Tape backup has been around since the 1960’s and whilst for many years it was the go-to reliable choice for backing up your data, your business doesn’t operate like it might have back in the 60’s. In fact your organisation is probably very different today than it was even just 5 years ago.
Now we can’t ignore that tape backup had it’s advantages; physically you can see it, hold it and know exactly where it is. You don’t need to share it with anyone else and you can hold huge amounts of data with racks upon racks of tape.
However, where tape backup falls down is in reliability, longevity and financially when you compare it to the cloud based solutions that most businesses are moving to today.
So let’s explore the top 5 reasons tape backup has had its day:
Cloud backup is more reliable
The main goal of backing up data is so you can safely retrieve it when you need it right. Physical tapes need regular maintenance, checks and tests to make sure they’re performing. But they will degrade over time, they may become unsupported and obsolete or the physical tape may even get damaged if not stored properly. Worst still your tapes could get lost or stolen meaning all of your data is in the wrong hands putting your business at serious risk. The other issue businesses face is recruiting staff that have the skills to manage tape backup systems, a skill which is slowly in decline. With cloud storage you choose exactly where your data is stored, either in a private cloud, on a public cloud or a mix of the two with a hybrid approach.
Cloud backup is faster
Backing up on tape is time consuming and manual, not only meaning it takes up valuable staff time, but also opens up the risk of human error. The cloud backup process can be automated to any schedule or frequency you need, daily or weekly for example and can also be accessed from anywhere where you have an internet connection. Which is useful when managing a remote workforce. Cloud backup is completely flexible to your needs.
Cloud recovery is quicker
A loss of data can have devastating effects on your business, it can slow down your operations or even grind them to a halt. You might also experience a loss of revenue and a damaged reputation. With a cloud backup solution, your data can be retrieved quickly and your business can carry on as normal with minimal downtime.
Cloud backup is cost effective
The amount of data your business holds is only every going to increase as we all move our operations further into the cloud and online. Not only do the physical tapes costs money, but so does the space in which they are stored and the amount of maintenance they require by someone in your team. Your on premise backup tape solution will also require different solutions for each workstation, device and cloud service. Meaning your backup solution then becomes clunky, complicated and costly. With cloud backup, you don’t need to worry about any of these costs and can enjoy a simply pay for what you need OpEx pricing model.
Cloud backup is more secure
There are lots of reasons why your data is more secure in the cloud than it is on your computer or backed up on tape. Firstly, data in the cloud is encrypted from one transfer end to another, meaning it’s scrambled making it harder for hackers to access it. Secondly, cloud provider invest huge amounts of money into data security, much more than SMEs can afford allowing them to offer enterprise level security measures, robust data policies and regulations. They also use built in firewalls which filter out suspicious traffic, acting as a virtual wall around your data to keep it safe. The popular cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are constantly increasing their levels of security with advanced monitoring and continuous investment, so you’ll know your data is always in safe hands.
Migrating to the cloud is easier than you think
For many organisations it’s not a case of if they’re going to move away from tape backup, it’s really just when. Here at Bluegrass Group we understand this can seem like a huge change for your business. Our team will ensure your journey to cloud backup, no matter how gradual you need that to be, is both smooth and hassle free. As long as you have a fairly robust Internet Connection (which we can assess and help with if needed) your migration will be simple and straightforward.
If you’re feeling like it’s really time to start exploring cloud backup solutions, here’s our top tips for disposing of your old tapes safely:
- First things first you need to make sure the tapes are demagnetised
- Next step shred those demagnetised tapes
- Alternatively find a third party who can safely do this for you and they will be able to provide a certification of destruction too.
- Finally, start enjoying the convenience of cloud backup!