General FAQ

Why use an offsite storage service?

There are many reasons to use this type of service:

Regulatory requirements: From listed companies which fall under the auspices of APRA, to other Australian companies that have a privacy responsibility, to U.S. company subsidiaries operating in Australia which must conform to the SOX Act, offsite storage fulfils the audit, process and disaster recovery requirements.

IT Disaster Recovery: The majority of companies rely on their computer systems to run their day to day business functions. If their computer systems are not operating, these businesses often stop functioning. The key to the quick recovery of all computer systems is timely recovery of the systems data. Iron Mountain stores this data for safe timely recovery.

Backup control: Often IT departments have major problems managing the various backup cycles of many servers. Iron Mountain automates this function, ensuring that IT staff can attend to other important functions.

Peace of mind: Business owners, Directors, IT Managers and IT staff are all concerned about the recoverability of their computer data. This issue is paramount for business survival.

What precautions do you take to prevent harm to the tapes in case of fire?

Fire security, similar to physical security relies upon layers of protection, starting from the outside of the building, working our way inside the vault.

Iron Mountain’s vaults are state-of-the art, constructed to IM global standards. In addition we have 4 hour fire rated, VESDA, Inergen gas suppression systems as protection.

What measures are there to ensure that there is no moisture in the tape storage area?

Our vault air conditioning system is humidity controlled to 40% +/- 5% R.H. humidity.

How are the tapes stored? Are they kept together? How are they catalogued and retrieved?

Tapes are stored as per AS3636.4 (Australian Standard for tape storage). Tapes are stored in either slot or box locations in our vault, depending on your requirements. As a general rule, we recommend slot storage for greater flexibility with retrievals. With Slot storage, tapes are stored in a purpose built tape rack; they are stored upright and in their own physical slot.

The tapes are barcoded and scanned into and out of the numbered slot by Iron Mountain staff. With box storage, the tapes are stored in a purpose built tape box; the box is stored in racks, barcoded and scanned into and out of the numbered box rack. Regardless of the storage method used, tapes and boxes are catalogued by our vault management software.

Are records kept to show when you receive our tapes and when you send them back?

This is done by automating the tape cycling and recording the details in an audit trail. During the service implementation, we work with you to understand your tape cycling. Tapes are then coded into the software system which fully automates the tape cycling.

Cycling automation is done once only and you have peace of mind knowing that you can get on with other business priorities as opposed to worrying about tape cycling. An audit trail is created for the life of a tape and every tape “move” is tracked and audited by our software.

In the event of a major disaster (i.e. earthquake, terrorism, something that compromises this facility) what happens? How safe is our data? Can it be retrieved if something like this happens?

Iron Mountain mitigates risk by locating our vaults in commercial or light industrial areas. Assessments by internal and external auditors confirm that we are located within low risk areas, with no adjoining or adjacent risks. Auditor assessment also covers our internal processes and procedures for fire evacuation, security process, staff training, password control etc. In addition, Iron Mountain has Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans which are regularly reviewed and tested.

What condition are the tapes stored in when in transit to and from our site?

Tapes travel from our vaults, in our vans and back to you with a minimal fluctuation in temperature. Iron Mountain does this by firstly packing the tapes in padded and / or insulated transportation boxes or satchels. These then leave our vaults and are taken directly by our climate controlled, air conditioned vans, to be delivered to you. The vault and van temperatures are monitored at all times.

What are your hours of operation? If we have an emergency and need something in the middle of the night, when is the soonest we can get it?

Iron Mountain operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer a 1 hour delivery service level for all customers, at any time

How do you ensure my urgent call goes to support staff after hours?

The Iron Mountain, 24 hour support number, automatically escalates to a paging service, which has our detailed and documented escalation process to ensure a support member always gets your call. Our 1 hour service level, starts from the time of your call, so we must be able to respond quickly. The escalation process is the key to our 1 hour response and service level.

What site security measures do you have?

Physical security is established using a layered approach, with each layer having a combination of physical and logical security protection. Externally the building is double brick construction for the outer perimeter, monitored by CCTV cameras. External doors are physically hardened with biometric access control (finger scan) systems.

Alarm systems have a combination of door, window and movement detectors, depending on the layer. Alarm systems are maintained and have maintenance agreements in place. The buildings are patrolled by a third party security company.

Courtesy of Corporate Vice President of Strategic Marketing Fred Moore’s’ Paper: Data Storage New Prospects New Perspectives

Customers FAQ

How do I request tapes back from Iron Mountain?

There are two methods:

Via the tape management portal or:

Via our national 24 hour contact line. Note we will require your password for verification.

I have forgotten my password or user identification.

If you are the Master Authority signatory or either you and your employees have forgotten your password or user identification, we will ask you to provide an email request to us using your "corporate" email address as confirmation, which we will use to validate your identity.

Who is authorised to request tapes?

During the implementation of the offsite data storage system your management with be asked to advise Iron Mountain which employees will be authorised to accept tapes on request. There are typically three levels of security defined as: Sign, Request and Master; each with their own level of privileges.


Employees at this level are only permitted to sign for deliveries.


Employees at this level have the authorisation level of employees with sign capabilities and in addition are also able to retrieve media. They will also have a user identification to use the portal facility to retrieve and update media details.

Master Authority

These employees have Sign and Request authority in addition to Master Authority. Generally the IT Manager, CIO, CEO, Managing Director, or senior IT Support staff of the company will be nominated as the Master Authority. Employees with Master Authority status have the ability to receive tapes at a pre-determined designated location in the event of an emergency.

My tapes are already barcoded

Iron Mountain will not replace your barcodes. We can scan a variety of barcodes.

Iron Mountain will add a small Customer Number barcode to the tape to ensure we do not create duplicate tapes within our vault.

My tapes are not barcoded

Iron Mountain will supply barcodes for you. We will provide barcode labels to a naming standard nominated by you. For example, if your current hand written tape label is SAPMonday1 we will create a label with exactly the same data, but will add your customer number and media type required for vault management.

A typical barcode label is thus:


X = 4 digit customer number allocated by Iron Mountain

Y = 2 digit media type i.e. DL for DLT, LT for LTO

Z = 9 digit customer specified alphanumeric media name

Example of an Iron Mountain supplied barcode

Iron Mountain has sent me barcodes, where do I stick them on the tape?

It is important that barcode labels are stuck on tapes in the following locations.

DLT already barcoded – Iron Mountain will supply a customer identifier barcode DLT and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode
LTO already barcoded – Iron Mountain will supply a customer identifier barcode LTO and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode
Mainframe cartridge and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode Magstar and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode
DDS and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode AIT and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode
CD with a Iron Mountain supplied barcode Exabyte and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode
SLR and I want to use a Iron Mountain supplied barcode

How does Iron Mountain ensure tapes are returned on schedule and cycled?

Tape cycling is scheduled using our software which allows the automation of your tape scheduling. This is set up during the implementation process, by you with the help of our team. During this process we will discuss with you your tape cycling requirements. These “rules” are then entered into the management portal for each tape. Once this task is completed you will have automated control of the tapes.

Tape Media Manufacturers

There are many brands of media on the market, but only a limited number of manufacturers.

The following is a list of popular manufacturers effective..

Brand Manufacturer
Maxell Maxell
Imation Imation
Fuji Fuji
Sony Sony
Compaq Maxell
IBM Fuji
HP Maxell
Quantum Fuji and Maxell (tender process)
IBM Maxell

Why does Iron Mountain not dump tapes in landfill?

Although dumping tapes in landfill is an inexpensive way of disposing of old tapes. Iron Mountain does not offer this service, as we do not believe in compromising your secure data.

Should I purchase second hand tapes or tapes that have been recertified?

When tapes get to the end of their life, they should be securely destroyed. Many companies send their tapes to dealers to have them recertified, and they are then resold to other companies. Iron Mountain believes that potentially exposes data to breaches. If the tape is recertified there may still be identifiable data still on the tape which can lead to a potentially costly security breach.

What are grey imports, and do tapes sold by Iron Mountain have a warranty?

Grey imports are tapes that have been sourced overseas and imported into Australia. These tapes are not covered by manufacturer’s warranty in Australia. Iron Mountain does not sell grey imports, and all products sold by Iron Mountain are sourced from Australia and come with the original manufacturer’s warranty.

New tape sales

Information regarding the sale of tapes and barcodes can be found through by clicking the Tapes and Barcode link.