>Maybe I don't need five storagesets? I've read somewhere one will do... I
>use VXA 170 meter tapes. What am I missing??
>/ jakob


First I want to suggest that a lot of your frustration can be diminished 
by having another go at reading the manual cover to cover (personally, I 
did it with highlighter and sticky notes in hand). I'd be willing to bet 
this will reduce your frustration level. This manual is not just an 
educational experience...it's an adventure. These guys are just warped 
enough...er, have a wry enough sense of humor to make the manual a 
not-so-dry read. It speaks to the end-user, rather than to the engineers. 

That said, in order to decide how to best design your backup strategy, 
you will want to decide a few things:
1) the purpose for backing up
2) how much data can you afford to lose
3) how much change in data occurs each day/week/period
4) how many times per week/month can you rotate backup sets offsite
5) your budget for tapes (taking into account how much your budget would 
be effected to completely rebuild a system from scratch vs restoring from 
6) can/will any data be archived off the client workstations periodically 
(for instance, archiving a completed project for posterity) to CD.

Once you've figured out your purpose in backing up and decided how much 
data you can afford to lose, then you can sit down with a calendar and 
decide how to design your strategy. I've found that the examples in the 
manual are perfect for most situations. One of the strategies may be 
right for you.

We can't really tell you how many tapes to buy or how to design your 
system. What we can do is tell you what's been successful for us. For my 
clients I've found it best to run one full backup before making any final 
decisions. This gives me a starting point. Once I know how much initial 
tape space will be taken up, I can work from there on a tape budget. It 
will also give me a good idea of how long a full backup will take. 
Remember that because of the way Retrospect handles duplicates, you 
shouldn't need as many tapes or as much time as you may initially think. 
One full run on a fresh tape(s) will help you to gauge your needs better.

IMO, backing up is more than "how many tapes do I need to buy to fit all 
my data on a full backup". It is a strategy. 

Hope this helps,


Pam Lefkowitz, President                     Consulting
Core Computing Technologies, Inc.     Disaster Recovery
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