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Shelf life of LTO tapes - with or without plastic canister

Posted by Anonymous 
Shelf life of LTO tapes - with or without plastic canister
December 20, 2013 01:58AM
Hi folks.

The place I have recently started working at have a requirement that all monthly backup tapes are sent offsite to a secure storage location (similar to Iron Mountain), and remain there forever. I know... I hate a backup system being used as an archive system, but that's the way it is, for now.

The thing that surprised me is that they put all the LTO5 tapes back in the plastic canister they come in when they are new before they send them offsite. This adds a lot of time to the process of ejecting and processing these tapes for pickup. The whole process is outsourced to a third party, and we pay them by time, so I want to streamline it as much as I can.

I have worked with heaps of tape vaulting procedures over the years, and none of them have put tapes back in the plastic canister. Although, admittedly, none of them have had a "forever" retention period.

I want to convince them that storing the tapes in their original plastic container is not worth the amount of physical labour time it takes to do it. Does anyone have any evidence either way about whether storing the tapes in a plastic box makes any difference, considering they're being ejected from a tape library and put into sealed boxes in a dust-free, climate-controlled data centre, being transported to the "vault" in a dust-free, climate-controlled truck, and removed from the boxes and stored in shelves in a dust-free, climate-controlled vault?

Any thoughts?

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