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Backup articles from the rotating media era

a Short History of Disk to Disk Backup has been reporting on the enterprise D2d market since the concept first began. This article plots the main events in the market transition from the heady days when tape backup was at its height - through to the situation now where most corporate data is backed up using disk to disk backup. In October 2006 - D2d was the #1 subject viewed by Storage Searchers.

the Impact of Compliance on Archival Storage Strategies - by Plasmon

It's difficult enough protecting and archiving your data so that it's available to the right people at the right time (and cost). But now that's only part of the problem. With so many new rules and regulations which prescribe how you should destroy data records at the appropriate time - how do you guarantee that they stay deleted? Archiving data on the wrong kind of media could mean you run the risk of breaking the law. Advances in the data recovery industry, and the future cohabitation of storage search-engines both mean that Compliance Officers have to pay much more attention to the ways in which data is dispersed and disposed of in different types of media. This article summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of currently available market technologies. ...Plasmon profile

Virtual Tape: Can You Afford to Ignore It? - by MaXXan Systems

Network connected disk to disk backup systems for the enterprise have come a long way since the first pioneering products started to appear in the pages of in the late 1990s. Some of the growing sophistication in the market can be seen by the way that the marketing terminology has morphed from the early D2d (let's kill tape backup) to the current VTL (Virtual Tape Library - let's just see if they notice that it's more reliable and works faster - and don't tell them that there isn't a tape in the box) type of approaches. But if you think that speed, reliability and cost are the only things you need to know about the "virtual" versus "real" tape library argument - take a look at this comprehensive article which shows there are a lot more benefits than that. ...MaXXan profile

What are Digital Vaults? - by Cyber-Ark Software

Digital Vaults enable users across the internet to share access to sensitive information in a simple secure way. This article by Cyber-Ark gives a brief overview on digital vaults and looks at why they are growing in popularity. ...Cyber-Ark Software profile

Disk to Disk Backup versus Tape - War or Truce? - by Engenio

Will disk to disk backup make tape backup obsolete? That's a question that's been debated hotly here on STORAGEsearch for many years. At the extreme polarized ends of the argument are tape media makers like Sony, who in an article here made a case for the long term survival of tape, and at the other end of the argument are disk to disk supporters like STORAGEsearch whose editorial view has been that tape doesn't have a viable role the midsize market any more. In the middle of this argument are the moderates who say that maybe tape and D2d can co-exist. This article by Steve Gardner at Engenio takes the middle course line - and says why he thinks there's still a place for both. See if you agree. ...Engenio profile

Privacy and Security Regulations, and How they Impact Storage Systems - by ASNP

What are the legal regulations covering the type of storage system, backup and disaster recovery and encryption mandated for companies operating in the US? This article answers those questions and is a sound starting point for anyone having the duty of care and responsibility for their corporate data. Because regulations change so quickly it's worth considering the impact of these best practises on your own organisation even if you think you are currently outside the scope of these laws. That will reduce the level of panic when they creep up on you. ...ASNP profile

Solving the Problem of Backing Up Outlook for SMBs (pdf) - by Uniblue Systems

"Studies show that 80% of employees keep emails after reading them while 78% store attachments within the email system. Analysts estimate that each user will send/receive an average of 4.6Mb daily this year. Since the more popular email applications (e.g., Outlook) store emails in a single mailbox database file (e.g., the PST file), employees keep their emails within this single file rather than in separate directories on their computers. This causes severe problems for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB): Most of the backup and recovery management software available today are file-centric solutions that will backup single mailbox database files rather than individual emails. Restores equate to replacement of single mailbox database files resulting in losses of any incremental changes made since the last backup." ...Uniblue Systems profile

Email Archiving and Information Lifecycle Management - by StorageTek

"In the case of contract negotiations, for example, numerous people will contribute information to a document, which in turn needs to be accessible to multiple users. Without an email management system in place, confusion can arise over the content of the document and subsequently result in a flawed contract. Or to take another example - an email detailing agreement on activity or budget between client and vendor might make the difference between a harmonious working relationship and a litigious one. Keeping sound records of business communications, especially email, is vital both for the smooth running of a company and to satisfy ever increasing legal requirements." ...StorageTek profile

Surviving Non-traditional Data Disasters - by Sunbelt System Software

"Many companies associate disaster recovery with catastrophic events - earthquakes, floods, fires and other natural or man-made disasters that make data recovery from production machines nearly or totally impossible. While organisations must plan for such events, it's just as important to prepare for less cataclysmic possibilities, which can just as easily bring business to a halt. Many "non-traditional" disasters can impact the operations of your organisation. For example, gas leaks and other facilities issues typically don't cause permanent damage but they can easily make the entire building unusable for days or even weeks. Police investigations, fumigations and other unavoidable problems can arise without warning, prohibiting users from accessing data systems and possibly your entire office space." ...Sunbelt System Software profile

Does Tape Backup Have a Future? - by Sony

"Although disk densities are continuing to rise, the rate of growth is expected to slow as disk recording nears a super-paramagnetic limitation. Due to a much lower areal recording density and much greater recording area, tape technology has the potential to grow at a faster rate and as a result improve its cost per gigabyte trends compared to disk. Therefore, when combined with disk in the enterprise storage environment, the tape industry roadmap currently maintains that tape capacity on a single cartridge must achieve 10 terabytes (uncompressed) per cartridge by 2011, and must reach 1TB (uncompressed) on a single cartridge by 2006 on its way to reaching the 10 year goal." ...Sony profile

Developing a Disaster Recovery Procedure - by BakBone Software

"A Disaster Recovery Plan usually cannot be written by the IT Deparment alone and should not be created for a given computer or data center. Typically, effective Disaster Recovery plans are a long-term project that cannot be attempted without standard operating procedures, logbooks, data flow diagra m s, problem isolation procedures and a reliable tape backup rotation schedule. Formulation of a corporate-wide standardized Disaster Recovery plan will result in faster isolation of application bugs, fewer operational mistakes, fewer support personnel and requirements, and overall easier system and application maintenance." ...BakBone Software profile

Email Recovery? - Don't rely on your backup! - by KVS

"Can You Find The Emails? Your purchasing department has been negotiating a vital contract and to speed things up a lot of the negotiation takes place via email. The negotiation is concluded over a period of one month. Two years later the contract is in dispute and a court of law asks for all evidence supporting your claims about the contract. Email is a critical part of your case and you need to find all relevant email." ...KVS profile

Dispelling the Myths of Online Server Backup & Recovery - by AmeriVault

"Myth #3: Online Backup can't handle a fortune 500 company's data. Handling large amounts of data over relatively small bandwidth is a popular feature of online backup. An initial backup or "seed" of the server's data is extracted. The Delta Processing technology then seeks out updated portions of changed files. Only the fragmented change of data is sent to the vault. Large-volume and highly redundant disk storage systems store the data online. Online backup providers service businesses with a responsibility to ensure that storage space is always available, no matter what the size. To further data integrity, reliability and recovery, the massive amounts of data online are backed up to tape on a daily basis, and shipped to an underground vault for safekeeping." ...AmeriVault profile

Do CDs and DVDs Have a Long Term Future as Digital Storage?

"CDs have already been around for 20 years - so that may seem like forever and you may think that DVDs too will still be around just as long. But my own view is that these are merely short term stepping stones to something else in the same way that scrolls and loose collections of paper were a transient phase which gave way to the bound book."

Predicting the Long Term Future of Hard Disks, Tape and Optical Storage

"Being a good guesser is important for you too, whether you're a buyer, vendor or developer of storage systems and products. Investing time and effort into dead end technologies is wasteful of your time and money because if you choose a loser you may have to scrap your current strategy and start all over again instead of reaping the rewards of incremental improvements which you get by backing the winners."

Facilitating New Workstation Deployment with a Disk-to-Disk Backup System - by Data Storage Depot

"A NAS Data Protection Unit with bare metal restore capability can be redeployed as a system cloning tool to simplify the standardization and distribution of new applications, desktops and servers in heterogeneous network environments. ...Data Storage Depot profile

Protecting Enterprise Data in Real Time - by Storactive

"When backup was initially designed, technology and cost limitations hindered the achievement of a zero data loss solution. Now, new technology developments have enabled software developers to rediscover backup software's original promise." ...Storactive profile

What Makes A Great External Hard Drive? - by Olixir Technologies (pdf)

"Sisk drives have long been a preferred media from an ease-of-use standpoint because of their random access file structure. For example, backup is made much easier with hard drives compared to tape by reducing both the cataloging process from hours to minutes, as well as dramatically reducing restoration time from hours to minutes (no more cartridge shuffle when disk drives are used)... While other external disk-based data storage solutions typically cannot withstand a drop of even 3 inches, the Olixir Mobile DataVault withstands up to 7-foot drops on concrete." ...Olixir Technologies profile

Archive Storage: Evolving into Mainstream Storage Solutions - by Pegasus Disk Technologies

"The need for these fault tolerant near-line storage solutions is because digital records are prone to becoming lost or damaged just like paper. It is all too easy to misplace a single bit, even erase or damage it unknowingly during the life of the stored data. If this happens there is the chance that the software's ability to retrieve and read that data accurately is lost, and thus the record could be lost… Forever! Archiving is not solely about saving space on your RAID system. Hard disk storage is becoming very affordable. The point of archiving is to retain your data for future use. It is pointless to archive if you cannot retrieve any piece of your data quickly and efficiently." ...Pegasus Disk Technologies profile

the Data Emergency Guide - consumer version - by ActionFront Data Recovery (pdf)

"This section outlines the major symptoms of data loss. What to do and what NOT to do when experiencing data loss is covered under the heading - Data Recovery Process: What to do first." ...ActionFront Data Recovery profile

Backup Technologies Proliferate

"Today, a number of storage and communications technologies have converged into the backup applications area. The result is that data users have a wider choice of backup options than ever before."

Using Remote Disk and Tape for Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery - by CNT

"Historically there have been inherent performance problems with tape backup over distance that limited its role in Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery planning. The primary reason for this limited role is the sequential nature of tape I/O operations, which makes tape backup highly sensitive to the latency that accompanies distance. Unlike disk-based operations in which blocks can be written in parallel, tape I/O for a single block must complete before the next block can be written.." ...CNT profile

article:- Storage Virtualization Means More Than One Media - by Pegasus Disk Technologies

"It is a fallacy that hard drives do not fail in array products. In fact, RAID exists because hard drives do fail. Simple statistics show that a 50-device array will loose on average three drives per year. If the system is a RAID device, chances are the data can be reconstructed or is mirrored on another drive, but if the device is a JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks) the data will be lost." ...Pegasus Disk Technologies profile

article:- Storage Administrators: A Changing of the Guard in IT - by MTI Technology

"Until recently, it was rare to find someone with the title of storage administrator within enterprises. But the rapid implementation of storage systems and their complex nature has presented the need for IT personnel with specialized skill sets. Unfortunately, some businesses are approaching this challenge the wrong way. In today's competitive economic climate, there has been a focus on cost-cutting, and IT is no exception. As a result, many network or system administrators are increasingly being charged to take on the role of storage administrator as well." ...MTI Technology profile

article:- Data Recovery for Sun Servers - by ActionFront Data Recovery

"On March 8th - a quiet Saturday, the systems administrator wrote a script to perform the migration and then decided to test the script with the actual copy commands "commented-out". He made a typo error in the copy command, in effect instructing the main data storage to copy onto itself, and then compounded his mistake by commenting-out the wrong line. He initiated the test run which then attempted to copy each file over itself. Under the Solaris/UNIX file system this over-wrote the file inodes – erasing all file allocation information and truncating each file to zero length. Overwriting directory information, unlike the actual copying of data, is a very quick process and the damage was done almost instantly." ...ActionFront Data Recovery profile

A Day in the Life of a CIO - by VERITAS Software

"The Futurologist: The CIO has to be up on all new technology trends, understanding the credibility of emerging technologies for their IT landscape." ...VERITAS profile

Data Backup: Tape vs. Disk - by DataZone

"Times have changed and today's system/drive designers have significantly reduced the cost of disk drives making them more competitive with tape systems. Even more important is the fact that tape is slow and sequential making it difficult to find files quickly. Disk drives on the other hand, offer direct random access, significant time saving (time = money), and read/write efficiency that translates into increased productivity and lower operating costs." ...DataZone profile

Data Storage Protection Risks and Rewards - by NeoScale Systems (pdf)

"Enterprise storage used to exist in a relatively fixed, centralized, controlled environment where physical security, access controls and known administrative entities satisfied requirements for management due diligence. In the wake of greater demand for storage capacity, application availability and business continuity, most enterprises will migrate to networked storage. Storage implementers must address known SAN security challenges in order to realize the benefits of greater resource utilization and data accessibility. The most costly information technology security losses occur through theft of proprietary data, and backend storage resources represent prime targets. In addition, regulations governing finance, commerce, healthcare and government data use have created obligations to ensure data privacy at all storage levels.

No security system is a "silver bullet." A tiered defense strategy incorporates system and device configuration, testing, auditing and monitoring, access authentication, LUN masking and port zoning, physical access controls, and data storage protection during transport, on the storage subsystem and on the media. To protect backend stored data, block-level data encryption can be employed to eliminate the risk of unauthorized access stored data "in flight" and "at rest." Storage security appliances can be a key part of a storage protection strategy." ...NeoScale Systems profile

South Nassau Communities Hospital Nurses its Data - by FilesX

"The art of anticipating disaster is often built in response to close calls, and the hospital was recently struck by power failures of different scales. As Connor recalls, "During the Northeast Blackout the hospital was affected, though our systems were not compromised. We get our power comes from Rockville Centre, which has its own generators. The hospital was down for about four hours, but we were running off our own backup generators. The hospital is a high priority for restoring electricity, so compared to other businesses the impact was minimal." ...FilesX profile

Introducing WORM Hard Disk Drives

"WORM Hard Disk Drives will be coming to the market in a year or so. Remember where you heard it first. The same place which predicted the convergence of services, online content and storage which became embodied as Apple's iPod and iTunes."

article:- New Year Resolutions - Storage Security and Compliance - by Cyber-Ark Software

Surviving your own storage security disaster can be a harrowing experience. Not all disasters are avoidable. But you can learn from the mistakes of others. This article, which lists many bloopers, will make you think about new year resolutions connected with storage data security and compliance. But whatever the time of year this subject is worthy of your serious attention. ...Cyber-Ark Software profile
articles about Backup on other sites
Consumer-Driven Optical Storage in the Data Center (pdf) - by PowerFile

"After a decade and a half optical technologies in the enterprise storage market account for only a fraction of 1% of enterprise storage hardware spending. For a traditional optical-based enterprise storage supplier, these are tough facts to acknowledge. Yet they are undeniable. There will be a dramatically different future, however, for certain optical storage subsystems in the next several years."

Article related vendor:- PowerFile

article:- Ten Tips to Faster Backups - by Overland Storage.

"There isn't a wizard behind a curtain that will help speed your backups, but there is a formula for successfully cutting backup and recovery time. By following 10 simple tips, backup managers can heal many of their storage headaches." ...Overland Storage profile

article:- Remote Backup Service Providers - Clarifying the Value Proposition - by Remote Backup Systems

"Many low-cost data service companies actually derive substantial revenue from selling advertising space on their service's website or product user interface, or by making their clients' email addresses and contact information available to advertisers and 'business partners'. Ads + Spam = Revenue!"

Article related vendor:- Remote Backup Systems

Raise Storage Capacity without Wrecking the Budget - by QStar (pdf)

How a major telco saved $70,000 in the first year alone, using an optical library and QStar's HSM software to reduce runaway storage costs on EMC RAID systems.

Article related vendor:- QStar

Archive Life After the Hard Drive- by Pegasus (pdf)

"Most of the fixed disk compliance solutions use low cost ATA disks. The manufacturer usable life of these disks are in the range of 3-5 years. All of these solutions use RAID technology to protect the data from failing disks, however, this is a cost that can be mitigated with longer-term removable media. The use of long-term media limits the number of time data must be migrated within the same media type throughout their life cycle. Limiting the number of times data must be migrated, reduces the chance of data loss or corruption as well as reducing the cost of managing the data over time."

Article related vendor:- Pegasus Disk Technologies

case study:- Sony Manufacturing (LiveArchive for Oracle) - by OuterBay

"Sony's key transaction tables were growing by two million rows per week. Accumulated data made it impossible to reliably predict response times. Data integrity concerns required verification of data retention during archiving. Sony was faced with a dilemma. With this massive build up of data the performance of their Oracle Applications was beginning to degrade. But there was a real fear that removing the historic data could cause it to disappear. Sony needed a robust archiving solution for Oracle Applications."

Article related vendor:- OuterBay

Conseco Finance Corporation's SANs - by DataCore Software

"Over the past five years Conseco Finance's storage demands have risen rapidly as they expanded and consolidated data center capacity. Over the same period Conseco Finance acquired seven enterprise EMC Symmetrix arrays - for a total of 70TBs of capacity. Conseco Finance was in the process of completing two initiatives: (1) consolidating Novell print and file servers for regional offices and (2) deploying a large-scale Citrix Metaframe/XP environment for various loan processing and financial applications. Conseco Finance needed to protect the consolidated data and applications with remote replication, as well as to meet the challenge of configuring and managing storage for more than 135 new servers."

Article related vendor:- DataCore Software

Microsoft's Volume Shadow- Copy Service and Its Role in an Organization's Total Backup Strategy - by NovaStor (pdf)

"Volume Shadow-Copy Service (VSS) is an open file backup framework included in Microsoft Windows XP and Server 2003. It supplies an in-box snapshot provider and a shadow volume service that coordinates and performs an open file backup at a defined point in time. As with any new technology, there are reported pros and cons to VSS. Companies that want to use Windows-based NAS and SAN products will undoubtedly be interested in this Windows 2003 innovation. Likewise, companies with open file backup solutions already in place will want to know how VSS differs from the product they are already using. This paper provides an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of Microsoft's VSS. It also reviews the problem of backing up data while files and applications are open --known as the open file problem-- and describes the pros and cons of current industry solutions to this dilemma."

Article related vendor:- NovaStor

My Laptop Was Stolen - by Safe Harbor Data

"One of the worst feelings I have ever had was the day my laptop was stolen. There is nothing that can prepare you for the feeling of loss and the dread that comes with knowing that your personal data is gone forever."

Disaster Recovery Testing Doesn't Have to be a Disaster - by VERITAS

"There has been no way to avoid at least some level of disruption to the production environment - you don't want to create an IT disaster while you're trying to avoid another one. If the only way to overcome the obstacles is to schedule the tests between midnight and 6 a.m. on a holiday weekend, it's no surprise that 70% of data center managers haven't rushed to test their disaster recovery plans - even if it is the right thing to do."

Extreme Internet Leaves No Data to Chance - by Backup for Workgroups

"Realizing they would have to replace the file server hard drive, Burton discovered that restoration would not be a simple task. To get the file server back up as quickly as possible, he had to copy the customer content from the file copy backup to a third server, then configure the new server hard drive to access the content, a process that took much longer than he would have liked to complete. After this time-consuming event, Burton realized that "we had a backup and restore process in place, but I would like toget away from the usual 'install Windows, install all the applications then reconfigure everything' model. That just doesn't cut it in a zero-downtime environment.""

St. Agnes HealthCare Finds Cure for Data Backup Ailments with HyperTape - by BridgeHead Software (pdf)

"St. Agnes HealthCare is a full service teaching hospital serving the mid-Atlantic area.. St. Agnes needed a reliable backup solution for their MEDITECH databases. Key to the solution was the efficient backup and restore of the MEDITECH EMR database, providing complete integrity of their data. In addition, the system would need to be capable of expanding with St. Agnes as it realizes its future growth objectives and implements additional hardware and software to support that growth."

The Backup Book: Disaster Recovery from Desktop to Data Center - from VERITAS

"Your main goal is to backup all the data you can as often as possible, and you'll learn the what, when, where, and how of backing up your data—while maximizing your resources. "

FAQS - How to back up, edit, and restore the registry in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 - by Microsoft

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - by Atempo

"Environment:- 120 Windows servers, 100 Unix servers (Solaris, Tru64), 10 Quantum ATL P4000 series Gigabit Ethernet libraries, 4 ATL P1000 SCSI libraries & Network Appliance filers. Current active research data uses 45 TB of online storage that requires regular backup."
Nibble:- Sometimes it's the Backup Media which Fails

If you haven't encountered an unrecoverable error in your backup system then you probably aren't doing enough backups.

I've lost count of the number of times this had happened to me over the last 30 years with media as diverse as hard disk, tape, optical, floppy, EPROM, punched cards and paper tape. Yes I did say 30 years - and in the early days of the microprocessor when the 8080 was still a hot product - then many of us used paper tape.

But it doesn't matter how long you've been doing backups it still comes as a surprise when it's the backup system itself which develops a fault. I was reminded of this last week when it happened to me. The strange thing is it took me hours and several iterations to figure out what was going on, even though I had had an almost identical problem about 3 years before.

It was late - so when I set off a new complete system backup on a rotated hard drive I didn't bother to hang around to see how it would end. (That's unusual. Mostly I never leave the office without a backup.)

Next morning it looked like it had completed - but the report message was different. Looking at the directory on the backup drive - there certainly was a new file there and it was pretty big - although maybe smaller than I had expected. I concluded that when I set off the backup the previous night - I had been tired and might have accidentally set up a parameter differently. So I set it off again and got back to work.

This time the report was the same, but when I looked at the backup drive directly the backup size was zero bytes. Had I accidentally set up an incremental backup? It looked weird - but still like an operator error (mea culpa). So I decided to just back up a small subdirectory which would only take a few minutes and this time watch the screen to see what was going on.

That was worth it - because I got a transient message saying "disk full" - even though this wasn't mentioned in the saved report.

That explains it - I thought. So I went to have a closer look. Maybe the backup disk was full - and that was the original problem. So I deleted a couple of older backup rotations from the disk from about 13 months ago and restarted yet another backup - this time smaller.

But that failed too.

It took me a few more minutes to realize that whereas I could read quite clearly from the backup disk - I got problems whenever I tried to write to it. Swapping out for another drive isolated the fault. It wasn't in my PC - but in the media. Then I remembered about the flaky disk, one of a batch of 4 which had caused me so many problems about 3 years before. It was definitely a media error. Why hadn't I spotted it quicker? This was just the same thing at the other end of the bathtub curve. Silly me!

Anyway - I stuck a label on the offending drive and put it in a cupboard for future destruction (with a sledgehammer or log splitter in case you're interested in the messy details) and went back to doing another complete (this time successful) backup on another disk.

Which brings me to another point. You actually need at least 3 sets of easily retrievable media which you rotate between for your backups. That's in addition to anything you have as your off site backup. Most people think you just need 2 - but that's a recipe for disaster.

I was lucky this time because I already had a good backup on another disk from the day before, and a backup on the web. But what if the fault had been in my PC and not in the backup drive? You can easily trash one set of media (be it tape or disk) by an electrical or other system fault. Then when you try to isolate the problem by switching to another set of media you will trash a second set - before you realize that the common element is the base system. If you've only got 2 sets of backup media which are conveniently locatable (but not in the same building) then you're going to have a nervous phase you go through before you get back into a safe situation again.

Oh yes and make sure that in your spare sets of backups you've also got all the cables you need, and the installation disks for the media and the software just in case the backup software goes bust just when you need to do a restore. And if you use hardware encryption make sure you've got spares of those systems too.

My own backup strategy has two parts:- the convenient and the disaster recovery.

In convenient mode - if the worst happens I can just get a new working notebook which has already been set up with all my applications from a fireproof safe in a different building and then restore from whichever backup is most easily accessible. The convenient strategy hit a snag last summer due to wasps nests appearing right on top of one of the backups. But this year I've been wacking the new nests while they're still small enough not to retaliate in force.

In disaster mode - I have what I call my credit card recovery situation. In which I use my credit card to buy a new system from the nearest store - and have to be sure that my stash of backups can reinstall critical applications and data in less than 8 hours. It's good to test your own backup regime from time to time - but real life is always more perplexing and takes you longer to deal with than the planned tests.


5 Easy Tips to Properly Store Tape Media Cartridges by Sony

The portability of tape data storage media has made tape-based storage systems a perennial favorite for disaster recovery applications. Tapes can easily and, more importantly, inexpensively be duplicated and stored offsite in case a disaster causes data outages on the primary storage system. Improper storage of the offsite tape cartridges, however, often furthers the disaster by corrupting the stored data or causing the backup tapes to fail altogether. Here are five easy, but often overlooked, tips to ensure that your backup tapes are stored properly and are fully functional when you truly need them.

  1. Stay away from all stray magnetic fields

    Tape storage has a tempestuous love/hate relationship with magnetic fields. The recording process for tape storage media is dependent on the active magnetic material. Unfortunately, magnetic materials are also used to erase and write over previously recorded information. As a precaution, always keep tape cartridges away from stray magnetic fields because even small magnetic sources can compromise the data stored on tape. If you're storing backup tapes offsite for disaster recovery purposes, make sure you thoroughly test your tape storage locations for magnetic fields. A tape's magnetic fields, and thus its content, can be corrupted by something as innocent as an industrial floor cleaner. When in doubt, test first.
  2. Store tapes at recommended temperatures and humidity

    Most manufacturers recommend storing tape cartridges at a temperature between 59F and 77F, and between 40% and 60% humidity. A good rule of thumb is to check your own comfort level. If you're comfortable, chances are your tapes are comfortable too. Also make sure to avoid sudden temperature changes, even within the recommended range, because tape can expand or contract. If a sudden temperature change is expected, try to give the tape 24 hours to adjust to the new climate before use. If condensation occurs, wipe off any dew from the shell or reel and allow the tape to dry naturally. Make a working copy when the tape is dry.
  3. Rewind or forward tape every three years

    Over time, long periods of inactivity can cause the tape layers within stored cartridges to stick together. To prevent this from happening, "exercise" tapes every three years by fully rewinding or forwarding the tape. Rewind or forward the tapes at slower speeds whenever possible to maintain high performance.
  4. Store tapes upright and in the case

    Stacking tape cartridges on top of each other can warp their shells, so always store tapes upright on either their sides or ends. Whenever possible, make sure to keep the cartridges in their original cases.
  5. Put the labels on correctly

    Only apply labels where they belong on the tape. This may seem obvious, but it often causes unnecessary tape failures. Improperly placed labels can interfere with cassette loading, degrade the tape alignment or even peel off inside the recording mechanism.

...Sony profile

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