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Only 20 tapes at a time

A data recovery project on the East coast got weird early when the client requirements allowed only 20x 200GB SDLT2 backup tapes to be released at a time, and the tapes were to be no more than 15 miles from the storage facility. Making things tougher, they had no idea what the backup method was.

Fortunately, they sent a single tape to Texas for examination and we were able to forensically analyse the backup method and come up with a plan, which made us comfortable enough to submit a proposal and accept the job. Taking on this kind of job required more hardware than we kept on hand, so some purchases were made, a van was rented and the journey East began.

What makes that weird? The forensic analysis of the tape revealed that the tapes were network backups of several servers in an AD domain. In order to restore the tapes, the network and AD structure needed to be present to receive the restored data. All of the software to accomplish automation of that task was written on an laptop from the passengers seat of a rental van full of computers and robotic tape changers while driving from Dallas Texas to Boston Massachusetts - and it worked perfectly upon arrival.