The data protection market has changed considerably over the past decade. There has been a fundamental shift away from relying solely on tape for backup and recovery to using cloud-based backup solutions to address challenges that include backup performance, reliability, and recovery time objectives.
With the proliferation of virtualised infrastructure, big data, the Consumerisation of IT, growth in remote and branch office data and the need for high availability, has introduced a new set of requirements for the software responsible for data protection and recovery.
While we’re in the cloud backup business, we understand the role tape may play as part of an overall backup strategy, especially for large enterprise organizations. With data that requires significant periods of retention; it makes sense to move backups onto lesser expensive devices – including tape.
With that being said, we don’t believe tape should be the primary method of backup for any organization of any size. There are significant drawbacks with using tape, especially in the SMB market where it is used as the primary means of backup. Here are some examples:
Limited Time for Backup
Tape is slow. It’s common to see once per day incremental or differential backups that follow a once per week full backups. Organizations don’t want to see backup operations significantly impact production resources, so these backup operations are pushed to the wee house of the morning and to weekends.
To put it bluntly, recovering from tape can be absolute hell. It’s slow, error-prone and can be difficult depending on the number of tapes for which data has to be recovered.
It is not uncommon for tapes to be useable only in the drives that wrote the data in the first place with the software that did it. So, recovering with a new tape unit might not be possible.
Tape was once the de facto standard for backup and as a result of its many challenges and with functional needs increasing, the next generation of data protection and recovery options became available including both disk and cloud backup.
Here’s where I sell you on the cloud, right? Not quite, that’s the not the purpose of this post. I’m more interested in determining if you’re comfortable using outdated backup technology to keep your company going after disaster strikes? I also want to tell you that it’s important to modernize your data backup infrastructure if it is out of date.
How much of your business is at stake if you’re unable to recover your organization’s most important data assets after a disaster?
By looking at the marketplace, it appears that organizations of all sizes tend to be conservative when it comes to making large scale changes to backup infrastructure even though there are new processes and opportunities (deduplication, continuous data protection, incremental forever, etc.) that can be exploited to improve disaster recovery and streamlined operations.
I hope that by reading this post you’ll start to think more about your backup infrastructure. Interested in learning more about managed cloud backup services?
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