Business Continuity Plans are a must in today’s environment, where even a few hours of downtime could be very costly. Data backup procedures are a critical part of Business Continuity Plans but as the menu of backup options increases with the introduction of new technologies it can be difficult to pick criteria around which to base your data backup decisions.
Advantages of Tape backup include low cost, as tape media is relatively cheap. Scalability, as data volumes increase tape (especially LTO) has continued to scale to meet those demands. Portability, tape media is easily portable, making it simple to ship between locations for physical security or when archives and data are being relocated.
A disadvantage of using Tape back up is it can be time consuming, reading from and writing to tapes takes longer than other backup methods.
Advantages of Cloud back up include cost efficient per GB, and is less labour intensive as replication is handled as a managed service. This eliminates the need to spend hours each week physically managing backups or securing and transporting tapes.
Disadvantages of using Cloud backup are mainly around security, as they are often targeted by virtual machines, bot malware, brute force attacks, and other attacks. Data availability and Business Continuity is also a major consideration; a major risk to Business Continuity in the Cloud-computing environment is loss of internet connectivity. It is also important to consider what happens if a Cloud provider goes out of business or a new provider is chosen. How easy would it be to move content back or to another provider?
The Cloud is great for a “set it and forget it” backup of new and frequently accessed data. Tape is better in terms of cost per GB and retrieval times for larger volumes of data and comes without the reliance on internet connectivity and Cloud service providers. Your data is on your tapes, in your control .
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