I was wondering who uses off site tape storage for their backups and their Positives and Negatives with each system.

My basic requirements are secure storage, HIPPA certified, or SAS certified would be great. We rotate our tapes out every 6 months to offsite storage.

I have looked briefly at Iron Mountain.

  • I will echo Iron Mountain below, but when looking at services, get an idea of the recall lag (ie how long it will take to get a tape back into your server if you need it quickly). Backups are only as good as the restore.. Oct 10, 2011 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


I agree. Iron Mountain is everyone's industry standard. They are reasonably "cheap," feature "possession tracking" (everyone that handles them signs off on the handling), and operate nationally across the U.S.

Other methods would include storing them in a trusty employee's (like COO for instance) house in a "fireproof" safe that's specifically designed not to allow it's contents to reach the wicking point of whatever media you use.

Either way your tapes should already be encrypted; hopefully with at least a 256 bit AES key, where the passphrase's entropy is quite high.

  • 1
    They are hardware encrypted when they are written to my tape. I forget the level of encryption, but I know it's over a 1024 bit key.
    – Squidly
    Oct 10, 2011 at 14:58
  • Cool. The stronger the encryption the better. If this is the case, then it depends how many tapes you store. If it's worth storing them with a reliable third party, than Iron Mountain is the way to go, as I'd consider them to be the Porsche of data archival. Otherwise, what I stated above had worked for many of my smaller clients in the past... my favorite response from a COO was "sure, I'll store them in with my guns."
    – brandeded
    Oct 10, 2011 at 15:45

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