The .vbm file is not required for tape job since it's not copied to tape.I wondered if it was perhaps the backup metadata file that the both the tape job and the merge need to access.
No, this option makes source job wait until tape job finishes and delays merge. Try to disable it and see if any errors in tape jobs such as 'stopped by [source job name]' appear.Do you think it might be this option allowing the tape job to jump on the backup files before the job merge is done??
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