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Lesson 7 Tape backup applications
Objective List tape backup applications available from Red Hat.

Tape Backup Applications

Tools such as tar and dump are considered an essential part of any Linux or UNIX system, and they fulfill their role as backup and restore utilities well in most cases. However, organizations may elect to use a more comprehensive tool that offers more extensive network backup capabilities, provides a GUI, or has more extensive data verification routines.
A number of higher-level applications for tape backup are available from Red Hat, including:
  1. Amanda: a highly-scalable command-line archiver included on the Linux Applications CD

Demo versions of the following are included with the Linux Applications CD:
  1. Arkeia: a highly-scalable graphical archiver that contains extensive network backup capabilities
  2. Bru: a command-line or graphical archiver with error detection during backup as well as post-backup data verification
  3. Veritas (client): a graphical archiver
  4. UNiBACK: a graphical archiver with extensive data verification routines including error checking, tape and data verification, and error notification

Magnetic Tape

Magnetic tape was for years the most common medium used for backing up large amounts of computer data. Tapes provide a low-cost, convenient way to archive your files. Today's high capacity tape drives can back up many terabytes of data on an amazingly small tape, allowing vast amounts of information to be safely stored. Tapes are also easy to transport offsite so that data will be secure in case of fires, hurricanes, or other natural disasters.
The primary disadvantage of magnetic tape is that it is a sequential access medium[1]. This means that tapes are read or written from beginning to end, and searching for a particular file can be time-consuming. For this reason, tape is a good choice for backing up and restoring entire file systems, but not the ideal choice to recover individual files on a regular basis. Fedora and RHEL can use a wide variety of tape drives. Most SCSI tape drives will work without loading special modules. Even many IDE tape drives are now supported natively, without requiring the drive to operate in a "SCSI emulation" mode. Some drives, however, require installation of additional software. The next lesson describes RAID basics.

[1]sequential access medium: Sequential access is a term describing a group of elements such as data in a disk file or on magnetic tape data storage, which is being accessed in a predetermined, ordered sequence. This is the opposite of random access, which is the ability to access an arbitrary element of a sequence as easily and efficiently as any other at any time.