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Tape library best practices

hk-cbb
Occasional Contributor

Tape library best practices

We have an MSL6030 tape library with several Ultrium 460 tape drives and perform many scheduled backups. However, these tapes are never removed as they are scheduled to be overwritten periodically.

However, we are wondering whether it is an accepted practice not to remove tapes from a library? How do oraganizations handle tapes in a library in a manner that would cater to a "disaster" situation? Are they removed regularly to be kept in an off-site location?

We would appreciate some feedback on this aspect. Thanks

Harihar K (harik@cbb.gov.bh)
3 REPLIES
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: Tape library best practices

Hi,

If you don't remove the tapes from your library, you are leaving yourself open to all sorts of problems...

Just consider what would happen if you couldn't get access to your building for whatever reason, and you had to restore your IT services at another location ?

Typically tapes are taken out of a library after the scheduled backups and stored off site for a period of time.

Cheers,

Rob
Vasiliy Karpov
Trusted Contributor

Re: Tape library best practices

We are paranoid about that. So we utilize next procedure for most critical systems:

1. main backup to tape; (data retention 1 month)
2. copy from on-site library to off-site library; (data retention 12 months)
3. copy from on-site library to another on-site library; (data retention 12 months)
4. tape removed from on-site library to on-site vault (safe);
5. data retention registry is updated for tapes in on-site vault; (we register all bar codes and print report for each session)

after some time (e.g. 2 weeks)

6. tape removed from off-site library to off-site vault (safe);
7. data retention registry is updated for tapes in off-site vault;

So, as soon as backup completes, we have a consistent data set on-site in the library. Right after that we copy tape to off-site library to secure data to the maximum. Then we do on-site vaulting. Then off-site vaulting.

Good luck!
Vasiliy Karpov
Trusted Contributor

Re: Tape library best practices

Please, assign points to answers!