Converting tape back up formats...

A client approached us asking to convert their LTO tapes from EMC to Symantec NetBackup. Whilst this is relatively straightforward for us, the amount of data means we must automate the process as much as possible. We support both backup formats and have written an automated handler to speed up the process. Without this handler there is a lot of manual work loading tapes!

With regards our data conversion service, we initially complete an assessment of the data to determine the complexity of a job. We then respond with a detailed diagnosis, including prices and timescales. At this stage a client is under no obligation. If they decide to proceed, we will carry out the conversion on a sample of the data and integrate it into the new system. This ensures a seamless transition of all remaining data.

Of the 400 terabytes of data supplied, only a fraction of this is live data and much of it is duplicated and legacy information. Regardless, the first process is to catalogue every tape so the client can choose which files are required from the file listing of all the data.

Given an even mixture of LTO2 and LTO3 media, there are slightly less than 1000 tapes to catalogue. To save time cataloguing, we are using a different media destination for input and output formats, with our bespoke handler automating the process in between. In these instances we quote for the cataloging of each tape with a further price for restoring data based on a cost per gigabyte. With regards the output media, we are aiming to copy this to NAS and are offering a loan unit(s). We do not charge for the loan unit(s), unless clients choose to keep them.

At this stage the cataloguing is running well and we hope to have all data listed by the end of the week!