Backup tape tools become vogue centerpiece

By Michael
September 10, 2014

Thinking about backup tape management doesn’t often stir images of modern art or pop culture, but as a recent British exhibit showed, it’s a fairly ratchet culture statement. The Independent wrote that Summerhall’s most recent art installation consists of a tape backup issue played out in real-life and super-enhanced.

In the exhibit, “Stand By for Tape Back-Up,” artist Ross Sutherland replays data from a decades-old tape at high speed, jumping from one segment to the next to create a “frantic” media presentation. The choppy, spliced nature of the tape is telling of its written and rewritten history, with layers of content accumulated over an unknown number of years, before the device was left in unprotected storage.

The tape may be considered an artistic piece, but it touches on a serious enterprise-level backup tape management problem – deletion. Information that is not properly expunged from business tapes can leave traces of itself on hardware, thereby reducing storage space and creating inaccurate backups. What’s more, retaining even pieces of information in this way is a violation of safe and cleanly data management, which could cause compliance and audit problems down the road.

While this is a public consumer-level tape product, B&L’s Archived Data Manager may have stopped this art installation from existing, but that’s a positive point for most corporations. Safely and completely aging out information, wiping tapes and eliminating historical files helps organizations remain compliant. This software assists with timely retirement or destruction of hardware, as well as promoting healthy historical catalogs for audit and e-discovery purposes. By using ADM solutions, companies can ensure that they don’t continue to harbor tapes that may hold traces of older data, thereby ensuring optimal compliance and database hygiene.

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