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The Painful Truth about Tape Backup

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Few can argue the importance of embracing a secure backup solution. A solid backup solution is required for the continuation of your company is assured in the event of a disaster. One variety of backup solution consists of using magnetic tape in order to store data. Having said that, tape can result in some hindrances that make other solutions more attractive.

Everyday Snapshots

With tape, your backups need to be performed after the work day. Your backup can fail or become corrupted if files are in use, Outlook inboxes are open, and company data is being edited while the backup runs. This problem does not apply to a NAS Disk-to-Disk option such as our BDR, although it certainly can be an obstacle with tape. This problem indicates that you can only perform data backups every night, so in the event that you do lose a considerable amount of data, you basically lose an entire day’s worth of work.

Tape Needs Human Interface

This problem might come across as ridiculous, however, it’s true. If you want to properly carry out your nightly data backup, someone will need to switch out the prior night’s tape with a new one. In the event that this is not accomplished, you won’t take a backup.. Offsite storage includes bringing the tape home, which results in all of your business’s data resting on a pocket-sized tape that any person can obtain. A little user-error can turn into a huge problem in this case.

Slow Restoration Times

In the recent past, when tape was a popular medium for music, if you preferred to play a particular track, you had to fast forward to it. You couldn’t just move to a specified location on the tape whenever you want as you are able to with CDs and mp3 players. Tape backup functions the same exact method; in the event that you need to restore your data, you need to go through the entire tape. It’s a slow, exhaustive procedure, even more so if you are in need of multiple tapes to store your files.

Tape Wears Out Over Time

Even though the same could be said about any storage medium (unless you are actually inscribing your company’s data into stone, tape storage undoubtedly has issues with deterioration. It’s advisable that once every 1-2 years you switch out your tapes; even so, we’ve run into instances where we’ve needed to bring back data from a considerably newer tape, only to discover the data was corrupted. Combined with the slow restoration time that makes it impractical to test your archived data, you could be in for a rude awakening when your data is needed.

The Savings Don’t Add Up

Tape was popular due to the fact that it was more affordable per gigabyte to backup your files when compared with hard drives. However, this hasn’t held true for a number of years. As soon as you consider exactly how many prospective issues come with tape and how much effort it is to operate, handle, maintain, and restore, you will find that you are considerably less in the hole cost-wise opting for a data backup medium that might cost a bit more but offer you better, more reliable backup.

Small and medium-sized companies have been moving from tape and other obsolete data backup strategies for a more foolproof solution. Have a look at our Backup and Disaster Recovery solution, which utilizes a number of backups a day and can revitalize data efficiently and easily. It can even assume the function of your server in the case of an equipment breakdown. Want to find out more? Give us a call at 1 (626) 737-2960.