[lug] Tape Drives

Sean Reifschneider jafo-nclug at tummy.com
Mon Oct 28 22:24:48 MST 2002

On Mon, Oct 28, 2002 at 02:21:24PM -0700, Sexton, George wrote:
>looking at log files a lot... I hope that you can exercise the constant
>vigilance every day to detect that a failed verify was the result of a tape
>problem, and not a user editing the underlying file. Also, I hope it doesn't

If you want to make sure your data is backed up properly, there simply
is no substitute.  The benefit of having to manually sift through the
files is precisely that it *IS* a manual process.  If you rely on an
autoomated process, you can be sure it's going to fail.

For example, the person who was routinely swapping tapes on Tuesday
(the day after the first incremental run) instead of on Monday (the day
after the full backup.  Verifications would show that everything was
fine -- until you went back and tried to restore from it...

If it is believed that a "verify" step can replace the manual backup
verifications or disaster recovery simulations, you're probably going to
be in trouble...  Without regular disaster recovery tests, you shouldn't
rely on your backups -- it's that simple.

However, this post does give me a great idea for a program that will
verify tar backups *WITHOUT* using a proprietary format or reading the
data from the disc twice...  Maybe a good Hacking Society project, since
it is so simple to do...

I'm not against automation, as long as it only augments the normal
backup and disaster recovery testing...

 The structure of a system reflects the structure of the organization that
 built it.  -- Richard E. Fairley
Sean Reifschneider, Inimitably Superfluous <jafo at tummy.com>
tummy.com, ltd. - Linux Consulting since 1995.  Qmail, Python, SysAdmin

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