Our veteran blog editor Gilles Schipper has updated us on his exploration of more current DAT backup for HP 3000s. Back in July he posted a story here on the blog — Easy and Affordable Backup Optimization — about how keeping up to date with DAT not only gives you faster backups for the HP 3000, it also makes them more reliable and expands the tape capacity.
While helping a user on the 3000-L mailing list, Gilles recently took note of some other advantages to working with DDS-5. (That's a format not officially supported by HP for the 3000 — but then, nothing will be officially supported by HP after the end of next year.
As long as you’re “heavily into DDS” you should probably consider the DAT40 (aka DDS-4) or even DAT72 (aka DDS-5, or DAT 5th generation). I’ve recently completed a benchmark that measured the speed of a DDS-4 drive compared to a DDS-3 drive.
Since that "Easy and Affordable Backup Optimization” article was written, I have been able to conduct a test with the DAT72 which resulted in only marginal speed improvement over the DAT40 — but offers higher-capacity tapes (triple the capacity of DDS-3 and almost double of DDS-4) and works very nicely on an HP e3000 without requiring configuration changes to your existing DDS-3-configured system.
And, as you seem to be well-aware of the refurbished market, you will be very pleasantly surprised to discover that the DDS-4s are indeed quite affordable — even in the autoloader multi-cartridge variety.
More details on the future of DDS technology can be seen by visiting www.datmgm.com