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LTO-3/4 hardware vs. software compression

RalfG
Frequent Advisor

LTO-3/4 hardware vs. software compression

Hi,

I'm using a backup programm that allows to use disk and tape based backups (bacula on linux debian). Until now I only backed up to tape (LTO-3 + LTO-4). Now I want to use backup2disk for the incremental and differential backups. The programm is able to compress data with gzip, and I want to use this option. But this can only be enabled on a job basis. So it would also be enabled for full backups on the LTO-3/4 tapes.

As far as I know, it's not a good idea to use software- and the drives hardware compression together (data may get bigger on tape). But I also heard that recent drives can detect compressed data and that the negativ effect of sw + hw compression will not be that bad.

So, should I disable the drives hardware compression when using gzip compression?

Will older tapes with enabled hw compression then still be readable?
2 REPLIES
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: LTO-3/4 hardware vs. software compression

HP LTO tape drives won't expand compressed data when they write so it shouldn't be a problem. The main difference is that it will use a lot more host resources and the compression process may slow down the backup.

The drive will still read compressed tapes just fine.
RalfG
Frequent Advisor

Re: LTO-3/4 hardware vs. software compression

I'm spooling data before writing to tape so the extra overhead for compression won't affect the speed tape write speed.

The extra load on the clients won't be a problem too.

So I'll leave hw compression enabled. Thanks.