How to consolidate archived backup tapes?

We have alot of archived tapes going back a few years that contain alot of data on multiple tapes. They are on a mix of different media type LT02/3/4 for different sites and some backups are on one single tape whilst others are on multiple tapes depending on the size of data.

I wanted to know if there is a easy and efficient way to consolidate and move the data to LT06 tape. Essentially we are trying to reduce the numbers of archived backup tapes down to 1/2 onto the new media LT06.

we use Symantec Backup Exec software and some of these backups have been done using old Backup Exec version and we are now using latest version 2014 .

If there is a third party software to accomplish this, I happy to try that?

Thanks
badabing1Asked:
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gheistCommented:
No backup software has add-ons of that kind...
In IBM Tivoli backup one would read empty tape data to disk and write out new tapes.
In all other software one assigns tapes for long-term storing and short-term, so that all data expires in reasonable time, as there is no easy T2D2T space recovery.
By the way WORM tapes are invented for purpose - first write of magnetic media lasts for ages, next ones not so well..
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badabing1Author Commented:
Thanks, but I was only after something simple solution software or hardware that can copy a data for a backup that's on multiple tapes (with low capacity) to one LT06 tape (with higher capacity).

e.g. 500GB user data backed up using old LT03 tapes (4 tapes used), I need this to move to LT06 tapes.

Thanks
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gheistCommented:
For backup exec you need to restore and back up again... Should not take ages with SSD drive...
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badabing1Author Commented:
I know that option Is there, but we have many backups for many sites, so am looking for another way of doing this (if that is possible). I need to find either a software or hardware that can stream data from LT03/4 to LT06?

or is this something I need to approach an archiving company, any suggestions on this?  

Thanks
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gheistCommented:
You can approach symantec.
As far as documentation goes you can do 1:1 tape copy wasting same number of LTO7 tapes as you had LTO-1
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
Part of what is included on each tape is that it is part of a set (i.e. Tape 1 of 3) and the ONLY way what you want could even be possible would be software that gave you the ability to "mount" the tape as a virtual drive so you could then backup the set to another tape.  I can't even see this beginning to work without multiple tape drives on the same PC and haven't a clue where you might find such software.
So, either farm the job out to somebody who will do the grunt work or restore the tapes and create new backups.
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Thomas RushCommented:
In Backup Exec, can you copy a backup job, or can you only act on the tapes as an object?

If you can perform actions on a backup job that's on a tape, it would seem that you would be able to select a backup job that's on your LTO-3 tape (or which spans multiple tapes), and tell BE to copy that job to an LTO-6 tape drive.  For a non-brain-dead backup application, you should then be able to append another backup job to that tape, knowing that the backup application will see that LTO-6 tape as having two backup jobs, and being able to restore either of them (or both, one at a time).

I know that HP's Data Protector can do this.  It's [what I always thought was] basic media management.  If BE can't do it, and you are required to (as another poster suggests) restore the backup job to disk and then re-back it up to the new tape drive... well, you might as well consider changing backup applications, since you're sure to have to go through this all over again in a few years.

Note: The above notwithstanding, it is an important part of data management to consider what is on tape and go through a rationalization of what you really do need to bring forward to the new gen of tape drives -- as well as to ensure that you can successfully perform a restore.  For instance: You've got some important documents or tax information in an Oracle database.  You've brought those backup jobs forward from LTO-2 to LTO-4 to LTO-6 (or whatever).  You now have reason to produce those documents in response to some official inquiry (lawsuit, tax audit, whatever).   You go to restore, and you realize you have no idea what the passwords to get you in to the Oracle database are.  Or, the documents were encrypted with some application and you no longer have the encryption keys.  Or, the documents were created in some program that needs to be re-installed, and you don't have the original media or license keys.  What do you do?

Moral of the story: Yes, you should be able to easily migrate backup jobs from one tape (or a set of tapes) to a newer generation of tape.  But that alone is not enough to ensure that you can do a restore when needed.
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gheistCommented:
IBM TSm does that automatically... Glad to hear other tool too...
bex can take clone of tape and use it in place of original...
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Thomas RushCommented:
Gheist, can BE clone the backup job?   From what you've said, it seems the answer is "no", but that functionality is what is really important here.  It would be almost useless to clone an LTO-2 tape to an LTO-6 tape; sure, you'd gain the ability to read the job in today's tape drives, but you'd be wasting 90% of the media, and not reducing your media management or media storage costs at all.  And heaven forbid your backup job spanned three LTO-2 tapes; then you'd be dedicating three LTO-6 tape cartridges, each with only about 10% space utilization.

Data Protector's "Copy object" can include an object that might be a backup job spanning multiple tapes, and put it on to a single cartridge (space on the new tape allowing)... and then could copy another backup job object to that same new tape, appending it and being able to restore from either of the two (or more) backup jobs on that tape.
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gheistCommented:
it can not. You must clone "bad" tape using other means like unix tcopy... Then you can use new one...
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Gerald ConnollyCommented:
You are obviously going to need at least a LTO-4 drive to read the -2, -3, and -4 tapes whatever you do.
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badabing1Author Commented:
i will report back tomorrow thanks
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badabing1Author Commented:
ended up duplicating from tape to another.
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