Backup tapes naming scheme

By AshishS ·
Hello all,
I work at a small IT shop and this is my first Networking job. My question is on the naming scheme for the backup tapes. Currently we have our backup tapes labeled from #1 to #51. I just requested new sets of tapes since the previous set is atleast over 2 years old. I would personally like to label the tapes with Monday#1 (#1 for wk. 1) etc. instead of following the existing naming convention. I was wondering what the common/best standard is in the industry and what everyone else is doing at their shops. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Two year old backups??

by mjd420nova In reply to Backup tapes naming schem ...

Sounds like a diaster waiting to happen. We do back ups weekly and alternate sets. Sounds like a large investment with over 50 tapes. We use dates and never destroy the most recent copies until new ones are made and verified. Friday is backup day, usually in the afternoon so that if the hardware or media fail we can have saturday to correct and repair any faults.

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Two year old backups??

by AshishS In reply to Two year old backups??

I should clarify little bit. The tapes that we have here are 2 years old. We do full backups nightly. You're right about a large investment with over 50 tapes but see, here is the kicker... not all the tapes looks like were bought at the same time. Some are a year old and some 2 years old. And in my defense, I inherited the network in the present condition. I am just trying to undo other people's doings.

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Tiered strategy in naming

by daveo2000 In reply to Backup tapes naming schem ...

Definitely you should have "Monday-1", etc. You should have 2 sets of daily tapes except for the day you do weekly backups. Two sets of weekly backup tapes except for the week you do monthly backups. And you should have one monthly backup tape for each month.

Then, depending on the level of auditing that your company needs, you will need to archive some tapes offsite.

On day 1 you make a full system backup.

Week 1: For the next week, you make incremental daily backups until Friday (or Sunday if you will be in). On that day you make a weekly incremental tape (incremental from the full system backup).

Week 2: Starting the next Monday you use the second set of daily tapes for daily incremental backups. At the end of the week you use the second weekly incremental tape.

Week 3: Recycle the first set of daily incremental tapes. At the end of the week use the 3rd weekly incremental tape.

Week 4: Recycle the second set of daily incremental tapes. (You get the idea on the daily tapes now, right?) At the end of the week use the 4th weekly incremental tape.

Some times there will be a Week 5.

On the first Sunday of the month, perform an incremental monthly backup or a full system backup depending on how much history you want to maintain and how much tape you want to use up.

Keep in mind that if you have to restore the system you will have to start with the last full system backup and post every monthly backup since, followed by every weekly backup since the last monthly, followed by every daily backup since the last weekly.

Does that make sense?

Nameing tapes should be done in two ways (or at least lots of info should be kept on each tape).
MEANINGFUL NAME: such as Monday-1 or Weekly-1, etc.
LOGICAL NAME: 20070402-01 (the date you bought it followed by a sequence number if there were more than one tapes bought on that date).
SYSTEM NAME: Do you back up more than one system?
and so on...


Backups are useless if they have drop-outs. The media does wear out. Consult the tape literature to see how long the useful life is.

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How large are the tapes?

by alex.beckwith In reply to Backup tapes naming schem ...

With regards to my companies SOP we use two tapes per week for a particular project.
The tape initially does a full backup and a 2nd tape is then used for the next 5 differential backups.
Usually a DAT 40 or DAT 72 is used, depending on how much data your planning on saving.
My current project requires an LTO 3 so we have 800 GB to play with on a weekly basis so we can combine Full and Diffs on the same tape. Thats by the by though.

The naming strategy is basically
Tape Full #A
Tape Diff #B

# being the tape number 1 - 10

Giving 10 weeks of cover from 20 tapes.

A spreadsheet is drawn up dictating what tape should be inserted on what date and rest is left up to Backup Exec.

A healthy addition would be to include monthly backups which are reserved on a cyclic basis.

So Tape 4A would be replaced by 11A after 4 weeks in the rotation. Likewise Tape 8A would be replaced by 12A 8 Weeks into rotation.

For monthly backups it's worth labelling the media accordingly as your going to have it sitting in a box for a good while before it's due for reuse.
For day to day stuff just follow a pre-written spreadsheet.

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Identifying DAT Tape Names

by mike In reply to How large are the tapes?

We use a similar naming convention. However the tape sets have become mixed - Week1 Week 2 etc, but we have forgotten which week we are in as someone mixed up the backup tapes. If tapes were disks we could read them - However being tapes we cannot. How do we read the tapes to identify when they were last written to to identify them?

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