How old are your data backup tapes?


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When it comes to disposing of backup tapes, adhering to retention policies isn't Storage readers' forte—assuming they even have one (21% of readers don't). While 27% of readers have retention periods for backup tapes of six years or more, 46% own tapes of that age or older. A lot of good it does them—only 19% believe they could restore data from tapes six or more years old. What's holding people back from throwing old tapes away? Writes one user: "We're hesitant to resell them if we can't guarantee total erasure of data."

What is your organization's retention policy for backup tapes?
How old are the oldest tapes in your organization's possession?
How old is the oldest tape you can restore from with confidence?

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This was first published in December 2005

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