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Tape Backup

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  • Tape Backup

    Iíve just been tasked with locating a provider in the UK (North East is Poss) which will pick our backup tapes up each night, transport them safely & then also return the old ones back to us each day.

    This got me thinking, how do other people do this? we will eventually move onto online storage backup over the internet but at present we have to use tape due to limitations on some old servers.

    My rotation at present it to have the latest backed up tape off site for 5 days & then its returned to site.

    Do people duplicate the tapes so they hand a copy to the off-site storage and keep a copy? if so how do you do this. Im curious as to what set-ups people have?

  • #2
    Re: Tape Backup

    It's really up to what you need.
    The purpose of off-site backup is to preserve the backup in case of site disaster. Question is: how long will it take to get the tapes back in case of need? If it's too long, you should definitely copy the tapes before sending them off-site. Different backup software has different utilities to do that, but all major vendors have that.

    Second question: how much do you use these tapes? Is it only in case of a major disaster or do you regularly restore mail items and files? If yes, you must have copies on site. If no, and you have a different mechanism to serve such requests (like snapshots), you might live without them. Just make sure you know how long it will take for the tapes to arrive in that you are comfortable with this delay.

    One last tip: no matter you choice, please remember to use some kind of encryption on those tapes. Theoretically, a bad person that lay his hands on your tapes can restore you data (email, SQL, Oracle, file shares) and AD, hack your passwords offline and gain your passwords. You don't want that to happen.

    Hope this helps.

    MCSE 2003, MCITP EA, VCP4.


    • #3
      Re: Tape Backup

      How much data are you backing up?
      Is it necessary to send the tapes offsite as there are a number of site that do offsite backup online quite successfully. Backedup data is encrypted so only you have the key. Data can be restored online so you don't have to wait for tapes (that can be corrupted with all this handling especially if they are placed in an electromagnetic field) to be delivered.
      WHY are you using tapes? USB/eSATA HDD backups are, IMO, a much better option now. What happens when your 4 or 5 year old tape drive breaks and you can't replace it and therefore can't read the data tapes.

      Five days is not such a good rotation either. 21 days is a much safer option.
      Joined: 23rd December 2003
      Departed: 23rd December 2015


      • #4
        Re: Tape Backup

        Iron Mountain will do all you want, but will not be cheap.

        For cheap, use a trustworthy member of staff
        Tom Jones
        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
        IT Trainer / Consultant
        Ossian Ltd

        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


        • #5
          Re: Tape Backup

          As well as tapes I also have a portable hard drive on and off site to backup server images to so we have an identical copy on-site. There are encrypted

          The tapes we use are 800GB & also encrypted, if the tape drive broke, we have a break fix replacement agreement with a vendor which is a 4 hour turn around. So we would have a new one on-site within the same day. The drive we use will still be available for at lest the next 5 years & we should have moved all our servers to an online backup by then anyway.

          On average we probably do about 1 or 2 file restores per week so I suppose we donít need a copy on-site. Our SLA for a file restore is 4 working days

          We cant use online backup solutions on one of the old HP Mainframe servers as it simply wont work, weíve tried it. So its pointless us paying for online backup for some of the servers & then also paying a storage company to hold the tapes for the mainframe. Its not cost effective, however in the next 2 years we should be able to go down the online backup route.

          I did check iron mountain & waiting for them to get back to me with a quote, form what I hear you are definitely right & its gona cost but itís a case of how much do you value your data & we have been in a disaster recovery situation so I think the directors will pay out for the safety of knowing its safe.


          • #6
            Re: Tape Backup

            We went with Iron Mountain in the end due to the quality of service but other people I got quotes from were:



            • #7
              Re: Tape Backup

              Iron Mountain was definitely a good choice. Used them on a couple of different jobs. On time and professional. They also do online backup nowadays.
              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


              • #8
                Re: Tape Backup

                We start the backup tape collection with them today today and the service I have had form them so far has been exceptional.

                I also managed to get them down on price from 6K to 5K so the age old rule applies.

                "If you donít ask, you donít get"


                • #9
                  Re: Tape Backup

                  We use an online backup from OnDemand Recovery in the UK. The good thing is that your data is deduped, compressed and then sent offsite - but a local cache of the data is also maintained onsite for fast restores.

                  Works great and supports all our systems.

                  Hope this helps.