Is Tape Dead or Here to Stay?

In today’s world more and more business functions taking place online. A recent Microsoft-commissioned study found that 52% of organizations are turning to the cloud for business growth. Electronic vaulting of business data offers many advantages, including:

  • cost-effective backup and recovery
  • flexible and scalable data protection
  • reduction of hardware and administration backup-related expenses

At the speed with which reliance on cloud-based solutions has increased within the past several years, it would seem that the traditional method of backing up to tape is on its way out. But tape still provides several advantages that lead businesses to continue to incorporate it as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy:

  • fast extraction of critical data
  • low cost per GB of storage
  • reliability
  • tape drives consume less power than disk-based hardware

As a result, tape is still used as an effective and reliable solution for the cost-effective preservation of large amounts of corporate data.

Tapes require physical security and protection

Knowing tape is here to stay, it’s important to take the correct steps to protect this backup media throughout the information lifecycle. Given their large data storage capacities, backup tapes are not simply innocuous pieces of plastic. Instead, they are extremely desirable targets for theft. Because of this, it’s critical to assess post-backup procedures that might put sensitive data at risk. Environmental conditions also pose a threat to data written to tape, meaning magnetic media assets require a highly regulated and monitored storage environment.

Professional media protection offers a long-term protection and preservation solution for backup tapes. Offsite media vaulting maximizes the lifespan of digital media by offering an off-site storage environment that minimizes the following risks to backup tapes:

  • humidity, dust and UV light contamination
  • flood and fire damage
  • unauthorized access and/or theft

Proper management and tracking of digital media facilitates strong data recovery capability

A professional media storage solution also ensures that critical backup media is rotated on a regular basis to meet disaster recovery and regulatory requirements. Tapes are tracked with sophisticated bar-code inventory control technology so that mission critical data can be located and retrieved at a moment’s notice to support data recovery objectives. Your data protection solution provider should also be able to provide secure destruction of expired backup tapes that meets the privacy protection requirements of the following laws:

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

Tape is far from being dead. Instead, it will continue to be used alongside electronic vaulting as part of a hybrid backup solution that enables redundant and comprehensive data protection.

Archives Management Centers provides data protection solutions to businesses throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties. To find out more, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.

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