Purpose of copying data to tape
Tape is a much more protective media to store data. You might need to transfer data to a tape store to copy data or store from another tape or maybe storing data for the first time in tape storage. Copying data to tape can be useful as tapes are reliable, storing data in tapes will prevent us from the need to go through data recovery. Due to its security feature, users transfer data to tape as data is more protected. Data is protected from malware, ransomware, or cyber-attacks due to its being portable which allows the tape to be not connected with the server when not in use.
How to transfer data to tape storage?
To transfer data from one tape to another, you may consider the Copy Tapes wizard:
A) Open Copy tapes wizard
To open Copy Tapes, follow the below steps:
First, select the Tape Infrastructure view.
To find your tape, click Media Pools or under Libraries.
Click your tape to copy or click the right button of the mouse to view options to perform various other actions and select Copy.
B) Select source tape to copy
In Source Tapes of the wizard, select source steps to copy. After this, the tape that was earlier selected is added to the list of tapes as default. Follow the below steps to further add tapes:
Select to add tapes. After this, a list of all media pools will be shown which are available for copying from the Select Tapes window.
After selecting Select Tapes, select the required media pool and the required tape to copy.
C) Select a target media pool through which data will be transferred
In the step, the user is required to mention the destination point for transferring data from one tape to another through Target Media Pool.
After selecting Target Library, select the tape library. The selected tape library will store copies of source data.
Select target media pool. Then select a target media pool to copy source tapes too.
You can add a new media pool in advance.
D) Mention tape copy from options
In this step, the user is required to specify tape copy and tape export options.
If the user is required to copy retention settings as well then select Preserve Source Media Retention Policy.
Select Enable hardware compression for target tapes if the user wants to enable hardware compression while writing new tapes.
To export the media, change from default Do Not Export Tapes to one of the options from Export options as per the user’s need.
E) Complete the task.
F) In this step, the user reads the actions taken which were given by the user. The list of actions comes as a summary.
The above process or facility is an example of transferring data from one tape to another tape is given by VMware vSphere. Like these, there is more application which will help the user to transfer data from one tape to another tape like CommCell Browser, etc.
Following are some information regarding why one can consider transferring data to tapes:
Transferring data from disk to disk to tape is proven to be a successful strategy to protect data. In this method, data is first stored in a disk system and after that in a tape library or single tape drive. Archiware P5 is software that will help to transfer data from disk to disk to tape. This software synchronizes and backups data. It copies data and provides maximum data availability and security.
When synchronizing, it copies all data to a secondary storage system. Then it backups data to a medium of the user’s choice. The user can set the frequency of synchronization and backup intervals individually as well. The software looks for modified files so that there is low network traffic while synchronizing data to secondary storage. In case of a server breakdown, the user will be able to use the data immediately.
Precautions while transferring data.
To transfer data to tape storage, consider the following precautions before starting to transfer data:
To successfully carry out the tape copy session, it is important that the tape server must have a minimum of 1 GB of RAM in each drive.
While transferring data, do not try to engage the two tapes in any other actions while copying as while copying, the two tapes will be lock thus, preventing any other action to take place.
To transfer media to tapes, the tapes are required to be recognized in a media pool, if the tapes are not recognized in a pool then the tape will not be able to transfer data to another tape.
Tapes are encrypted to ensure safety but this encryption also restricts the tape to transfer tape. If backups are encrypted, then data will be skipped from transferring.
It is necessary that the library in the tape from the data is being transferred and the library in the tape to which data will be transferred must have a free tape drive in each. It is necessary to have a minimum of two free drives if copying of tape is done within one tape library.
The target media pool needs to be the same type of source media pool.
Why tape is still considered for storing backup?
Although tape storage has its own advantages and disadvantages it can’t be ignored and so does disk storage. Both have different distinct features. To have the benefit of both of the storage types, there is much software that will help in maintain workflow on daily basis.
Unlike disk, tapes are cheaper in terms of price per unit. Also, tapes have less failure rates compared to disk storage. Apart from these, tapes also have less error rates. Disk continues to rotate even when not in use which gives lower reliability compared to tapes, as tapes sit quietly after performing their function. Being continuously moving, the part is more likely to get damaged due to excessive use. If asked about the reliability of tapes, LTO tapes are said to provide more than 30 years to service if maintained properly. The same tape can be used with different libraries and can be used for backup and archival simultaneously if used with more than one drive. The tape also offers a longer retention time. With the help of tape storage, data is saved as a backup which can be needed in times of energy. The tape will also help to store data in an archive and this way it will make the work experience of the user more effective. Tape storage can read-write data quickly compared to its competitors. Now, tapes have also started to support cloud storage. It is also easy to create replicate data from tape. The purpose of any storage medium is to have enough storage capacity to store the users’ data. Even if the capacity in the tape drive has expired, a new tape drive can be purchased. The feature of encrypting data and not being able to perform read or write functions without proper authorization is a big security feature. Mainly data is still considered for data storage because it can store data for a long period of time. It is easier to ship data without connecting through a server and lowers the chances of data leaking.
Do you need to transfer data to tape storage?
To use the facilities of tape storage, the company is required to have proper machines to carry out the tasks which are added responsibility and added to cost. The tape also requires proper fitting hardware. The tape also needs the right software to run a tape library.
You may consider buying or transfer to a new tape if you require storing a large amount of data. As tape reads and writes from the beginning, it would be better to prefer a new updated version as it will reduce the time to perform the actions.
It would also be a better idea to transfer data to a tape with a bigger capacity as lesser the capacity of tape, more tapes will be required by the company to contain large amounts of data and also it will require maintaining several tapes than few.
If your old version of tape can no longer receive service from its manufacturers or can’t be used any further, then you might consider buying a new one as using a defective tape will increase the chances of overlapping of data or eradication of data.
Also, LTO tapes allow read and write compatible only till next two generations which is why if you are using an old version of LTO, it is important to transfer your data to a new tape.
Also if you can’t tape drives of that generation are hard to get from the market then you should consider transferring data from a previous tape to a new tape.
Before selecting a medium to store data, apart from look the advantages and disadvantages of the medium, look for the benefits that the company will require and which medium is going to fulfill most of the requirements of the company.