do I always have to restore the VBK to disk then use file explorer requiring a spare 3TB of disk space
We are looking to run forever incremental with 1 month on disk and 1 year on tape, can anyone help me setup the tape job so that say on the 1st jan it takes the full on the tape then the rest of the year it only takes the incremental.
Create a backup to tape job, selecting the said backup job as its source, make it copy both fulls and incrementals. That's all.
When a time comes, and the oldest restore point (.vbk) in forward forever incremental chain starts to transform, a backup to tape job will disregard it, copying only incrementals.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that if disaster happens and you have to restore something, you will need to restore 1-year worth of backup chain from tapes.