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Best practices regarding tape backup procedures

Bits & Bytes: What factors do you need to consider when thinking about setting up a tape framework? In what increments should you back up? W. Curtis Preston answers these questions.

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Question: What are the IT industry's best practices regarding backup tape retentions and rotation procedures?

How long should mainframe full volume backups and distributed world back ups (data and system backups) be kept offsite?

Answer:There is no "industry standard." It's always based on the business requirements of the company in question. I recommend monthly fulls being kept over a year but data is often kept a lot longer than that. (I also recommend daily incrementals and cumulative incrementals/level 1s be kept for 3+ months). As to how long you should retain your long-term data, that's really up to you and how important older data is to your business and whether or not you have any regulatory pressures.

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This was first published in May 2003

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