Break Even point for using LTO6 Tapes compared to Cloud Archiving Systems using CommVault

Simplistic Assumptions: Your Physical Agents with Support costs $12.5K over 5 years and your HP MSL 4048 Tape Array costs $15.7K over 5 years. Each LTO Tapes costs $25. Iron Mountain Costs are assumed to be $1/per tape and includes the monthly Iron Mountain Service Costs

Simply: if you have 1 array, your break even point with a majority of Cloud Based systems in which price their Archive based tiers to about $1-4 / TB / Month, you would have to back up at least 500 – 600 TB comparably to make it worth it. Although, it does not include the labor costs related to having to physically load and unload a tape system. Although, if you have 3 offices your break even point would be 300 – 400 TB comparably at the low end and about ~ 1.5 PB at the end high end to make it cost competitive with cloud based systems.

Considerations when Backing up and Archiving in the Cloud

Here are some things to consider when backing up and Archiving Data in the Cloud

  1. Cost to Store the Data – generally you will use the following formula to calculate your Costs on either a monthly, yearly, or full-cycle Cost.
    • Cost per TB = [Cost per GB] X 100
    • Cost per Month = [Cost per TB] x 12
    • Full Lifecycle Cost = Cost TB x 60
  2. Cost to Restore the Data – Generally there is a Restore cost and a data transfer cost, depending on where it is restored.
    • ex. In AWS, it costs $0.09 / GB to restore when restored through the internet and $0.004 when restored through the VPN. If stored in the S3 Inactive Tier, it will cost $0.01 / GB to restore. In total, it will cost $0.05 / GB to restore through VPN and $0.10 to restore through the internet.
  3. Time to Restore data – Generally, the more expensive the data costs to restore, the less time it takes to restore said data. If you are comparing restore time from tape / using Iron Mountain for restore; Restore times within 1 day are usually acceptable. If you bemoan the thought of having to manually restore data for users and see that it grows on trees, you generally will want Active restore tiers and not Glacial / Archive Tiers.
    • AWS has the S3 – Inactive tier which is ideal for immediate restore for Archiving purposes. Generally data restore falls off after 6 years. It also costs 12x as much as S3 Glacier – Deep Archive.
    • AWS has the AWS S3 – Glacier – Deep Archive Tier which is optimized for storing data that is normally stored on Tapes. As it costs only $1 / TB / Month, use it as your eventual storage tier. Standard restore allows for restores within 12 hours while Bulk restore allows for restores within 48 hours.

4. Advanced – Storage Tiering to Optimize Long Term Costs – Generally, time the archiving tiering with the expected frequency of restore. For archiving purposes, you can perhaps store your data in the following ways. As Data restores normally fall off after 6 years, your archiving rules should A) archive data after 2 years, B) Store it in S3 Inactive for 3 years , C) store it on Glacier for another 2 years, and D) transition it to S3 Glacier – Deep Archive for the rest of the time the data is usable.

AWS Billing, Oh My!

Here are some of my thoughts on the use of Reserved Instances, Savings Plans, and such and such.

When should i use a Reserved Instance? – Once your on-demand Utilization of your computing instance on a yearly basis exceeds 33% of the year ( about 3 months for muggles ) or meets 50 – 70 percent of your base computing needs on a yearly basis.

Are Reserved Instances, in a multi-tenant environment, truly enforceable with no or partial upfront costs? – The answer is sadly…No. Although a user or tenant might agree to have a reserved instance for the year, in an AWS Organizations Scenario, if they simply delete their computing Instance, since there is no financial tagging mechanism to really follow through with that tagging till the end. The better and more enforceable mechanism is to a convertible, all upfront mechanism in which if do they decide to stop using, other users / agencies can benefit as it should be really a “use it, or lose it” scenario. Not a “Lets get married, and i might cheat later” kind of scenario.

When is it really practical to use Savings Plans? – As it doesn’t really define a particular minimum, it really only makes sense when you have a couple of machines in which they share the same computing instance family and it makes it a bit easier to shrimp or grow your instances. ex. instead of VCPU = 36 at 1 machine, perhaps 2 machines at 18 VCPU etc. etc.

Does it really make sense to use a Volume Gateway when using AWS Storage Gateway and Commvault? – if you are rolling in money and can’t be bothered as it is annoying, it might be worth it at that point. Otherwise, does it really make sense to pay $200 + dollars to retrieve 1 file from say that whole 3+ TB “Virtual Tape” Not really! Stick with using the File Share Gateway as S3 is more financially efficent in this case.

Is there a point of deploying an AWS Machine, when you don’t require External Access or require Infrastructure as Code? – Yes, spend more money than you have to be have a hipster and expensive machine in which you are renting.

Can you mange systems in AWS like you do with Traditional Infrastructure? – Why not, you didn’t care when it was hosted onsite, just spend 2-3x more to host it in AWS. Although, if you don’t like to move, its definitely worth it at that point!

What if the amount of running EC2 Instances exceeds my Reserved Instances? – It is magically on-demand and you are overpaying for it.

What is the best case scenario for sharing your Reserved instances in an AWS Organizations and Resource Access management Scenario? – If you implement an AWS Service Control Policy ( SCP ) to limit what types of EC2 Instance types can and cannot be deployed in an instance, a Reserved Instance or Saving plan can definitely help in this case.

What if i got 1 Reserved instances, which saves 70 percent, for say 3 on-demand instances? – Well, instead of paying 300 percent, you are now paying 230% for the same 3 machines.

Using a IR Probe on a BigTreeTech SKR 1.4 Board

Sometimes the best solutions…require out of the box thinking. Today, i was working on my 3D Printer and i was trying to adjust the IR Probe for use with the Z-Min Endstop probe. After running the M199 Comand ( get Endstop Status), i noticed that it would never trigger, even when the red LED status was on. The problem i was having was, “How come my Z-Endstop IR Probe will not trigger?” Directly from the Mini height Sensor board documentation, it mentions:

So…it says something about installing a pullup resistor. As you have to wait a week for shipping and you can’t purchase it from RadioShack as they went bankrupt back in the day, One solution that was posed was to change the pin-out to a port that i would likely never use. In this case i will simply change out the pins to a port in which does not have the 10K resistor installed…

and mainly change the Pins in my pins_BTT_SKR_V1_4.h file to use P1_25 instead of the original port of P1_27 in the documentation. That of course means i have to plug it into a different port…but it beats soldering!

Re-compiled the Firmware….and Presto!

As the Z-Endstop State was Triggered instead of being open, i have to just invert my Z-Endstop Logic State:

How do i find the Certificate Chain on a Third Party, Private GoDaddy SSL Certificate?

The problem i was having today was…What the hell is a Certificate Chain? As i just touched AWS Certificate Manager Today…i want to provide one solution to importing SSL Certificates into AWS Certificate Manager.

  1. Go to AWS Certificate Manager and click on Provision Certificates

2. Click on the blue heading on the top – Import a Certificate

3. Here is the question of the day – how do i fill it out?

Certificate Body – The contents of the .crt file, .pem file, or the contents between BEGIN CERTIFICATE and END CERTIFICATE. Note this may not the be the original BEGIN CERTIFICATE…END CERTIFICATE in your original request.

Certificate Private KEY – The Private Key corresponding to your Certificate. The vendor will not provide this to you; its something you saved already, right?

Certificate Chain – Since we got our Cert from GoDaddy, I looked up the keyword ‘GoDaddy Certificate Chain’ and Go this wonderful page: https://ssl-ccp.godaddy.com/repository?origin=CALLISTO

If you open the .crt file – you will notice it mentions Starfield Certificate Authority – G2. In this case, we will use the Starfield Certificate Bundle – G2 and Copy and Paste the Contents of that .crt file into our Certificate Chain Area