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
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
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 he penciled it out, he determined he could store a
year’s worth of daily incremental files (6 terabytes) for just
$30/month with Backblaze. That was less than he paid
each month to store his daily incremental tapes off-site.
With the Backblaze/CloudBerry solution Guy didn’t have
to label, mount or swap out the daily incremental tapes.
And the process of testing backup tapes was
The Backblaze/CloudBerry solution meant he now had
completely automated the entire data backup process
for his daily incremental files.
When the testing period was over the choice was easy, he
stopped backing up his daily incremental files to LTO and
My boss didn’t believe how little
the bill from Backblaze was given
all the data we had stored.
- Guy Fisher
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
Upload and download data using a Web GUI, API, or CLI.
Stored data is instantly available. There are no offline or near-line delays.
There are no pricing tiers for data storage, it is simply $0.005 per GB per month.
Data durability is 99.999999% and availability is covered by an SLA.
Robust documentation, including guides and examples in curl, Java, C#, Python, Swift and Ruby.