The Death of the Backup Tape

by | Feb 20, 2015 | Business Continuity, Cloud & Hosting

Is backup tape still relevant today?

Backup tape has been a standby for years, but like all other technology that has been around that long, it is obsolete. The unique thing about this obsolescence is that it has come about for very good reason. Modern backup methods offer more than mere incremental improvements – they also eliminate the downsides of old-fashioned backup tape.

Reliability is one of the biggest issues that can affect backup tape. It degrades over time, so all of the data on it must be transferred to new tape every few years. This is a costly and time-consuming process, so many businesses don’t do it as often as they should. Some don’t even do it at all. This can lead to catastrophe when the day finally comes to try to use the backups.

Just checking tapes is a time-consuming process. This is because tape must be read from beginning to end – and there can be literally miles of tape wound onto those relatively compact-looking reels. Even with file systems that allow for fast-forwarding, reaching a file at the end will take a very long time. Needless to say, this is a big deterrent against the practice of checking the tapes. Because of it, many businesses don’t find out that their backups are useless until they actually try to use them.

Even in the best of conditions, on-site storage of tapes comes with another problem: They can be destroyed by fire, flood, and other catastrophic events. This leaves businesses vulnerable during the very situations where stability and security are essential.

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The solution to these problems is to switch from tape to cloud backup. Cloud backup systems use offsite servers to securely store company information. Since these systems don’t use tapes, they can save and restore data within minutes instead of hours or days. Their offsite location also keeps the data safe from on-site catastrophes like fire. Finally, remote backup systems are kept inside of secure data centers, so the chance of physical theft of the storage media is all but eliminated.

To learn more about how our hybrid cloud backup systems make tape backup obsolete, just contact us. We’ll be glad to explain everything and get your company set up with a safe, stable backup & recovery plan.

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.