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Creating a Fool Proof Data Archive System with a Magnetic Tape Library

Aug 17, 2007
Most businesses have laws and regulations for how long specific data must be stored, but still many companies don't have a tape drive, tape libraries, secondary storage or any plan for archiving data. Even if your industry doesn't have specific requirements, keeping a well documented business information library is a safe bet. Recently, the residential building company Urban Renaissance Agency realized that it had lost archived building plan data for 555 (31%) of its condos due to "insufficient storage measures."

The mistake not only made the news, but will cost the company millions to recover. Data storage tends to be one of those problems that many individuals and businesses don't act on until a loss happens. Most people agree that backing up data is important, but feel the process will be too difficult and the issue stays below the radar until a crisis occurs. On the contrary, it's surprisingly simple to back up, store, and recover data using a tape backup drive and magnetic tape libraries to build a foolproof information archive system.

A tape drive is a very reliable method of recording and archiving data. Using a magnetic tape cartridge, the tape drive scans all of your computer's files and copies them onto the tape. Businesses might choose to backup files daily, weekly, or monthly. The process can be set up to be manually run or to automatically update at a certain time of the day.

The most important functionality of a tape library is that you have a record of 'snapshots' as data appeared at regular intervals throughout history. This means if a customer has a dispute over a contract or a policy from last year, you can pull a tape from your tape library and find the piece of data exactly as it looked one year ago.

Another benefit to storing your data on tape is that cartridges can be stored off site and/or in fire and flood proof containers. More often than not, secondary storage is usually found in the same building as the original data, and often in the same location as the server. With a tape backup drive, once the tape is made the tape cartridge can then be stored anywhere. Because the tapes are there for reference and not part of daily use, they can easily be locked away and stored in disaster and theft resistant safes.

Tape drives come with a variety of options including file cataloging features; a comparison feature that will check the data on the drive against a current document, and are available in a variety of speeds. The tapes you'll use to build your tape libraries will vary as well. It's recommended to discuss your options with a data storage specialist who can help you build a system around your budget and your unique business needs.
About the Author
Author is a writer for Sunstar Company which specializes in tape
libraries for disk storage
and back up. For additional information you can visit
http://www.SunstarCo.com.
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