If the answer is “yes” – it is time to take a look at newer, better and much much more useful technology.
First a brief discussion of tape technology to set the mood:
- Do you know how old the technology is surrounding backing up to tape? 1951
- When is the last time you used a tape drive for anything besides your critical business data? Cassettes? 8-track? Home movies?
- Do you know if you can actually restore from your tapes?
- Did you know they wear out (rapidly) and access to the data can become spotty or impossible?
- How many tapes does it take to back up all of your data? You are backing it ALL up aren’t you?
- Does your tape backup require human intervention to operate – as in replacing tapes?
- Do your tapes remain in the same building as your servers? So they would be exposed to the same potential disaster (fire, water leak, theft, etc.) as the servers that they backup?
There is a pattern here. Tape backup is outdated, error prone and unreliable.
There is a better way
A backup appliance
A backup appliance is a device that contains a processor (so it is smart), disk drives and software. It connects to your network, storage system or directly to your servers to backup ALL of your critical data. Most (if not all) have the ability to connect to the “cloud” and automatically create a second copy of your data in a secure offsite datacenter (just in case your facility or backup appliance experiences a problem).
Some of the benefits of the backup appliance include:
- Set it up and forget it (no human intervention or changing tapes)
- Faster backups
- Higher capacity (way higher)
- Single file restore (as in “I deleted my spreadsheet and need it back now”)
- Ability to backup several servers or all computers attached to the network
- Automatic status updates
- Backing up servers while they are still performing their normal activities
- No tapes to buy, lose, replace, store
- De-duplication (why backup the same info over and over again if it has not changed?)
- Security (encryption and/or closed access to data)
- Automatic cloud storage for disasters
- Ability to “spin up” a virtual server on the appliance to serve your data if your server dies. That means you do not actually lose the abilities of the servers you are backing up
- Instant access to backed up data even if your Internet connection is down (if you are just using a cloud backup)
- Peace of mind
So if you are still backing up to tape – it is time to look at the latest technology for your data and business’ sake.