How to: Define a Logical Backup Device for a Tape Drive (SQL Server Management Studio)

This topic explains how to create a tape backup device.


Support for tape backup devices will be removed in a future version of SQL Server. Avoid using this feature in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use this feature.

To define a logical backup device for a tape drive

  1. After connecting to the appropriate instance of the Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine, in Object Explorer, click the server name to expand the server tree.

  2. Expand Server Objects, and then right-click Backup Devices.

  3. Click New Backup Device, which opens the Backup Device dialog box.

  4. Enter a device name.

  5. For the destination, click Tape and select a tape drive that is not already associated with another backup device. If no such tape drives are available, the Tape option is inactive.

  6. To define the new device, click OK.


A backup device is a logical device that corresponds to a resource provided by the operating system (the specified physical device). Creating a backup device simply creates a name or alias for the logical device. The initialization of the physical device occurs later, when a backup is written to the backups device.

To back up to this new device, add it to the Back up to: field in the Back up Database (General) dialog box. For more information, see How to: Back Up a Database (SQL Server Management Studio).