1. Buy quality tapes.  IBM last and some come with a life time warranty.

2. There are three types of backups.  Full, differential, and
incremental.  Full backup requires restricted state time but is the
easiest to restore from.  I perform a monthly full system save.  With
differential you are backing up all objects that have changed since the
last full backup.  Restore is two phase, last full, last differential.
Finally you have the incremental.  This is where you only backup what
changed since the last backup.  This is the fastest backup cause you
back up the least amount of data.  Now to restore, last full backup and
every backup since.  Restores can be a real pain and take a very long
time.  You need to do more frequent full backups.  What it boils down to
is knowing your system and what is critical and needs to be backed up.
What does not need to be backed up, is the IBM application libraries or
other purchased package application libraries that do not change
frequently.  But know were the application is storing data.  We keep
three sets of the full system backup done monthly.  Then we keep each
daily tape until we do another full system backup.  At that point we
start over writing the tapes.

3. We look at the SST removable media stats to see if we have a tape
failing.  Generally we move to larger faster drives before our tapes
wear out.

4. We have a fire proof media safe to store our tapes in and once a
week, change sets with an outside media storage vender.  The media safe
is in a different building than the iSeries and windows servers we
backup.  An earthquake in CA can kill us so we are looking at doing a
complete mirror to our remote site in Chicago.

Christopher Bipes
Information Services Director
CrossCheck, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces+chris.bipes=cross-check.com@xxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:midrange-l-bounces+chris.bipes=cross-check.com@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of albartell
Sent: Friday, November 24, 2006 1:13 PM
To: midrange-l@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Backing up my iSeries with tape

Hi all,
I am looking to backup my new System i5 and want to purchase tapes.
With the machine I received a "VXAtape X6 Test Cartridge 62 meters" but
it says not to use it for doing system restore type saves - so I guess I
wont use it period because it sounds like that tape might have some
self-esteem issues it is working through ;-)
Back in the day of me being an AS400 operator I remember rotating tapes
so I am guessing I will want to buy a pack of tapes for my internal 80GB
VXA-2 TAPE DRIVE and do a backup every night (or so).
So here are some questions I have and would like to know how everybody
else in the iSeries world does it.
1. How/Where to buy tapes for 80GB VXA-2 TAPE DRIVE? (I can get 5
shipped tapes for $315.50 at www.compsource.com - good deal?)
2. Frequency of backups? Every day of the week I would guess, or anytime
enough data could be lost that it would make it painful to have lost it.
I plan on doing backups EOD every weekday and then a full system backup
on Fridays backup - good approach?
3. How long do you keep your tapes in rotation before quality of tape
comes into play - 1 year for each tape (equals 52 saves on each tape)?
Sure each tape will come with a recommended usage, but I would like to
know what people are doing in reality.
4. What do people do for offsite backup?  I have heard of taking it to a
sister company or another facility (which I have 70 miles away), or
doing a safety deposit box at the bank.
Anything else I am forgetting about concerning tape backups?  Any other
best practices?
Aaron Bartell
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