Looking for recommendations for external USB2.0 tape backup

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at clunix.cl.msu.edu
Fri Oct 14 12:44:13 PDT 2005

> My boss has asked me to try to find a tape-backup solution for our largely 
> FreeBSD network of machines and I'm not having a lot of luck, so I was hoping 
> for some enlightend pointers from the list.
> We need the following features:
>   20GB+ capacity
>   USB 2.0
>   External
>   < $600CDN
> Unfortunately, I've only been able to find two drives that fit our 
> requirements, one from Ceterance:
>   http://www.certance.com/products/travan/travan40/STT6401U2-SST
> the other from HP who claims that theirs only works with HP-UX.  Does anyone 
> know if (a) either of those units play nice with FreeBSD?  or (b) if there 
> are other tape backup solutions available?

Any SCSI tape drive will work nicely with FreeBSD.   We have
a few different levels of DAT DDS-2, DDS-3 and DDS-4 as well
as DLT and LTO drives in various systems - all on SCSI.   
Dell sells DLT and DAT.   HP is pushing LTO (they call Ultrium).

The DLT and LTO  performance are all outstanding. 

If you do frequent backups (recommended) I would steer away
from the DAT (DDS...) because they really can't handle the
heavier usage.  Reliability becomes a problem over time.

On some other systems we also have AIT drives working well but I 
haven't used them on FreeBSD yet.   

Unfortunately the DLT and LTO drives are rather expensive.
But the high speed and reliability will be worth it in 
the long run.

As for software, we just use dump(8)/restore(8).


> Thanks for any insight.

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