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|System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 Information Library|
A backup tape that cannot be read is useless. So, periodically clean and check your tape drives to ensure correct operation. See your hardware manuals for instructions on procedures for cleaning a tape drive. You can check your tape hardware by copying some files to the tape, reading the files back, and then comparing the original files with the copied files
Be aware that hardware can fail in ways that the system does not report.
Always label your tapes after a backup. This label should never change. Every time you do a backup, make another tape label that contains the following information:
The backup date
The name of the machine and file system that is backed up
The backup level
The tape number (1 of n, if the backup spans multiple volumes)
Any information specific to your site
Store your tapes in a dust-free safe location, away from magnetic equipment. Some sites store archived tapes in fireproof cabinets at remote locations.
You should create and maintain a log that tracks which media (tape volume) stores each job (backup) and the location of each backed-up file.