I regularly have to push ~10 - 50GB Winrar archives up to the network at work. The archive consists of many thousands of files (pdf,msg,xlsx,etc.). IT restores the archive elsewhere for clients to look at and edit. The destination server is backed up but the archive I'm sending is only used to make transferring the files quicker and more manageable. Is there an advantage to using spanned archives in this case since we're not burning to any media and we have a strong internet/network connection?

For example: is it significantly faster/more reliable to copy and restore a single 25GB .rar from one server to another vs copying and restoring five 5GB spanned archives?

Most of the material I've found through Google is about how to create, restore or salvage a broken spanned archive. Also everything I've read has referenced using spanned archives in the context of burning to size limited media or using a p2p sharing network which doesn't apply to my situation.

  • @techie007 My specific case isn't important. I haven't found an answer to the question "Is there any reason to use a spanned archive other than when you have a media size cap?" through Google searches and it doesn't appear to be a duplicate on this site and it doesn't seem to be OT either. Besides, not allowed to talk to the IT people. I can only submit structured requests (he's not in the Building/country).
    – Oliver
    Oct 2 '14 at 18:07

The ONLY reasons for using spanned archives are for storage on limited-capacity media, fault tolerance, and in some cases redundancy (such as WinRAR's recovery volume feature). That's pretty much it.

If you're on a reliable connection and you're placing it on a volume with ample space, then there's no reason a single 24GB archive shouldn't be OK. The drawback of course is that if a link hiccups (which can happen sometimes even on reliable connections) then you have to retransmit the entire archive.

I'd ask for clarification as to why they rejected it. It may be possible that they're backing it up somewhere else after-the-fact where a spanned archive is relevant. But otherwise, managing split archives is a pain.

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