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Hi, Kevin,

A few random points to consider--not exactly what you asked for, but 
based on experience in my former life on a few large-scale projects.

(1) Developing your own IT infrastructure will be costly, risk-prone, 
and an overall time sink. If you already have competent IT 
professionals on staff, then an alliance with them would seem to be 
in order. I have seen issues in a large corporation where there was a 
business IT department and a media IT department. One strong, 
encompassing department would have been more efficient.

(2) If I recall correctly, you are in California, so you need to plan 
the offsite backup with wider separation than other places due to 
fire/flood/earthquake risks, as well as what all of us face regarding 
fire/vandalism/theft.

(3) An ideal system IMHO, would be two identical storage systems with 
RAID arrays separated by 100 miles and preferably a major geographic 
feature. Do not propagate deletes. Backup the RAID arrays on LTO 
tape. If you're doing archiving (i.e. taking it off the discs) to LTO 
tape, make two copies at each site, stored separately. Others have 
addressed the administrative issues with references. I know of one 
major archive that was going to rely on one LTO copy of some items. 
They knew it was a risk. They didn't have any additional budget.

(4) On a total shoestring, you can see how I'm managing mirrored 1000 
GB stores (to be enlarged this year)
for my one-person shop/family of four plus brother-in-law who uses 
the system at http://www.richardhess.net/data_storage/

Hope this helps a little.

Cheers,

Richard

Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Vignettes Media                   web:   http://www.richardhess.com/tape/
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm