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Backup Masters: Three Streamers at 10, 50 and 100 GB

Seagate Viper 200

The Viper II uses the Ultrium format to store 100 GB of uncompressed data onto one tape - quite a large amount of data. The drive family is available in both internal and external versions and also in LVD and HVD (Low or High Voltage Differential) models. We tested the internal version which requires a full size 5.25" bay (twice the height of a standard CD drive). The prices start at $5900, which is even more than some people would spend for a car. On the other hand, that price may be well worth it, since you will be entrusting your valuable data to it.

The drive is quite heavy (almost 3 kg), so I would recommend installing it in the lowest drive bay to ensure that the tower case does not fall over if it is inadvertently bumped. Another reason for installing it in the lowest bay is to keep it at the center of the case, thus allowing it to receive sufficient airflow and remain properly cooled.

With its advanced features, good performance, large capacity and bundled software, the Viper 200 is a very attractive backup drive at a formidable price.

That's the main screen of Backup Exec from Veritas Software. It took me a while to figure out how to delete a tape, because the function is located a bit illogically, in the 'devices' screen, rather than 'media', which one would have expected. Backup Exec 8.5 does not work under Windows 95/98/ME but merely with Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000. That is because parts of the software run as OS-services, which is not possible with the consumer versions of Windows.