Machines Backup to Tape

To back up data to tape, you need to create and run tape jobs. The backup to tape job is a dedicated job that archives to tape Veeam backups that were produced by Veeam backup jobs. Mind that you cannot directly backup virtual machines to tapes.


Support of the machine backup to tape is available in the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions of Veeam Backup & Replication. For details, see Veeam Editions Comparison.

You can archive the following data to tape:

  • VM backups
  • Veeam Agent backups
  • Physical machine backups
  • Backup repositories
  • [For Veeam Cloud Connect] Tenants.

When a backup to tape job runs, it does not create new backups: it locates already existing backups and copies them from backup repository to tape. You need to set the source of the tape job: jobs and/or backup repositories.

Jobs as Source

The following jobs can be source for tape jobs:

  • VMware/Hyper-V/Nutanix AHV backup jobs
  • VMware/Hyper-V/Nutanix AHV backup copy jobs
  • Linux/Windows/Mac Veeam Agent backup job configured in Veeam Agent operating in the standalone mode
  • Linux/Windows/Mac Veeam Agent standalone backup copy job
  • Linux/Windows/Mac Veeam Agent backup job configured in Veeam Backup & Replication
  1. Veeam Agent backup job managed by the backup server
  2. Veeam Agent backup job managed by Veeam Agent (backup policy)
  • Linux/Windows/Mac Veeam Agent backup copy job.


Backup to tape jobs can process only agent backup jobs that are targeted to a Veeam backup repository.

When the tape job starts on its schedule, it picks the restore points that were produced by the source jobs in period since the last tape job run. If you change the configuration of the source jobs, the tape job is updated automatically: it adds new machines to the list of machines to archive or stops archiving machines that were removed from source jobs.

The tape job will process its source jobs in alphabetical order.

Source Jobs Backup Methods

The source jobs may use any backup method:

To back up the forever forward incremental chains to tape, the tape job uses the virtual full. The virtual full creates a synthetic full backup on tape regularly (for example, once a week) and splits the chain into short series of tapes which is more convenient for restore. For more information, see Virtual Full Backup.

If the source job is a backup copy job in the periodic copy mode, keep in mind that the last restore point of the backup copy job stays active until the next restore point is created. The tape job does not copy such active points, because they may be updated. For this reason, the backup chain on tape will be always one restore point shorter than on disk.

When the tape job backs up the forward incremental chain to tape, it creates a copy of the disk backup chain.

The last backup in the reverse incremental backup chain is always the full backup. If the source backup chain is reverse incremental, the tape job will copy the full backup each time the tape job runs. The increments are skipped.

Backup Repositories as Source

When you add a repository as source to tape job, the tape job constantly scans the selected repository (or repositories) and writes the newly created backups to tape. The tape job monitors the selected repository in a background mode. You can set explicit backup windows for the tape job. In this case, the tape job will start on the set time and archive all new restore points that were created in period since the last job run.

If you create or remove backup jobs that use this repository, or if you change the configuration of such backup jobs, you do not need to reconfigure the tape job that archives the repository.

Tenants as Source

This option is available for Veeam Cloud Connect service providers. Service providers can back up tenants backups from cloud repositories to tape. As the source to the backup to tape job, you can add tenants or cloud repositories. For more information, see the Veeam Cloud Connect guide.

For tenants backups, only GFS media pools are used. For more information, see GFS Media Pools.

Mixed Jobs

To one tape job, you can link an unlimited number of sources. You can mix source jobs of different type: backup and backup copy, and of different platform (VMware, Hyper-V, Windows Agent or Linux Agent). You can add jobs and repositories as source to the same tape job.

Also, you can add an unlimited number of tenants to one tape job. However, you cannot mix tenants with backup jobs and backup repositories.


The tape job looks only for the Veeam backups that are produced by backup jobs running on your console. Other files will be skipped.

Note that to back up files, you need to configure file to tape job. For more information, see File Backup to Tape.

Linking Source Jobs

You can add source jobs to tape jobs at any moment: when you create a tape job, or later. Adding source jobs is not obligatory when you create a tape job: you can create an "empty" job and use it as a secondary destination target. When you link jobs, the tape job processes them in the same way as the jobs added with the Tape Job Wizard. For more information, see Linking Backup Jobs to Backup to Tape Jobs.

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