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Tape reliability

By therrington ·
I manage 200+ user Novell network. We have 1 Seagate Travan 4 drive, and use Veritas Backup exec.

But I'm having trouble with corrupted media. The last three times I've needed to restore something, the tapes have corrupted. Aside fromCD-R, is there any way that I can safeguard my data, and restore it at will?

Tape is attactive because of the low media cost per meg of capacity, but if my situation is normal, then there must be a better way.

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Tape reliability

by Ann777 In reply to Tape reliability

Tapes do not last forever... neither do drives.

How often do you run the cleaning tape through the drive? How old is the drive? How old are the tapes?

With a bad drive (worn read/write heads or other problems) then you can corrupt brand new tapes. One bad tape and no cleaning, will corrupt other tapes in your rotation backup pattern.

You need to keep tally of how many time you use each tape, you also need to make sure that you can restore at least one file from the tape each time you make a tape. In other words, "test" your backups because you will not know that they have gone bad until you need it... only to find that your backups may not be good.

Tapes as a backup media are fine, but you must maintain the hardware and you must test your backups.

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations as far as drive cleaning, tape quantity usage, etc.

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Tape reliability

by TheChas In reply to Tape reliability

In addition to Anna's comments, how many sets of tapes do you use?

At a minimum, you need 2 sets of tapes.

An ideal backup strategy includes the following:

1 set of media stored off-site.

At least 2 sets of full backups on-site.

At least 1 specific tape for each daily backup, if not 2 sets of daily back-up tapes.

The reason for all the redundancy, is to aid in recovery and reduce the usage on each individual tape.

CD-Rs are not necessarily more reliable than tapes.
IMHO, CD-RW disks are definitely LESS reliable than tapes.

Keep in mind, that if you use CD-R disks for backup, you will need to change the disks, so you cannot perform an unattended backup.


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Tape reliability

by therrington In reply to Tape reliability

Thanks to both of you.

Let me be specific: I have a singles cartridge drive on the server, capacity is 4/8 Gb. I can and do perform unattended backups with it. The environment it's in is not the best, but it's the only possible place I could putthe server. Maybe I just don't know what I'm doing!

I have second identical drive on a workstation. It's the one we backup critical data on. We don't use the tapes more than 3 times. The last time I needed to restore from this drive, it failed. Ididn't think about drive failure. I'll check it out.

And I promise to do better on my server.

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