Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Iomega's REV Loader 280: The Ultimate Backup Master?

Tags:
Last response: in Memory
Share
September 1, 2006 11:16:51 AM

The REV drive is available in 35 and 70 GB flavors, but you need the eight-disc REV loader to setup automatic daily backups.
September 1, 2006 5:49:03 PM

What do you mean you can't take HDD's to an offsite location?
External hotswap bay > take the drives out > take them with you.

If you use a decent RAID controller like Areca units, you don't even have to remember to put the drives back in the right order when its time to restore/update the backup.
Wether a backup solution works well or not is more dependant on the software you use with it then the actual media.
September 1, 2006 6:22:52 PM

why would you use this and not removeable IDE or eSata, aside from the software ?

it seems expensive compared to a 300 GB SATA or R-IDE solution.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
September 1, 2006 6:23:34 PM

First of all I wouldn't touch ANY Iomega product with a 10 foot pole. I still won't buy another IOMEGA product since their "Click of death" problems from their crappy Zip drives.

OK, so the math:

A single 750GB Seagate drive is $400.00

A single 280GB IOMEGA "Backup Solution" is $1200.

So for 3X the storage and 1/3 the price you can get the Seagate drive, pop it in a $50 external enclosure and it will be faster, smaller, quieter, AND last longer (Seagate's drive has a 5 year warranty vs. the 3 year warranty on the IOMEGA monster).

I don't have any clue why they are still in business with this junk.
September 1, 2006 7:11:38 PM

Quote:
I don't have any clue why they are still in business with this junk.
Worse, I wonder why the reviewer is still so nice about it.
Why is it that I never see a review end with "This product belongs in a trash compacter."? :evil: 
September 1, 2006 8:00:22 PM

Some more math:

1x Addonics Storage Tower (1x Infiniband ML connector) > $150
4x Addonics Mobile rack II > $40x4
4x Seagate Barracuda ES 750GB > $500x4
1x Areca ARC-1110ML > $300

So for $2600 you get:
- 3TB external storage
- 300MB/sec transfer rate

You can backup 3TB in less then 3 hours at a cost of less then 90c per GB
And that's with a low-end hot-swap enclosure, you should check out sites like http://www.enhance-tech.com/ for professional solutions.

Iomega's offer:

1x Rev loader 280 > $1100
8x 35GB Rev cartridge > $40x8

That's $1400 for:
- 280GB external storage
- 17MB/sec transfer rate

it would take more then 4 hours to backup 280GB at a cost of 5 bucks per GB.
I don't foresee a good future for Iomega if they keep heading down this path.
September 1, 2006 9:34:56 PM

As i see it, this is intended for business use only. You need a backup for every day, every week, every month and every year. A total set of approximately 25 media sets.

The author can live with not having a daily backup set, but any company with a vital database must be able to go back days, weeks or more.

Imagine a corrupt database that is first discovered some time after the the first errors. Or someone breaking in, and taking away everything, including the server and your HD-backup....

Can ATA drives be replaced every day without hardware failure?

This is ment to be an alternative to tape backup, wich is much more expensive.
September 1, 2006 11:12:02 PM

Quote:
As i see it, this is intended for business use only. You need a backup for every day, every week, every month and every year. A total set of approximately 25 media sets.

The author can live with not having a daily backup set, but any company with a vital database must be able to go back days, weeks or more.

Imagine a corrupt database that is first discovered some time after the the first errors. Or someone breaking in, and taking away everything, including the server and your HD-backup....

Can ATA drives be replaced every day without hardware failure?

This is ment to be an alternative to tape backup, wich is much more expensive.


What kind of validity does this position have?

If you start treating SATA drives (in hot-swappable cages) as the equivalent of a tape (just faster, cheaper and more reliable than tape), you would end up with off-site HDD storage instead of tapes. Tape has no advantage left, other than it is accepted by the masses as the defacto medium for backup. Tape only became the defacto medium for backup because it was initially cheaper than hard drives.

Your point of a corrupt database assumes that the hard drives aren't rotated like tapes, which one would do. Furthermore, your point about someone breaking in and stealing your hardware ignores the fact that the backup hard drives could just as easily be stored off-site.

DLT IV tape: ~$20 each, 40 GB capacity (uncompressed)
AIT tape: ~$100, 100 GB capacity (uncompressed) (If I recall correctly)
320 Gig HDD: $95 each, 320 GB capacity (uncompressed)

Where I work, we backup several TB a week, send out boxes of tapes for off-site storage. Both our "disposable" costs would decrease if we started using hard drives for backup as well as our physical off-site storage needs. The only reason we don't: Management perception of the defacto standards.

Furthermore, backups would take less time with hard drives as the medium. <edited for clarity>
September 2, 2006 12:04:21 AM

Quote:
Can ATA drives be replaced every day without hardware failure?
I trust a HDD more then I do a tape.

I'm not saying that HDD's are more reliable then tapes but with HDD's I usually get a warning before they actually fail.
By using stuff like SMART you can do pre-emptive replacement of drives.
I've got a whole stack of drives here that I've labelled "unreliable" because they give SMART warnings.
These drives will not be used in critical applications anymore.

I seldom have a HDD suddenly die on me without warning.
Can you check in what state your tapes are in?
Or do you just wait until one refuses to work when you need it?
September 2, 2006 5:37:09 AM

:lol:  First off, this is a serious backup solution. I use a SCSI REV Autoloader to backup a network of critical accounting data daily. That was my trial REV installation. The hard drive based cartridges are much more reliable, and are much faster that magnetic tape. If you think I'm going to use a dinky external drive, it's not going to happen in a professional environment. I need to rotate backup media and take it offsite.

I've used tape backup way back to the 70's and the Rev stuff works pretty good. Occasionally I get a cartridge to hang. The 160MB SCSI LVD interface is speedy. I use an Adaptec 39160 card on a Supermicro dual Xeon motherboard as a backup server running Windows Server 2003 R2 and CA BrightStor backup software.

Yep, it's expensive but hey, IBM nine track tape machines were way more than these babies.

External drives are fine for the house, but this is the best solution currently in terms of speed, flexibility, and media rotation.

Pilotx,
Network guy in Texas.
September 2, 2006 6:29:45 AM

Quote:
I need to rotate backup media and take it offsite.
...
External drives are fine for the house, but this is the best solution currently in terms of speed, flexibility, and media rotation.
Speed: How many tape drives can keep up with a HDD?
How many tape loaders can write to an entire set of tapes simultaniously like a RAID array?
Flexibility: HDD's come in all shapes, sizes and brands yet share thesame interface. (SATA, SAS, SCSI, fibre, whatever floats your boat)
Tell me, what else does your REV loader swallow besides REV cartridges?
Media rotation: What prevents you from sticking HDD's into hot-swap cages and juggling them around like tapes?

And the "fine for the house" comment:
dinky external drive?
That hot-swap cage looks allot tougher then a REV cartridge...
September 2, 2006 2:36:03 PM

:lol:  I absolutely love the HDD array, especially RAID 6 or 50. I have installed a lot of RAID 5 SATA setups lately on desktop PCs. It is a power hog however and the electric cost is a factor now in quotes that I do.

The REV works fine for most backup applications. I have dropped the REV cartridges and they keep on running. 35 gigs is plenty for the vast majority of databases and accounting backups. The cartridges are very small and fit into safe deposit boxes easier.

Let's don't go for absolute performance here just because it exists. Did that a lot in the 90's. Want dual Pentium Pro 200s on NT 3.51? Fine, write me a big, big check. Sometimes less is best and I have a budget to stick to for clients including looking at energy costs nowadays. I'd love to stick a six drive SCSI RAID 5 into everthing for security but that is just more for me to support and I am very expensive. The REV has shown to work better than tape and is economical. Rotate the cartridges, burn a DVD-DL, send everything offsite for safekeeping, and I can get the backup costs way, way down.
September 2, 2006 4:40:40 PM

Quote:
:lol:  First off, this is a serious backup solution.

External drives are fine for the house, but this is the best solution currently in terms of speed, flexibility, and media rotation.



Wow serious LOL. I think you are missing the point. You've bought into another proprietary Iomega piece of crap. Yes, it works NOW.

We are pointing out that you can do the same thing with industry standard hot swappable drives in a less expensive manner and have better features, capability, and reliability.

PM me in 3 years and let me know how you feel about the reliability of this I hate to even call it "Backup Solution". I seriously hope I'm wrong for your sake.
September 2, 2006 4:55:37 PM

Quote:
Let's don't go for absolute performance here just because it exists. Did that a lot in the 90's. Want dual Pentium Pro 200s on NT 3.51? Fine, write me a big, big check. Sometimes less is best and I have a budget to stick to for clients including looking at energy costs nowadays. I'd love to stick a six drive SCSI RAID 5 into everthing for security but that is just more for me to support and I am very expensive. The REV has shown to work better than tape and is economical. Rotate the cartridges, burn a DVD-DL, send everything offsite for safekeeping, and I can get the backup costs way, way down.
I do agree with you that it's not always the cheapest solution.

I tend to prefer solutions with the highest bang-per-buck ratio.
For backup solutions the cost/GB ratio means allot to me.
And in that area the REV is not a good choice...

Unfortunatly the HDD way is rarely the cheapest in terms of absolute cost. (See my post "Some more math")
The bigger you go with HDD's the better that bang-per-buck ratio becomes.
You don't buy a $500 RAID controller and $300 enclosure to stick in just 2 HDD's.
Then the HDD's become a very expensive option.
However when you figure it for 4, 8 or more drives you'll see that tape or REV cannot keep up in any category. (Cost, size, speed, etc)

In other words, REV and tape in general "doesn't scale up".
September 2, 2006 11:30:53 PM

I have dropped many a tape on the floor and it worked fine. I am not so sure a Rev Disk or a Hard Drive will be so lucky.
September 3, 2006 10:40:28 PM

Quote:


PM me in 3 years and let me know how you feel about the reliability of this I hate to even call it "Backup Solution". I seriously hope I'm wrong for your sake.


I just grabbed about 200GB of stuff off a few REV discs that I backed up over 2 years ago.

They were absolutely fine. They are really handy. Nice and small and handy for mid term off-site backup.

The chance of a click of death type thing looks to be fairly remote. I lost a big assignment to a clicky zip drive about 8 years ago though. But rev drives are quite different.

However that's why you back up your backups! :) 
September 4, 2006 1:05:55 AM

Quote:


PM me in 3 years and let me know how you feel about the reliability of this I hate to even call it "Backup Solution". I seriously hope I'm wrong for your sake.


I just grabbed about 200GB of stuff off a few REV discs that I backed up over 2 years ago.

They were absolutely fine. They are really handy. Nice and small and handy for mid term off-site backup.

The chance of a click of death type thing looks to be fairly remote. I lost a big assignment to a clicky zip drive about 8 years ago though. But rev drives are quite different.

However that's why you back up your backups! :) 

I think pretty much any backup solution is usually not going to fail if it just sits on the shelf for two years. But what we are really looking at is daily, weekly, monthly backups and their reliability, cost, performance.

Iomega's own numbers show the MTBFs for the Rev drives are much worse than Hard Drives. Yes MTBFs are pretty bogus and depend on how harshly the product is estimated to be used, but you have to start somewhere.
September 4, 2006 8:05:43 AM

:lol:  This is all a pointless conversation anyway. The REV will be obsolete within three years (one year?). Hopefully hard drives will too. If you find a backup solution that works and the client likes it, use it. I did floppy backups off Seagate ST-225 drives on IBM PCs and ATs running DOS 2.1 and Lotus 1-2-3. Hey, it worked. Now I tote around a Seagate 750MB in an external drive for emegency restore. It's just a big floppy.

I think the future is large-scale flash drives. I'd like to see the hard drive go away. I've used 4GB SDRAM drives with battery back up but that's just way too dicey.

I'm looking for six 1 TB flash drives that I can do RAID 6 with on my new 8GB of RAM, quad core processor Conroe with quad SLI and fits in a small form factor case for 64-bit MS Vista. Oh, and it's got to use less than 300 watts of power. More is better!
September 11, 2006 8:23:01 PM

Reading much of this discussion, most seem to prefer a removeable hard drive. I would like input from the forum how you would use a hard drive to back up data, keep track of it, take some copies of it offsite while leaving some copies onsite, etc. with removeable hard drives. In my situation (Small Business, 15 to 25 users, possibly 200 GB backup, need to be able to go back to last week, last month and possibly last year). I use a Grandfather/Father/Son backup. I don't see how you could do that with any reasonable number of hard drives. Now, if you are just backing up one computer, can occasionally take a snapshot, and other than that, just need one extra copy of important data, the hard drive would be fine. But, I don't see how it would be an effective backup for a small business. I guess my frustration comes from all the posts state this is a ridiculous product because a single hard drive backup is satisfactory for them.
September 11, 2006 8:34:20 PM

I agree that the "Click of death" caused many problems. Their track record since then has been pretty good though, I believe. I've been using the single REV for over a year, and haven't had a single problem with the drives or disks. And, when you're comparing warranties, a seagate drive probably isn't going to last 5 years if it's in a removeable enclosure, and taken offsite very often. With the REV, you leave much of the mechanics behind when the disks are taken offsite. And no, I don't have any relationship with Iomega. I just feel the option to back up to multiple 35 GB (and soon, hopefully, 70 GB) removeable media without the hassle of tapes is very appealing. If a single hard drive backup solution works in your situation, great. I could never get it to work in my environment due to our backup requirements.
September 11, 2006 8:42:31 PM

I just posted a response similar to yours, but you put it very well. I agree 100%. The company I work for develops a database program and we use another database for keeping track of our customer contacts. If it were to get corrupt, and we were limited to going back one week, we'd be out of business. A real backup solution like tape and/or REV is necessary.
September 11, 2006 8:49:42 PM

I think everyone is in agreement that we prefer a hard drive over tape. The REV provides a solution similar to tape, without many of the downsides. It is a hard drive, but when taken offsite, some of the moving parts get left behind (where they won't get damaged if you drop the drive, etc.)
September 11, 2006 9:08:25 PM

Your comment about How many tape drives can keep up with a HDD is irrelevant. The poster is saying the REV has the flexibility of tape backups, not that he likes tapes. And as far as the hot-swap cage looking a lot tougher than a REV cartridge, I dare you to put a valuable HDD in it and drop it about 5 feet. :D . It would scare the daylights out of me. I've dropped different REV disks a couple times (yeah, I can be a klutz), and not a problem. Many of the parts that would get damaged in a drop stay in the drive, not the disk. Plus, they are very light weight.
September 11, 2006 9:15:01 PM

In 3 years I'll see what's available. But, for those of us that need a backup solution now, the conversation is extremely relevant, and not pointless at all.
October 18, 2006 4:00:09 AM

I look after a couple of small sites (around 10 users each) and have been looking at disk based backups for these sites for some time now.

Most of my customers do a double take when I tell them that a 150GB (native) tape drive is going to cost them around $4.5K (Australian) when a small server for their office only costs about the same.

Some of the factors in tapes favour are medis portability and durability. I can get the receptionist to change the tapes, tape the latest home in her handbag, and bring the others back the next day and she won't complain about the weight. Getting the backup offsite is the whole point of it for me. When the building burns to the ground I need to know I have an off site copy.

Compatability: I need to know I can run off and source a replacement drive that will read the media, even four years after I installed it and walked away from it.

Easy restore: I need to be able to type the name of the file into the backup software and then pick from the available backup dates and have the software tell me which media I need to insert to get that file back.

So what works?
Well I'm afraid the REV solution along with other removable HDD solutions just doesn't cut it for me quite yet.
In three years if they are still selling brand new REV drives that will read old REV35 disks then that will take care of the compatability. It would also be nicer if there were more than one manufacturer competing in that space too, rather than hoping that IOMEGA stays in business. Anyone tried to buy a Travan Tape drive lately. HDDs are a bit more flexible, but if I buy an IDE based enclosure today I'd dare say they will all be SATA in a few years and then what? A SATA enclosure should give me the life I'm looking for. Of the tape formats DAT, DLT, ATI and LTO have been around many years and I would expect them to be around for at least five more i each case.
I'm cool with the REV media itself. Like a tape, it is small, portable and appears to be quite robust. It is easy for the secretary to change the disks over. Other HDD solutions and a bit big unless they can use hot pluggable 2.5" disks in caddies.

Backup software.... if it doesn't work with Veritas Backup Exec I don't want to know. The CA option coming bundled with the REV70 is a good start but I've really gone off Arcserve over the last few years. Veritas does not support the loader feature of the REV280. Also it does not understand the disk format and so treats it as FAT16. This means that files have a 2GB limit and then it creats another file. It treats each of these files as a piece of media and this makes finding the right media a pain in he neck when it comes to finding a file to be restored. I would not expect other removable disk solutions to have the 2GB file issue if they can be formatted with NTFS but I would still question how they present themselves to Backup Exec so that media can be tracked in software.

As for changers (libraries, robots etc) I do like the idea. I just haven't been impressed with the functionality and reliability of the low end ones. I always expect that one piece of media should be able to hold all the data on a system when a new backup system is installed (small/medium sites). This means that the secretary has only one tape/disk to take home. If this blows out to two or three over the next few years this is cool if you have the changer already in place.

Scary.
!