Failure rate of backup tapes?

Subject: Failure rate of backup tapes?
From: "Hart, Rowena" <Hart -at- SelkirkFinancial -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 14:54:01 -0800

Posted for a friend who isn't on the list...

> Our IT department backs up the documentation (online Help)
> source files Monday through Friday for our very small
> documentation team. When I ask the company's IT staff to
> restore the backup of a certain date, there is a 50% chance
> they cannot restore from that day because "the tape is
> corrupt." (Sample size: 4 requests.) When the tape is
> corrupt, IT restores from an earlier backup. Since backing
> up costs money, and re-doing work costs money, the two
> costs would ideally be balanced.
> Last month it took us a week to identify a major technical
> error that was introduced in the source files; we were able
> to fix the problem manually in less time than it would have
> taken to roll back to a week-old backup. Ten-day-old,
> actually, because the week-old backup tape "was corrupt."
> Because we recovered from our error, we avoided a conflict
> with IT over corrupt tapes.
> My questions:
> - When backup tapes are made daily, what is an acceptable
> failure rate?
> - What is a typical failure rate for backup tapes?

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