Magnetic tape backup has existed in various forms since the 1950s and is a seemingly inexpensive option.

However, with many world class CIOs moving away from tape-based backup and recovery solutions, you may want to consider their reasons for doing so:

Poor backup performance:-

  • Tape systems have difficulty meeting shrinking backup windows.
  • Not conducive to the remote and off-site user requirements.
  • Daily and weekly incremental backups exceed the allotted time windows.
  • Recovery from physical tape is cumbersome.

Lengthy recovery time:-

  • Difficult to recover in a “user” environment.
  • Recovery of business-critical data and applications from tape can take many hours, if not days.
  • Ironically, the “best practice” of using off-site tape repositories adds to recovery time.

Increased operational and capital costs:-

  • Tape deployments are costly and cumbersome to maintain.
  • Adding capacity to existing tape libraries and upgrading tape drive technology to non-compatible, higher-capacity media is costly.
  • Ongoing service, support and warranty is high, especially for aging tape systems.

The risk of defective, lost or misplaced tapes:-

  • Shipping tape cartridges to off-site repositories exposes firms to security breaches and risks due to loss.
  • Defective media can result in risking unrecoverable data.
  • IT organisations must invest in tape encryption and key management systems to alleviate security risks, which adds cost and complexity.
  • The “human element” involved when handling tape adds to risk of data loss and increases operational costs.

Poor storage efficiency:-

  • Explosion in the growth of redundant data using tape back up – cannot easily use data de-duplication techniques.
  • Tape-based compression is typically only 2:1 resulting in many sets of media – typically 1 TB of data needs 25 TB of media, using the generation tape archiving concept.
  • Need to move to another media type to gain additional capacity.
  • Tape is not always read or write compatible.

With some business continuity experts quoting a 42 – 71% chance of backup failure when using magnetic tapes, it may well be time to investigate what your choices are.

Contact us for more information on the best solution for your particular business.

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