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Setting up a Tape Backup from Scratch

Its been a while since I worked on tape backups so I feel very new to this. I have been using cloud solutions for some time now, but oh well... gotta get back on track. ( Enough crying for now )


I just bought new 4mm 150m tapes. I want to setup a 2 week rotation back up.

5 tapes - Week 1

5 tapes - Week 2

12 tape for Mothly backups

1 for end of year backup.


how do I go about doing this. I dont have a tape library its only a single slot. Im currently using Symantec Backup Exec 11d, please help!



6 Replies

Create a media set with 10

Create a media set with 10 days of Overwrite protection period & Infinite allow append for the

weekly backups so that the tapes which were used in Week1 will be re-used in Week 3.

For how long you want to retain monthly and yearly backups ?


Well their keeping the tapes

Well their keeping the tapes just for a 1 year rotation. So like Feb 2011 will be used Feb 2012. 

I was able to create a new media set. I think this is the part I had to figure out. Now I see you say to use 10 day which makes sense. I was only using 5 days... but if i want 2 weeks then that makes sense. Ok so now ive created a new backup job, and made sure to point that media set to my scheduled job. I see my media set so I think it will work. I will give it a try and see if it works. I can always go and label one by one right? like i want to label each tape wk1-monday and so on and so forth. This way if someone gets on they can see the way the back up is setup. 


Im wondering what are some tips I should be using; like should I eject the tape, should i get some type of report. I do get notifications and things like that when a backup fails but what are some good things I can use.  Thanks for your help... so far i feel good about this.


Yes you can label the tapes

Yes you can label the tapes the way you want, I would suggest you to label the tape before running

any backup job as labelling will erase data form the tape. If your backup josb are spanning over

multile tapes then BE will always request for an overwritable tape, BE will not accept appendable

tapes. For every day backup if you want to use a different tape then configure the jobs to eject tape

and configure the media remove alert to clear out automatically. 


5 tapes - Week 1 5 tapes -

5 tapes - Week 1

5 tapes - Week 2 

Are you speaking about daily backups here? One tape for each days backup from Monday-Friday?

If so, you have to configure a media set with OPP 13 Days and None Append. As you have planned 10 tapes kept for these backups, you will get two weeks retension with these settings.

10 days OPP will make the monday tape overwritable on Thursday. But all these things may not effect your bakcups as you have to insert tape manually before performing a backup.



So i had a failed backup but

So i had a failed backup but it may have been because I tried to run a job, then label the media then set up that media for a backup. 

ok so now its 13?? because your counting Sat Sun and Monday the current day?


I would like to use the media from wk1-monday 2 weeks from that day as a rotation... so then yeah i guess it would be 13 days. 

I feel like im missing something from my setup. I will try and setup another one today and test. It would be nice to find a step by step thread.


I would like to use the media

I would like to use the media from wk1-monday 2 weeks from that day as a rotation... so then yeah i guess it would be 13 days.

That's correct..

1) Create a media set with the appropriate settings. For example for your daily backups with two weeks rotation, OPP 13 days, None Append. With these settings one tape will have only one day's backup. 10 tapes 10 days. And on the 3 rd monday 1st tape will becom recyclable and so on...

2) From job setup, right click and create a new backup job. Select the files you want to backup under selections, select the device as your standalone drive, and select the media set created by you under media set drop down menu. From Schedule, select the days on which you want to run the job. You also have to select the time window. Start no earlier than and no later than. Job only will start within that time period.

3) Insert the media into the drive and run the backup job. I believe BE will label the media automatically if it is scratch/overwritable. If not a overwritable media, it will request you to insert an overwritable media.

You may also go for creating policies instead of jobs.

Coming to your daily backup tapes, label them physically for better recognition. You have to insert/use tapes again in the same order to achieve your basic requirement. 

Hope this helps...