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Tape Restoration Services

Attempting to process large numbers of tapes natively (i.e. using the the originating backup application and IT environment) can prove to be a daunting task when large volumes of data are needed quickly. Most infrastructures are designed around getting data written out to tapes, but only sometimes needing to restore. This is not an adverse criticism, if daily restores are needed then either it is time to stop getting IT equipment from fire sales or there are some staff training issues to address.

However, when a large volume of data is needed quickly from a broad cross-section of backup tapes, perhaps a legal case requiring email data spanning several years, how can it be done?

In the case of one UK insurance company they had over 1000 LTO tapes, LTO1 to LTO3, containing Backup Exec backups from a number of Windows based systems, these included MSSQL backups, Exchange IS backups, and user data file backups from a number of servers running SIS (single-instance-store). They were not in a desperate hurry, but they knew a requirement to disclose data was likely in the next 4 months and that it could include email and user’s file data, so they were looking for a 3rd party tape restoration service.

As fortune would have it we had just released our latest version of our ADR Tape Restoration software suite, complete with a new module to handle SIS backups without the need to have SIS installed, and the Exchange and file data were duly restored to USB disks. Our processing for this, to meet the deadline, meant using multiple drives restoring in parallel on standalone PC systems, no need to Exchange servers or Windows servers with client systems. Each time a set of 4TB USB3 drives became full they were shipped post-haste to the customer so they could introduce the data to their new archive management system, and by the time they needed it they had it all in place.

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