Wanted: One LTO-4/5/6/7 Drive!

I am something of a digital hoarder. I have files dating back to one of the earliest computers that anyone in my family owned. I think I even still have diskettes for an older word processor, the name of which escapes me at the moment. As such, I have slightly more than average storage requirements.

At present I handle these requirements via a Linux fileserver, using 3TB drives RAID6’d via mdadm. On top of that I use LVM to serve up some volumes for Xen, but that’s not strictly relevant to storage.

Looking at the capacities of LTO makes me quite covetous. LTO tapes are small, capacious and reliable– with a few tapes, I could archive a fair amount of data. I could also move the tapes outside my house- and lo, offline offsite backups!

Sadly, drives are expensive, unless you’re stepping back relatively small capacity* LTO-2 drives.

At present, given the cost of drives, some back-of-the-envelope calculations show that for any reasonable** dataset, simply buying hard drives (at time of writing, 3TB is cheapest per GP) is the most cost-effective means of archiving. Given that is where the focus of development is, I don’t think this is likely to change soon.

I’ll just have to wait for a going-out-of-business auction, and hope the liquidators overlook the value of the backup system…

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