It would be very nice to have a transportable LTO 5 drive with a USB 3 interface. Are there any? My search-fu has failed me.
There are none available,
nor do I ever expect to see one available.
Okay, I'll bite! Why not?
I'm not thinking of the consumer / prosumer market; I'm thinking of the itinerant technician. I remember going round schools with a portable tape drives of the same value 20 years ago which had parallel port to SCSI converters. And USB 3 should have sufficient bandwidth.
And a 20 year old parallel-scsi link that offered 1MB/sec is no longer sufficient.
And companies don't design their hardware for the occasional user that might use it, they design it for who will surely use it.
You could build a fairly compact dedicated box for the job,
The average tech is not walking around with an LTO5 drive and tapes. Even if it were available, would you want something you could just drag a drive or folder to, or something you would need to install backup software, drivers, etc? Techs are walking around with an external hard drive of some kind. If more than that is needed for the backup, one would hope that the client already had a backup process in place. In any case, you would be the exception rather than the rule.Like the itinerant technician?
The average tech is not walking around with an LTO5 drive and tapes. Even if it were available, would you want something you could just drag a drive or folder to, or something you would need to install backup software, drivers, etc? Techs are walking around with an external hard drive of some kind. If more than that is needed for the backup, one would hope that the client already had a backup process in place. In any case, you would be the exception rather than the rule.
It really depends what needs to be done I guess. I could see use in something like this for one time onsite archival of large datasets, especially if the customer didn't want the data leaving the premesis. I've had requests like that before, but as my LTO setup is far from portable I've had to deny them.
Are you familiar with LTFS that was introduced with LTO5?
Yeah I fail to see why not use a HDD. An LTO 5 cartridge being able to hold 1.5TB is about $50. A 1.5TB HDD is about $80. You are winning $30 there. You'd need ~40-50 of these to offset the initial cost of the drive. If you were to leave the HDDs behind for the client and they dont need 1.5TB then you can go with a say 320GB 2.5" HDD at the same cost as an LTO tape. I really don't get it.
Of course if you are talking about long term storage, many petabytes backup, distribution among companies when making some sort of video/movie then the LTO is a natural choice. This is not to say LTO doesn't have its place.
There are none available, nor do I ever expect to see one available.
I did a search for this exact issue, and this HF thread was the first link. And then further down the page.. so apparently this Japanese company is now offering an IBM LTO5 in a USB 3.0 external case as of September 2012. Yay, tape storage is relevant again!
Learn something new.
An itinerant is a person who travels from place to place with no fixed home. The term comes from the late 16th century: from late Latin itinerant (travelling), from the verb itinerari, from Latin iter, itiner (journey, road).
..and then I emailed them asking about retail pricing. Their reply: 700,000¥.
Or if you prefer, about $8400USD at current exchange rates. In more practical terms, that's 3x the cost of a SAS LTO-5 drive by Quantum or HP here in the USA. Seriously, at their quoted MSRP you could buy THREE SAS drives and a controller card for each. And all they've really done is change the interface of the drive from SAS to USB 3.0 for 3x the price.
So, not the sort of item your average itinerant technician will be carrying around.