Although it might seem self-evident, spend some
time learning how your tape backup software actually works. Too
often, we start an automated backup routine only to find that a
month later when we need to restore the data, an option wasn’t
selected correctly and we are out of luck for a restore.
Tape backup software has become increasingly
reliable but as with any software products, there are now several
levels of options with increased complexity that the operator should
be aware of.
The correct selection of backup options in the
software will to a large extent help determine how “solid” or how
robust the backup is.
Is verification after backup turned on?
Are email and other notifications to
operators set up?
Is the backup schedule set correctly?
Are the options for full or incremental
backup set correctly?
Is there an understanding of how media pools
and media retention schedules work?
Do you know how to have the tape backup
software run batch files for pre and post tape backup operations?
Is the tape backup software properly
configured to write to the server system logs?
If you’re backing up a DBMS system, is the
software configured properly to shut down the instance when
Does your tape backup software require the
use of a special server user and password, and do you have the
password and login information stored in a safe location?
Is your tape backup software configured
properly to work with your anti virus protection software?
Do you have the backup disks for the tape
backup software in an accessible location if you need to restore
the tape backup software onto a server? Are the software keys for
the disks readily available.
Do you have a plan in place for regularly
upgrading the tape backup software and receiving and applying
patches from the vendor?
Do you understand how the scheduling options
work in the tape backup software.?
Do you understand how to select the files and
directories you want to back up?
Have you configured your backups so that a
password is required to restore from tape, and are these login and
passwords information stored in a safe location?
Do you have a link to the vendors web site
and a support login in case you need to get help quickly?