Whats the most annoying problem in storage management today? Im sure most of you out there have your pet peeves, but to me nothing is more frustrating than having a failed backup.
Lets face it. Running tape backups is the IT managers equivalent of taking out the trash or mowing the lawn, hated tasks that must be done but are rarely enjoyable.
Tapes are mechanical devices and since they are, by nature, removable storage, they are often subjected to a wide variety of environmental and physical shocks, some of which can ruin them or, at the very least, shorten their lives.
Given the fact that tape failures are far too common experiences, the prospect of backing up and failing has become an even more annoying headache for many IT managers.
The most frustrating aspect of failed backups is more than just the failed event; its the fact that, often, when backups fail we dont know exactly why. Usually all we get is a failure alert in our event log, often followed by a vague message signaling a hardware problem.
Even if we narrow down the problem to a hardware issue, we rarely know if the backup failed because of a bad tape or because the tape drive itself has issues.
Simply put, tape hardware vendors need to interact more with software vendors to make IT managers lives easier. Although many tape drives have diagnostic tools built into them, the information they gather is usually not shared with backup software vendors.