Girl Scouts San Diego

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How to save money by replacing daily LTO tape backups with B2 Cloud Storage.

It was late and Guy wanted to go home. He was in the middle of his mostly quarterly ritual of mounting and reading back random tapes from his ever growing collection of LTO backup tapes. Select a tape, read the index, select a file or two to restore, wait for the tape drive to find and restore the files, then repeat for another tape. Over the years he had trouble restoring from a tape from time-to-time, but he was always able to work around the problem. “Tape Read Error”, Guy’s night just got longer.

Using tape for backup just doesn’t scale for us, and besides tape is a giant pain in the butt.
- Guy Fisher
Girl Scouts San Diego Logo

Guy Fisher is the Windows Server Administrator for Girls Scouts San Diego. Founded in Coronado, Girl Scouts San Diego has been helping girls develop valuable life and leadership skills since 1917. Guy has been with Girl Scouts San Diego for the nearly 8 years, and has been leading the charge in having the organization utilize technology to keep costs down in their ever changing environment.
When Guy first joined the Girl Scouts San Diego one tape drive was sufficient to back up the organization’s data. Over the years, the amount of data generated and kept by Girl Scouts San Diego increased rapidly, more than doubling over the past couple of years alone.

Their environment is a mix of virtual and non-virtualized systems and servers. They use Veeam to back up their environment throughout the day, processing 12-15 terabytes of data each day. At the end of each day, the daily incremental changes are extracted and stored on a Windows server dedicated for data backup. This process produces about 15 gigabytes of new data each day. This daily incremental dataset is then copied to LTO tape for backup purposes and eventual off-site storage. Weekly, monthly, and yearly incremental backups are done the same way.

Guy believed he could save money by replacing his LTO system with cloud storage. To test his theory, he started with the daily incremental backups. At first he just mirrored the LTO process, sending daily incremental files to both tape and to Backblaze B2 via the CloudBerry Windows Server Backup application. He did this for a few weeks and randomly compared the data from the two different backups – the data was identical. During the testing phase, Guy discovered:

When the testing period was over the choice was easy, he stopped backing up his daily incremental files to LTO and used B2.

My boss didn’t believe how little the bill from Backblaze was given all the data we had stored.
- Guy Fisher
Group Photo

About Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage

Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage is a cloud storage solution that provides data storage at one-fourth the cost of leading cloud storage providers: $0.005 GB/month for storage, free uploads, and $0.02 ($/GB) for downloads. Things to know about B2: