While talking to a friend we were mentioning how the lifespan of tapes really sucks, how you could have some tapes that easily surpassed their lifespan of seven years, while some couldn’t last seven weeks. At some point in the business we’ve all seen it, some poor guy runs the local server backup to tape every night, they have a disaster, they call everyone they know for the tape backup program & OS as they’ve never tried to do a recovery before, and then you find out that the backups are all bogus because they forgot to format the tape, or some other nonsense and all the tapes are blank… They’ve never actually read the output of the backup program to know that they’ve backed up nothing.
At least we were able to send out the disks for repair and got back the vast majority of the data, but having the false assumption that they had good backups is the worst.
In the picture the idea is that the single DAT tape can hold the capacity of all the other tapes, but tapes are not only picky creatures, they can easily break giving you gaps in your data…
IMHO the only ‘workable’ backup is to hard disk, and those should be mirrored… Don’t use USB or ‘consumer’ grade stuff, those disks wont last five years let alone 30… And keep getting new disks and copying stuff up. Sigh.
As easy as it is to watch everyone get locked out of new ‘cloud’ based software, it is just as easy to get locked out of old stuff. Make ISO images of your CD’s just in case. Keep text files of your license information, email it to yourself! It is far too easy to get locked out. And as vendors move on, all they’ll sell you is new stuff that very well won’t work with your old data.