Subject: Re: Questions regarding dump
To: Grey Wolf <>
From: Matthew Jacob <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/19/2000 14:25:08
> What the hell are they smoking?  Is there another REMOVABLE medium which
> we should be using instead?

No, not yet. The mismatch between growth in disk storage and the density of
tape storage is really bad now. Everyone is now getting toward the point where
very large sites have been for a while- you don't really back up (reasonably)
a 20 TB system-if, using restore, you had to reload all 2TB, you'd be down for
weeks. You make sure your metadata is backed up offsite (this is usually still
a tape backup possibilty) and do mirroring and RAID stuff for the datasets and
hope for the best.

> I don't say it's 'all bad' as much as I say 'it does not fit my criteria of
> usability'.  Sorry, but with all the other free stuff out there, I don't
> see it as unreasonable that I should be able to back up my system for free.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I totally agree with you.
On the other hand, having spent years in the backup space, I have a sort of
italian-accented little subvocalized thought that keeps muttering into my
inner ear, "What is dis? Why do they so wanna disrespect their vital data so
much? It ain' right...."....

> (read:  "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.")

Well, uh, yeah :-)

> Your point is taken, and I don't regard myself as having nixed your idea
> for implementing something else.  Indeed, I believe I took issue, as with
> Mike Cheponis' "get rid of man pages as we know them" thread, with the
> notion of getting rid of a known, well-working approach.
> To reference a previous thread, man works pretty well.
> To reference the current thread, dump works pretty well.

To a first approximation, dump does work reasonably well for small backup
requirements (and even smaller restore requirements). I myself don't use it
that much- I haven't for years (. This is because *I'm* comfortable with
NetWorker which allows me, on a day to day basis, to recover *this* file which
I've just mistakenly removed (instead of having to do the whole restore -i
goop, find the tape, load it in, etc..).

> To assume that the individual will be able to just go out and buy,
> off the shelf, for a reasonable price, a new-fangled cutting-edge removable
> backup medium solution is as folly as some of the other "let's-abandon-the-
> folks-with-slow-old-obsolete-hardware" approaches toward things I've seen
> lately.  You'll pardon me if I note that that particular approach is
> kind of counter to what is, to me, one of NetBSD's key factors.

There is nothing in my suggesting that NDMP might be useful which would
require any hardware changes. This is a data management protcol- not something
put out by Exabyte to sell more changers.

> (Not to mention that I, as an owner of a piece of kind-o-slow kind-o-
> obsolete hardware with only a (broken) EXB-8200 (remember the one that
> won't do EOF marks properly) as a backup device have a vested interest
> in this kind of support...).

This isn't a 'backup hardware' issue. You have the hardware you have. It's not
even close to impedance matched to the 18GB disks that you can buy at
clearance prices on the Web now (which is why tape backup, per se, is somehwat
problematic now even for the brand new tape drives you can buy- I mean the
default storage size for disks that you can buy soon will require you to have
a changer for all but *the* most expensive tape media). But working with a
piece of software that was designed after 1978 might assist in making the
transition for your usage of the 8200 into a more open sourced network backup
model - or may not.