Tape vs. Online Backup: Why a Hybrid Solution Might be Your Best Bet

Stories of data breaches and corporate data loss are an almost everyday occurrence, common enough that many businesses are beginning to take a closer look at how they protect their information. But implementing the right solution can be confusing given the seemingly conflicting views surrounding data protection best practices. The debate over tape vs. online backup can seem like completely different schools of thought, but a closer look highlights how they may be the perfect complement to one another.

Tape backup: a history of reliability

Backup tape cartridges have been around for over 60 years now and continue to be a fast and effective method for storing a large amount of data. Currently, the highest capacity tape cartridges can hold 8.5 TB of data—an extremely large amount considering 10 TB of data could hold the equivalent of the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress.

Given the new technology of online backup services, tape backup is often casually dismissed as being outdated. Yet in truth, many companies still utilize tape backup for the following reasons:

  • reliable data transfer speed
  • low power consumption
  • high data capacity
  • long-term data reliability

Especially for archival data that is rarely accessed, tape backup is more cost-effective than an online backup solution from a cost-per-GigaByte standpoint. Similarly, transferring large amounts of data to tape can be achieved in a fraction of the time it would take to do so to online. Further, if kept in the right environment, backup tapes can be preserved for upwards of 30 years, providing much better long-term reliability than disk-based solutions.

New school all the way: online backup

There’s no shortage of online backup solutions available to businesses. A simple web search will provide you with a plethora of options. Online backup is especially attractive because unlike tape backup, it does not require an investment in hardware or software. At a very low entry cost, businesses can get an automated, convenient solution for backing up data. Online backup also offers the following advantages:

  • web-based data restoration
  • quick installation and deployment
  • nominal backup and recovery administration
  • quick data recovery
  • simultaneous backup capability

It’s easy to see why online backup is so appealing—there’s no physical equipment to fuss with and data is available and can be readily transferred to any location with an internet connection 24/7/365.

How a hybrid backup solution can help your business

Combining the capacity and reliability of tape backup with the convenience and ease of online backup can provide comprehensive data protection for your business. A hybrid solution uses tape backup for rarely accessed, archival information or critical data integral to complete disaster recovery capabilities. Data that needs to be either accessed more frequently or used to support daily business processes can then be protected with online backup. The key is defining what data is needed and how often. Once your due diligence is completed, you’ll have a renewed sense of confidence knowing you’re better prepared to meet any set of data loss scenarios.

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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