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Strategy for Huge (40+ Tape) Initial Backup

Level 3

I'll start by recognizing that I'm using equipment that isn't really scaled to the job at hand. Buying new equipment or restructuring our data will not be an option in the forseeable future.

I have BackupExec 2014 and a 16-volume LTO-6 library. I need to back-up about 90TB, with incremental backups to follow. The data won't change greatly, but I expect an additional 10-20TB per year. The data being backed up is organized alphabetically, in "indexed" sub-folders.

I'm hoping for suggestions about how best to do this - I've had a couple of false-starts that have cost me weeks of frustration, along with wear on my tapes and drive. Ideally, I'd like to write less than 36TB to tape at a time so that I don't have to touch the library once a volume begins.

First, I tried excluding much of the alphabet, leaving "A-G", which was approximately 30TB. I did that by setting exclusions


When that completed, I removed the next set of exclusions, and tried to start the second volume. Unfortunately, because the backup method was set to "modified time", this didn't find the additional files. I changed backup method to "catalog", and tried again, but that didn't seem to help, either.

Eventually, I manually set the archive bit for the whole volume, and began again. This time, the second volume skipped a number of directories - it's possible that my bit-flipping was less than perfect, but another try will take me about a week.

So, I'm asking for your experience. What's the best way to create a "multi-volume" backup of this size that can carry over into Incremental backups?

Thanks in advance!