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How many times I can reuse a Tape media

Created: 16 Sep 2010 • Updated: 25 Oct 2010 | 8 comments
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I'm using Super DLTape I (220-320Gb) tapes, when I reuse, I do the following:

1. Insert the tape

2. Inventory

3. Quick Delete

4. Label

First question, is this steps the Recommended for reuse a tape???

 

And my second question is how many times I can reuse the tapes??

 

Best regards.

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Ken Putnam's picture

First question, is this steps the Recommended for reuse a tape???

If you manange your media sets and OPPs properly, you don't need to move the tape to the scratch media set.  Just let Backup Exec move it when the tape is opened

And my second question is how many times I can reuse the tapes??

The rectal particle LTO Ultrium 2 and Advanced Metal Powder-based SDLT media carry durability ratings of 1,000,000 head passes with an archival life expectancy of more than 30 years.

(from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BRZ/is_10_23/ai_111062981/ )

 

 

 

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JJara's picture

Thanks.

 

But I can't understand at all your answer for the first question.

Ken Putnam's picture

What I meant was, when it comes time to resuse media, if the OPP of the media set is established correctly, BackupExec will overwrite the media. There is no need to manually move the  volume to the scratch set or to re-label it

For instance, if you have a Daily job, where you want to use the same 4 tapes every week, set the Daily media set OPP to 6 days, and when you mount last Monday's tape  this Monday, BackupExec will just overwrite it

Similarly, if you have weekly tapes that are recycled every month set the Weekly media set OPP to 27 days, etc.

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JJara's picture

Thanks, I have to read more about the OPP feature.

I have setup a daily backup, and I use 25 tapes for month (assuming 5 days for week and 5 weeks for a month)

At the end of the month I take again the first tape and so on.

Best regards

Ken Putnam's picture

OK, if you don't want any kind of long term archive, but just to cycle those 25 tapes, you can use one media set, with an OPP of 34 days (5 weeks minus one day, in case the job ends after midnight)

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pkh's picture

how many times I can reuse the tapes??

There is no hard and fast rule.  It depends on how often the tapes are used, storage conditions, the state of your tape heads, etc.  I know some installations replace their tapes once a year.  LTO tapes have a built-in microchip which stores some statistics.  I have seen an expensive device which reads these statistics and give you a score as to how reliable the tape is.

When it comes to replacing tapes, just remind the bean counters how much is the failure to recover from a disaster going to cost the company.  It is no good having a backup which cannot be restored because the tape is unreadable.

SOLUTION
CPJF's picture

PKH provided a very good response.  I want to add that it is a good idea to give the tapes at least a basic check with regular frequency so that you may catch a tape defect prior to running that tape in your drive/library.  It is possible for a damaged tape to result in a hardware problem on the drive.

Dell has a media guidebook that includes a section on checking tapes, and I'm sure you can find others as well.

(PDF file)  http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/stor-sys/110...

Ken Putnam's picture

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