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I think you want to consider using tape duplication and then vaulting the duplicated tape, that way you can easily set the forever expiration on the duplicated volume while keeping the tapes in the library for fast restores. Using that with vaulting also ensures that OSB knows exactly where your tapes are, and their expire dates.
Probably another naive question, but duplication requires 2 drives correct? We only have one in our library at the moment.
I could also make another media family and just run the backup twice (once to each family) on the last day of the month -- it's not a big backup and can complete quickly.
However, neither of these address the problem (in my client's eyes) of the expired backups being overwritten in preference to using fresh tapes.
Right, yes, you would need two drives to do a duplication.
If a tape's expired there is no problem with overwriting it for new backups, so what is the concern here?