+ 0 Votes We were always taught neilb@uk Updated - 4 years ago A thousand passes or a hundred full backups for any type of tape. I've no idea whether that's good enough or not as we've always moved up the tape size ladder before we reached the magic number. They are supposed to be pretty robust as the lifetime should be good enough for whatever legal retention requirements you might hit. That's at least seven years over here. Do make sure that you've got a good cleaning tape and you use it regularly! + 0 Votes Everyplace I've been at was a little different NotSoChiGuy 4 years ago However, the common theme was along these lines: Monday-Friday = Diffs or incrementals Fulls ran over the weekend Diffs/incs were offsite for X number of weeks (depended on ability/need to purchase tapes) Weekly Fulls were offsite for 1 month (give or take) Monthly fulls were offsite either for a quarter or 6 months (depending on tapes in rotation) Yearly Fulls went offsite permanently Some places were more keen on safeguarding data, others were merely trying to comply with various data retention regulations; so you'll need to speak with the folks there and determine what the purpose of the backups are (or make that call yourself, if you're empowered to do so). In terms of software, I've seen Backup Exec, ArcServeIT, Legato and a few more. As long as you had the configurations down pat and the add-ons you need (Oracle, Exchange, etc, etc), they all did a fairly good job. So, I'd say you're probably fine sticking with Backup Exec. In terms of retiring tapes based on physical concerns, I've only been at one place that actually had a firm policy. If I recall correctly, it was based on the manufacturer recommendation for life span (X number of rewrites or Y number of months, whichever came sooner). Hope this helps! + 0 Votes Backup software in use jdclyde 4 years ago Symantec Backup Exec 11d for Windows Server Quickstart Edition Ver 11 rev 6235 Currently running the live update as I see there are a few service packs available in the 11d series (3 and 4). Should I check into the version 12? + 0 Votes Cut and paste(gotta love it) shasca 4 years ago Q: How long should a typical tape last and when should it be retired? A: A typical DAT or TR-5 backup tape is good for 60 to 120 backup, restore, or verify operations in a regularly cleaned and properly maintained tape backup unit (TBU). A tape should be retired after two to six months of use to prevent media failure. DLT tapes are much more robust than DAT or TR-5 media. A DLT tape is capable of running more than 10,000 backup jobs. In spite of this longevity, DLT tapes are not indestructible and should still be retired from active use long before they reach their failure point. Annual tape replacement is recommended for DLT tapes. Tapes should be taken out of regular usage long before they fail. Under optimal conditions, tape manufacturers rate TR-5 and DAT media as good for 1,000 physical tape passes and DLT tapes capable of 1,000,000 successful tape passes (a completed job can require as many as 6 to 12 physical tape passes). Wear is not evenly distributed across the entire backup media. The first section of a tape is prone to failure due to the high amount of access it receives during the execution of any tape job. A backup tape may have many good backup or restore uses left, but it should be archived long before it reaches the point where it can no longer be used. The focus of any good backup tape strategy should be maintaining data integrity and not testing tape endurance limits. Several factors may shorten tape life. Using tapes in a dirty tape drive decreases tape life. Extremes in temperature and high concentrations of dust or airborne particles shorten tape life. Tapes should be stored according to vendor's specifications on temperature and environment. + 0 Votes consider going to hdd based computechdan 4 years ago several years back i began moving away from tape backups and towards hdd based back up on almost all the servers i support initially i used removeable ide drive bays in a workstation. this has worked very well for the most part, only problems where the drive bays didn't seem to last more than six months or so and workstation had to be shutdown to change the drive then restarted, which they would sometimes forget to turn it back on so now as clients need more capacity or as the drive bays fail i've been using this rather than replacing the drive bays or buying larger ide based drives. http://tinyurl.com/56eb3b in my area i can get these for about 60 bux at best buy when i'm in a pinch for one connected directly to server it eliminates one of my issues, and so far has been rock solid. they make um in usb2 or firewire and both types support 2.5 or 3.5 sata drives up to 2tb i put a sheet of thin plastic over the bare drive's electronics and make a couple of wraps around it with a high quality packing tape to protect against static discharge + 0 Votes You're getting some of this on your Office on a Stick, but... gadgetgirl 4 years ago before you even start, you MUST find out how long LEGALLY you are required to maintain records availability. That really must be your starting point - without that, you have no idea what your exact goal is. (In fairness, where I'm working now has to have some records available for 25 years, whereas in local government we had to comply with the seven year financial statute) As Shasca said, ArcServe tells you when a tape expiry is due; in current circumstances, that's a godsend...! Wherever I've worked, we've used the GFS tape rotation (Grandfather/father/son) system. It works, and if it ain't broke, why fix it? In local government, we used to buy a batch of tapes once every six months; this also covered mishaps with tapes (spilt fluids, broken casings etc) and had new blanks at various points in the organisation, including archive. When these tapes were received they were labelled with the date of purchase, numbered and stored ready. As far as what we did - OS and program disks along with monthly and annual tapes were stored in a 2 hours fire safe. This "tape run" was done on a monthly basis, (signed it/out) after the monthly back up was complete. Incremental back ups were taken on a daily basis (we also had to include weekends, due to international locations) The monthly backups were taken the first weekend after the start of the month, and the annual back up taken every New Years Eve. We also had a DR point in another location (hey! that was MY project!) with internet connection, pre-loaded (recycled/old) servers, enough kit for five staff, and used that for DR planning and practice. (Works a helluva lot better than a table top exercise when they can talk their way out of anything - doing it like this made them *do* instead of *talk*!!) DR restore at our secondary location twice a year, and proved/disproved the validity of the system. I have some stuff on your "stick" that'll be useful for this, but in the meantime, have a look at the DR and BC guidelines within BS7799/ISO270001. That also covers the paperwork you'll need to get in place and keep up to date to CYA. (Hey, I'm not gonna do it ALL for you!) We can talk this though (BOINGBOUNCEBOING) face to face - believe me, it'll be easier! (WOOHOO! Sorry, went for the space station again!) GG + 0 Votes Backup exec Wizard-09 4 years ago Backup exec is what I used, we did weekly, monthy and yearly backups, one year we used the tapes for. Also you may want to buy some cleaning tapes for the dat 72 tapes. Hope this helps. + 0 Votes Do DAT72 tapes need to be formatted? jdclyde 4 years ago The server is under maintenance agreement, would they answer questions about this for me? I suppose I will hit they Symantec site tomorrow to see what kind of information they have available. Thanks everyone. jd + 0 Votes Answers JamesRL 4 years ago We do a 7 day rotation, full backups every time. Most people would scratch their heads at this but there are bsuiness reasons for it. We are trying to minimize the restore process and maximize the safety. If you do an incremental, you have to worry about multiple backups being successful and readble. Full backups every day is the safest. We recommend to our customers that they pull one tape a month and store it offsite. Many do not. Some do after year end accounting is closed. We try to encourage people to replace their tapes after a year. Many people don't and we find that after the two year mark the failure rate rapidly increases. We are actually selling a newer technology as well: http://www.rdxstorage.com/ its a removeable HD. Much faster backups. James + 0 Votes Document Policies Brenton Keegan 4 years ago Maybe this has all been said in previous posts. However, one piece of advice I would have would be to document what you backup and when you back it up. Document this down as an SLA and then publish it to the organization. That way you have yourself covered. Without this you may find that your users have false expectations and they do something silly like save a bunch of important documents in an location that is not backed up. Naturally something would happen and this data would get lost. Then this user would come to you so you can recover the data and get upset when you can't restore it for him/her. What you backup and when you do it varies from business to business. As many have posted so far, may do some kind of nightly job (either incremental and differential) and then do a full backup on the weekend, which gets put into a safety deposit box offsite. Many have some kind of month-end backup situation. These are all common practices. Beyond that you might consider some mid-day non-tape drive backup. In my organization we have software developers who get their work backed up at noon. I am not sure what is left out in "Quickstart Edition", but you should be able to configure a "device" in backup exec which is just a folder. This way you can schedule BE to grab files and drop them in .bfk files in a folder somewhere. This is really only applicable if you have important data somewhere that needs to be on the local workstation. In our case it's checked-out code from a repository. I'd recommend keeping all backup related tasks centralized as much as possible. Try to keep all scheduled tasks managed from BE. If you have random scheduled scripts outside of BE they can very easily be lost track of. (And considering you'd have this down in an SLA, losing track of it can mean your job). + 0 Votes Ideas and concepts reisen55 4 years ago Rotation Weekly offsite, keep it simple. Daily runs of only critical data at night. Full if you can get away with it. Incremental if you need to Do not touch differentials EVER. Test restore if you have the chance. Media Tape is dead. If you have to stick with, check to see if you can increase tape size such as LTO2 to LT03 or 4. Many tape drives accept the new standards without modification. Hard drives are better. Best actually. One municipality cut backup time from 15 to 5 hours going from tape to drives. Faster restoration too!!!!!! Software Do not upgrade just because it is new. If Symantec 11 is working great and 12.5 is a new product, do not upgrade just because the new product is OUT THERE. Restoration does not give a damn about version numbers. Which is what you are backing up FOR, RIGHT?