Although external hard drives and cloud services have become increasingly popular methods of backing up important data, magnetic tape data storage is still commonly used, particularly within the enterprise market. The latest tape data cartridges are capable of storing several terabytes of data on a single tape, making them an efficient long term storage medium which is not reliant on your internet connection.
With the increased volumes of data being stored, so the risk of loss also increases, should a disaster occur. It is therefore important that your tape backup media is carefully maintained. This increase in data makes verifying the data a less attractive prospect than in the days when most people only had data amounting to a few tens of megabytes. It is however, increasingly important that a regular verification and tests are completed to ensure that everything is functioning correctly.
Like hard disk drives, the reliability of tape drives and data cartridges has improved, by they can and still do fail occasionally, often only at a point when you are attempting to restore the data. These failures can happen due to a problem with the tape drive, a media issue or through a user error.
It is common to use a dedicated backup server, which should have a high priority for maintenance and testing. Maintaining tape backups is only useful if they are being written correctly and contain all the important data.
Every backup system requires maintenance to ensure your data is not put at risk. Faults and irregularities can occur during a backup which may go unreported. This not only causes a failure of the backup process, but also puts your company data at risk in many ways.
If you lose access to the data on a tape cartridge which contains live or required archive data, it can be very difficult for the company. If it contains the only copy of your important data it can risk the continuity of the business, leading to a very stressful time for all employees.
When you tape backup software fails to restore the files through physical errors or data corruption, it is important not to take any risks which could result in further damage occurring. In such a situation you need to seek expert advice from a company with a fully understanding of tape data recording techniques and backup software formats.
Such a professional tape data recovery company will be able to diagnose the exact problem and how your data can be restored with the least chance of any data loss. Tape data recovery can be a very complex process requiring expertise in handling tapes and how to access the raw data. Be-spoke tape recovery software tools may have to be developed to successfully recover your data if it contains a backup format we have not seen before.