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We have moved to an LTO(4) tape backup system. It works great and now we have a stack of physical tapes lying around that need to be stored and ultimately secured. I was curious what options exist for storage containers that will not cause harm to the tapes? How many tapes should be stored together in such a container at a time? Does it protect against fire or water damage? Additionally, is there any consideration that needs to be made (in relation to storage of the tapes) for things such as PCI DSS compliance and the like?

Note: The obvious answer is to move the tapes to a safe and make sure that one has adequate off-site backups. This question is geared more towards lock boxes or other smaller such storage devices that can be used either stand alone or to be placed inside of a safe.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Even though this is a shopping question I feel inclined to answer. Peli-cases are the best thing for this situation. They make a case that fits 20 LTOs with foam slots. They are fully sealed, and available worldwide. They have holes for padlocks and are reasonable priced.

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Hi Im no real expert in this field so please do not take this as the definative solution to your problem, but our company recently looked at this as well, there are plenty of tape boxes you can purchase to store tapes in but most of them really need to be stored within soemthing else to help guard against fire etc.

this is only a quick google result but these boxes appear to be a good choice for tape storage. http://www.datalinksales.com/media_storage_transport/media_cases/dataguard_transport_storage_case.html

with regards to PCI DSS, it maybe worth contacting a third party company that specfically deals with offsite tape storage and backups, as there are a lot of do's and don't involved with storing backups to comply with PCI DSS any tape storage company worth there money will be aware of these rules and regs and will be able to provide you with the required information on how they store them and what security is provided.

our company eventually elected to stop taking physical backup tapes as a primary backup solution and moved to online backups that are done on a 15 minute basis and can have a retention period of 6 years, this gives us a strong gurantee of being able to retrieve data when needed and so far the couple times we have needed it, the solution has proved its worth, we only use tapes for a secondary backup now and store them onsite in a fireproof safe.

I hope this helps

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+1 for getting off tapes. According to Baroudi Blour 50% of all restores fail thanks to tape. I wouldn't even bother dealing with them for secondary with a 6 year retention. –  Jim B Jan 19 '12 at 2:02
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