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Backup to Tape Drive

Tape Backup

Tape backups are one of the most well-known backup methods and have been tried and tested for decades.

With large to very large capacities and long durability, tapes are the best choice for backups. A tape drive writes data to magnetic tapes sequentially, from beginning to end. This means that random access can take a lot of time, but sequential reading or writing is very fast.

Z-DATdump makes it possible to copy archives created with Z-DBackup to tape drives, either directly (backup is created on tape) or indirectly (backup archive is created on a fast local drive and then copied or moved to tape). The backup archives can optionally automatically be checked for completeness and consistency. The program Z-DATdump supports

TRAVAN, VXA, QIC, MLR, DLT, SLR, AIT, LTO, Ultrium, DDS and DAT tape drives


By combining Z-DBackup with Z-DATdump,, many tape backup strategies can be implemented, such as generational backup schemes, incremental and differential backups etc. This makes them the ideal backup tools for private and professional use!

Back up Data to Tapes with Z-DATdump

On its own, Z-DATdump allows the user to create simple backup copies of files and directories. It also features an interface to our Task and Backup Scheduler Z-Cron. The combination of these two products allows scheduled automatic backups with the user-defined Backup Sets.

The combination with Z-DBackup has many advantages, such as AES-encrypted (password-protected) backups and backup compression.

Download Download the Freeware Version of Z-DATdump

Tape Media

Let's have a closer look on the tape drives supported by Z-DATdump:

Backup to Travan

Travan drives (Quantum, Seagate, Certance) are a good backup solution for small servers, workplace computers and notebooks. They are especially suited for businesses with only few PCs and home offices where only smaller amounts of data must be backed up. Travan tape drives are characterized by their simplicity. They consist only of drive motor, read/write head and some electronics. That makes them very robust and reliable. Problems which are known from DAT drives, for example, do not occur here. Travan drives from Quantum are currently available in the 7th generation with 20 GB net capacity.

Tape Backup Travan

Backup to DAT / DDS

DAT (Digital, Audio Tape) is based on drives in 3.5'' format (4 mm technology). Traditional DAT drives are available with capacities from 2 to 40 GB. DAT tape drives record data with the helical scan method. The mediums are very cheap but not as durable as other kinds of tapes. The storage duration is limited, the requirements for storing such a medium are very high.

The capacity values given for DAT tapes are usually determined with unrealistically high compression rates. Only the uncompressed net capacity is relevant for practical use. Because of the relatively large "scrap" resulting from faulty spots on the tape ("drops"), the capacity that can actually be achieved can still be somewhat lower. Even worse is the fact that DAT drives with the DDS 3 standard generally recognize too late when the read/write head is dirty. Nevertheless, these devices are very popular and in common use.

Tape Backup DAT

Backup to SLR

SLR (Scalable Linear Recording) is a recording method and product name of Tandberg tape drives. The drives of the Tandberg SLR series are suitable for 4 to 200 GB of data at a transfer rate of up to 600 MB/min. The SLR technology was already developed in the late 70s, and the devices were initially known as QIC drives.

Because of their robust mechanical layout, SLR drives offer a maximum of data security and reliability. Because 80% of the wear parts are contained in the data cartridge, including the tape guide, the wear and tear is extremely low. The modern drives from Tandberg Data are all equipped with Multi-Linear-Recording (MLR) technology, by which both the capacity of a cartridge and the speed is increased. Through magnetic head servo technology, unique in this class, a very high technical reliability of the drives is achieved. According to experience, Tandberg equipment runs very cleanly and stable. It is used mainly in the professional sector.

Tape Backup SLR

Backup to LTO

LTO drives (Linear Tape Open) were introduced in 1998 by HP, IBM and Seagate. The cardridges are 105 x 102 x 21 mm in size and can hold between 100 and 1500 GB, depending on the LTO version, recored in several parallel tracks over the whole length of the tape.

The LTO format was updated to the fifth generation in 2010, where each new generation had a doubled data rate and capacity over the previous one and new features. Generation 3 introduced WORM tapes and drives for one-time writing. Generation 4 added the option for 256 bit AES encryption. Generation 5 introduced a new and better file system for direct tape access.

Tape Backup LTO

Backup to DLT

The DLT (Digital Linear Tape) technique was developed in 1994 by DEC. It also uses linear tracks, but only one reel. The tape is wound onto a fixed reel in the drive with a special mounting mechanism.

The drives offer a transfer rate of 10 MByte/sec and data capacities between 40 and 80 GByte with automatical error checking (parity checking, CRC and EDC (Error Detection Code) of the data blocks).

Tape Backup DLT
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