3 major problems with tape backup systems [Must Read]

by | Apr 6, 2016 | Business Continuity

Tape backup systems and why they are for the birds.

Your company can’t survive without its data. If you don’t have strong, reliable methods for backing up data, you leave yourself open to significant financial losses. High-quality data backups protect you against employee errors, physical disasters, and cyber attacks; for example, city officials in Durham, North Carolina recently avoided giving cyber criminals money after a ransomware attack, because they had data backups that remained uninfected by the powerful malware.

However, it’s not enough to simply make copies of your data. You need to pick the best backup solutions. There are numerous options, and many of them still leave you vulnerable to permanent data loss.

Should You Use Tape Backup Systems?

One potential backup solution involves storing copies of data from computing devices on tape cartridges. Companies may choose tape backups systems because they’re often inexpensive and offer a way to back up large amounts of data separate from the computing devices employees use day-to-day.

However, there are some important drawbacks to tape backup systems that you need to consider before investing in them.

  • Physical damage: Tape cartridges can damage easily, resulting in a significant loss of data. Damage can stem from something as minor as accidentally touching a magnetized area on the cartridge. And you may not even realize you’ve lost any data until you need the backup.
  • Theft: Tapes can get stolen from wherever you keep them, whether it’s your office or an off-site location that lacks sufficient protection. Furthermore, many companies don’t encrypt the data on the cartridges; encryption can be trickier to manage with tapes.
  • Slow data restoration: Depending on the system you use, where you store your tapes, how you organize them, and whether or not you need to install additional software on your computers to obtain the backup, you could be looking at days or even weeks for data restoration. That amount of time can prove too costly for your business, especially if you need to restore critical data. Data restoration needs to take place reliably and quickly, minimizing down time; otherwise you’ll lose too much money.
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Tape backup systems may not work well for your company and could leave you with significant vulnerabilities to data loss.

One alternative is to rely on a high-quality hybrid cloud backup system. This kind of approach maintains copies of your data at your business location and off-site in the cloud. Your data remains accessible, secure and easily restored from multiple devices if you sustain a cyber disaster. Hybrid cloud backup systems can also give you greater flexibility in how you organize and accommodate larger volumes of data.

To discuss the data backup solutions that would work best for your company, please contact us.

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.