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Our small team is considering buying our first tape drive for backups. However, we are still lacking serious enterprise-grade servers and have to rely temporarily on SATA drives in our rigs. Cost considerations argue against setting up a high-end automatic tapeloader, so our purchasing manager decided to go with a SAS tape drive (LTO 3 or LTO 4) to allow for migration to higher-end gear in the future.

What else do we need besides a SAS backplane and a reverse breakout cable to connect the tape drive to SATA bus on our boxes?

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Connecting a SAS tape drive to a SATA port will not work.
They are different protocols. Here's a primer.

Can you provide information on the hardware involved?

  • What type of server(s) are you using?
  • What tape drive did you purchase? Some tape drives come bundled with the necessary HBA to accommodate host-connectivity.
  • Is this an internal or external drive?

If using an external SAS tape drive, you should use a dedicated and purpose-built SAS host bus adapter (HBA) with an external SAS SFF-8088 or SFF-8470 port.

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  • Have not bought yet, going for an external drive - Quantum, Tandberg and HP AFAIK are on the menu. Thanks a bunch!
    – user177085
    Jun 8, 2013 at 15:52
  • There are HP LTO3/Ultrium 920 drive packages that include the cabling and SAS adapter needed to run. Look for HP part #AG738A.
    – ewwhite
    Jun 8, 2013 at 16:02

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