So, you bought a server with a tape backup in it. Someone swaps out the tapes everyday. Someone even looks at the job log page once or twice a month to see that the jobs are completing.

You’re not going to be in the same boat as your buddy who was always going to implement a backup system next month and just lost the last three years worth of data to a server crash, right?

Not necessarily. And the biggest reason you might not be protected is you’re calling it a Backup system and not what it really is: a RESTORE System.

Besides backing up regularly, you need to test your ability to restore from those tapes periodically. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. Each Friday morning, test restore from one of the tapes: week 1 it’s Monday, week 2 it’s Tuesday, week 3 it’s Wednesday, week 4 it’s Thursday.

Friday should have its own set of 4 tapes, one for each week of the month, and they should be stored offsite. Sometimes you don’t know you need to restore until a week or more has gone by. Onsite tapes protect against data loss due to hard drive failure, but not against fire or theft.