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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Alternatives to tar for tape archiving - indexed?

    Hi all :)

    I have recently started keeping an archive of some TV programs. I chose Ultrium 3 data tapes as a long term storage medium, because they're cheap per Gb and have a reasonable archival life.

    For writing the data, tar was the obvious option. The trouble is, it keeps no index of the files on the tape. So if I want to restore one file, or add more files to the end of the tape, it takes forever searching through the tape. I'm also getting a very slow write rate (~3Mb/s) despite having replaced the cable and SCSI card, but that's another issue really.

    My question is, is there an alternative that keeps an index of the locations of the files on the tape, thus allowing much faster searching? If a few megabytes at the start of the tape were reserved for this, and it was then read into memory each time the tape was inserted, I don't see why this wouldn't be workable. I've done some googling, and nothing seems forthcoming. Can anyone advise?


  2. #2
    Linux Engineer
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Virginia, USA
    Tapes are tapes. Tapes are typically retrieved whole-tape at a time.

    Have you considered DVDs, Blu-Ray, or other media?

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