Why LTO For Backup?
As many of you know, tape is much safer for backup and archiving (long term backup) than disk, flash storage, or the cloud. Estimates for tape life range from 10 years to 30 years or more. The LTO tape standard requires drives to read/write at least one prior generation and read at least two prior generations. So the current LTO6 drives can read/write version 6 and version 5 tapes. LTO6 drives can also read version 4 tapes. A brief description of LTO can be found here.
Hard drives fail much sooner and more often, particularly if not spinning. If stored, they should be run every few months according to current thinking by industry professionals.
There is strong concern by the folks who preserve movies that we may be losing much creative content due to folks not properly archiving to tape. The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people) have a document on the subject here.
We use the application BRU for most of our archiving. BRU allows for the creation of a bootable CD with everything you need to restore an archive. BRU currently does not run on Windows so we can use Windows Backup as well. Windows Backup comes standard with Windows Server and some versions of Windows for the desktop so restoring should be fairly easy.
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