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Problems with tape backups

Problems with tape backups

Problems with tape backups

Here's my situation. I manage about 30 Windows based servers (mostly 2003) each of which has a single tape drive unit to handle the backups. We are running either Veritas Backup Exec (version 10 I believe) or Symantec Backup Exec (version 11). The servers are spread out to about 12 different locations. I have a few problems with this set up mostly with the amount of time it takes to make sure the backups are taking place on a regular basis. Just the act of checking to make sure they run can take up half of a day. Add in troubleshooting any issues. And I can't always trust the people to change the tape on a daily basis.

Here are my questions.

1) Is there a better way to backup data than just a tape drive? We are currently using the grandfather, father, son strategy which I've had trouble replicating on hard drives. Plus the cost of hard drives seems almost cost prohibitive. And is there a better software than Backup Exec?

2) Is there a way that I can install BackUp Exec to monitor the status of the backups so I can check them all from one central location?

Thanks for your help. I took over the backups years ago and haven't changed it much. I'm trying to streamline a lot of my job functions.

RE: Problems with tape backups

Man, tape backup is kind of like a dinosaur these days. Personally, I would go with online backup. It has the following benefits:

1. Nobody has to change tapes at each location
2. Reports can be automated and sent to you
3. Your backup is already offsite for safety
4. Tapes and tape drives are extremely expensive


Plus the cost of hard drives seems almost cost prohibitive.
I'm not buying this at all. Most people have moved from tape to hard drive backup and one reason is that it IS cheaper.

If you have a large amount of data, online backup services will let you send them your data on disk to populate your backup. Then the initial backup won't take so long. All other backups are of data changes only.

If you want to stick with your tape or move to disk, do something like a differential backup. That would cut down on tapes changes to probably twice per week - one for the full backup and one for the differentials.

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