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Expiry of Tapes

Created: 24 Apr 2013 | 1 comment

is the Symatec Backup Exec R3 has a feature to identify tapes already not working or not over writable and inform the IT admin on this? Can someone give me details on how Symantech works on this? Do tapes have expiration dates per manufacturer? Is it recommendable to retain the use of the tapes on the expiration dates? Is it okay to use the tapes as long as it working regardless of the expiration dates? Please advice.

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pkh's picture

There is no such thing as an expiry date for tapes.  The condition of tapes depends on a lot of factors, like how often they are used, how they are stored, how rough and dirty are the tape drive read/write heads, etc.  You would have to judge how long you want to use the tape.  Normally, if the tape shows a lot of errors, especially hard errors, then it is time to replace the tape.  See my article below on where you see these statistics

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/t...

Some installation will just replace tapes at regular intervals.

I have seen a device which reads the statistics in the built-in chip of LTO tapes and use a proprietary algorithm to predict the likelihood of failure.  The device costs US$4K.