Still Using Tapes for Back-up? What are the Costs and Benefits of Automation with a Cloud Solution?

Organisations have been using tape as a means of backup for decades. While it has been a tried and trusted method, that doesn’t mean that it’s still the best solution for your backup needs. Many have seen the comparisons to disk back-up, which largely land in favor of tape back-up due to its low-cost capabilities which outweigh the pros of disk back-up, but most modern organisations have moved to incorporate both into their business continuity and disaster recovery strategies. Now, there is a viable third solution which is safe, cost-effective, fast and doesn’t require any designated physical storage space to replace tape: cloud-based backup.

Why do people still use tape?

Using tape as a means of long-term data archiving is still very popular and often the go-to method for meeting regulatory requirements: it is a relatively simple process and cheap to set-up when compared to disk back-up when used for this purpose.

However, tape back-up isn’t considered to be as cost-effective as it once was perceived. As tape used to be the primary means of back-up storage, the other costs, such as the time taken to create back-ups, updates with new back-ups, transport or storing back-ups, and the retrieve specific back-ups, were not considered as they were just part of the process. Nowadays, however, time is money, everything moves much quicker, and the focus has changed from simply having a back-up to needing to fulfil time restore and point restore objectives. So, if there is a faster solution which is as effective, if not more so, it degrades how cost-effective and viable it is to use tape as a back-up medium. 

Tape has become far less relevant as a means of backing up data, with cloud and automation being presented as far superior methods of meeting the demands of the modern organisation. While it is important to have more than one media for back-up purposes, tape has become out-dated.

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Cloud has emerged as the superior option

You can restore tapes to any location, but you need to attain the tapes and run the restore. In a situation of disaster recovery, this will be a very slow and location-dependant exercise as you’ll need tape drives to run the tapes. While individual restore from tapes is possible, the difficulty and additional time expenditure come from running the back-ups. You can either: do off-site back-ups during the day which could potentially harm performance; taking a single daily back-up allows for single restore point, which isn’t a good choice for important services; or do it out of hours and hope that an error doesn’t occur that may not be picked-up and acted upon until the next working day.

Using automation with a cloud solution alleviates these problems and can form a practical part of an organisation’s disaster recovery and business continuity strategy. Cloud storage is always available for you to recover your data from and it organises your data so that you can select which recoveries take precedence. It being automated also means that human intervention isn’t required and restores can occur quickly. Cloud technology has come a long way in recent years, with built-in security scanning and the ability to add external services, such as Office 365, adding more perks to using the service. Cirro Solutions gives you access to the Veeam Cloud Connect, from which you can restore from your back-up quickly and securely. 

This isn’t to say that tape back-ups have become completely futile as they can still be a core part of any modern back-up strategy, but disk back-up provides a superior method of on-site or physical back-up for a business continuity or disaster recovery strategy while cloud-based solutions replace tape as a practical element of those necessary strategies.

Further Reading

The Essential Checklist for Finding a Business Continuity Provider

Business Continuity Guide – How to Plan

With versatility comes further cost-effectiveness

Cloud-based back-up solutions have become far more cost-effective than they once were, with the new price point making the service far more economical. There are many different ways that cloud solutions can be applied, allowing providers such as Cirro Solutions to tailor the plan to specific needs, shedding any excess costs for elements that you may not require. 

As well as service versatility, simply using the Cloud makes your organisation more versatile when you need to back-up or restore data. A cloud-based solution can be automated to take snapshots at timed intervals, such as every hour, or in whatever timeframe suits you. Cirro also enables you to extend your domain into the Cloud environment, giving you a Cloud-based restore location, allowing you to continue to run live production services as a part of an automated disaster recovery plan

Once you are set-up, cloud back-up becomes a practical, fast, easy, cost-effective, and safe means for you to back-up your organisation’s data. 

To see how our automated cloud solution can help your organisation greatly improve its back-up strategy, get in contact with one of our expert Business Continuity Consultants today, or email us at: [email protected]