Tape backup devices can save you from untold difficulties. Chances are you have spent—or will spend—dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of hours configuring your computer and preparing data to be stored on the computer. If you're in charge of a Linux server that's used to store others' data, the data stored on that server might represent tens or hundreds of thousands of hours of labor. Data backup is therefore extremely important. Fortunately, most tape backup devices work well under Linux, and Linux provides many tools to help you perform backups. I recommend using SCSI tape backup devices, particularly for very high-capacity needs, but ATAPI devices are adequate for smaller workstations. Older floppy-based backup devices are generally inadequate to back up today's hard disks, although if you have one, it might still find a home backing up a firewall, router, or other small system. USB devices are becoming available but are as yet unsupported in Linux. In the future, FireWire devices might become a viable backup option.
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