Beginner Tapeware Help needed

Posted on 2005-04-19
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi all,

I have just taken over a role at a company where they use Tapeware 7 as their backup solution.

After a couple of months finding my way round Tapeware and a few emails to support etc my self and my manager have decided that the best course of action for our Database is to nuke it and start again.

Currently we have got a number of tapes for each day of the week each running a differential backup with a full backup being run on the Friday. This seems a bit much?? I would like some advice on the best simple backup route for a daily differential backup and then one full backup at the end of the week.

I'm no expert when it comes to this sort of thing, but you've got to learn somewhere right? :)

I was thinking something on the lines of this...

Monday to Thursday we keep 1 carousel in the backup device which runs a differential backup. Then on Friday we change the carousel to a different set of tapes that run a Full backup. Does this sound like a feasible option?

We don't have a massive amount of data to backup (3 tapes worth on a full backup) and we ca keep over writing the full backup data on a week by week basis.

Any advice / help / kicks in the right direction would be received gratefully

Many thanks

Question by:DaleHarrison
    LVL 87

    Accepted Solution

    The best backup procedure would be the grandfather/father/son system. I highly recommend that system. The daily backups (Son) can be differential and would therefore not take up as much tape as the full, weekly (father) or monthly (Grandfather) backups. Check the link below for explanations:

    Most good backup programs, and tapeware belongs to those, already have different backup schemes included and therefore they shouldn't be too difficult to incorporate. The tapes, when using such a scheme, will automatically be "marked" by the backup program, so that they can't be erased by mistake before their cycle for storing has ended.

    What type of tape hardware do you use? Depending on the hardware, you should also make sure you retire the tapes that have been used too often, as they can't be used indefinitely. You could for instance move a tape that has been overwritten often and is getting old from being "Son" to being "Grandfather". These tapes would then be written to one last time and after that archived.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the reply.
    The Software is Tapeware 7
    OS is Win 2K Server
    And the hardware is an HP C5713A DAT 40x6i SuperStore Autoloader.

    I'm using DDS 4 Tapes.

    Many thanks,
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    It's mainly DAT (DDS) tapes which don't last too long. Don't use them more often than 15 times.
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment


    I've got different beliefs than rindi.

    I use this mentality:  

    1)  Get a tape drive big enough to store all the data on ONE TAPE.  Make full backups, daily.  Never make differential or incremential backups..  Increased complexity increases your risk.  

    2)  DAT tapes are second-crappiest, in terms of reliability, in my experience.  Travan takes the award for most-useless format.  DLT, SDLT, AIT or Ultrium are relatively reliable.  Personally, I've had good experience with DLT/SDLT.  I use S/DLT every chance I get.

    3)  I don't like auto-loaders.  Rindi and I seem to agree that DAT media is relatively fragile; depending on 4 tapes to get a full restore done scares me.  I believe using 4 tapes increases your risk of experiencing media failure significantly.. nevermind how long the full restore would take.

    4)  Keep backup operations simple.  Data goes on the tape.  End of story.  Big databases of what files have been backed up lead to performance problems -- when you try to restore from "old" tapes.

    5)  I don't use tape media to recover "stuff" that was deleted accidentally 2-4 weeks or 3-6-12-24 months ago.  I treat them as offline/off-site, current disaster recovery tools.   Nothing more.  If my users delete a file, then confirm the delete by emptying the recycling bin, they deserve to lose the file.  I mean, what the heck?  How many tries do you need?

    6)  I think CA's ArcServe sucks..  well, okay, ArcServe dosen't suck -- CA's support is expensive and sucks.. in my experience.  Veritas Backup Exec is okay.  I use NTBackup.exe -- scripted all to heck with KixTart.  I threw out $18,000 worth of CA/ArcServe licenses because their support sucked so badly.  

    Good luck with those backups, friend.

    Remember to test-restore (firedrill) the backup(s) regularly.  (Monthly, at a minimum)..

    -- Scott.


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