Backing up on Travan tape in Debian/Woody
I am a relative newbie to linux and am getting my hands dirty with backing up data on a Debian woody box. I need to periodically backup data from the MySQL DB and some scripts that I run.
However, Dell, being the nice corporate entity, refused to provide support to Debian and left me in the lurch after providing their expensive tape drive. So, I looked around and found the following procedure to back data onto my tape drive.
mt -f /dev/st0 status
tar cvf /dev/st0 Data-FolderToBeBackedUp
Now, this seems to work fine so far. Here are my questions though:
1. How robust is this way of doing it? (I am not sure what exactly the first two commands mean or do). Could this cause potential problems? What could they be?
2. I have heard that using tar may not be the best way to write to tape (ofcourse, I am unable to find an alternate method). Is that true?
3. Is the data written (using the above commands) in a compressed format?
4. How do I find out the size of data written or rather, how do I find the amount of space left on the tape?
Hope you guys respond. Thanks in advance.