAN islands. We look at how and why a multinational financial services company consolidated many islands into larger ones, but stopped short of a single, unified SAN.

  • Sane strategies for SAN growth

    What's the right way to design storage networks for growth? There's no simple answer to that question, but understanding the implications of storage- or network-centric approaches will help you make the right choices.

  • New directions for switches

    With all of the recent acquisitions and new partnerships forming this year, finding the right Fibre Channel switch for you is even more confusing. This article will help you chose the right one.

Columns in this issue