The Ancient Practice of Tape Backups — Still Relevant?


Back in the day, around 15+ years ago, a method of disaster recovery called tape backup was used to protect the average SMB’s data. Just as it sounds, physical tapes held data and were stored offsite and brought back for extraction if an organization experienced a breach or lost their data. Everything old seems to be coming back into style, from record players to Pong, but can we say the same for tape backups? The quick and somewhat obvious answer should be “no”. Though there could be a minimal amount of pros for present-day tape backup use, the cons largely outweigh them.

They Were the Cheaper Option, but Are Tapes Still Less Expensive?


Because in the past you’d be able to store one gigabyte for about $0.02 cents, everyone assumed it to be the cheapest possible storage and recovery option. However, take into consideration the amount it costs to transport all those tapes from one location to the office, and how much you must pay people, hours upon hours, to recover data in case of an emergency. With all that, the cost is no longer all that different from a proper cloud-based recovery plan. Plus, with the emergence of big data, more tapes than is feasible would be required to secure everything you needed.

Some Consider Tapes to be More Secure, Is That Actually True?

Tapes are generally stored in what companies consider safe, offsite repositories. Many people have it in their minds that physical storage is safer than cloud backups since you can see a physical unit whereas you can’t see the cloud and don’t know who has access to it. Although it is true that you can physically lock up a tape in what you consider to be a safe house, you’ll likely only have one copy of each tape and one copy of your data. If, say, during transportation, a broken or dropped tape goes unnoticed, that backup data will be gone. This is especially problematic if it is erased from your main system. With excellent disaster recovery plans, there will always be more than one copy of data made. Having all these different sources to recover from removes any worry of breaking or losing one piece of data, as it will be available in another capacity. Also, the amount of encryption you can use on an electronic copy of data completely outweighs one’s ability to lock down data on a tape.

Tapes Used to Seem Like the Reliable Choice — Are They?


As mechanical devices, tapes are predisposed to degrade and, eventually, fail. Dust can get trapped in moving parts, general wear and tear, and human error can impact the data stored on tapes. This renders them unusable and unhelpful when disaster strikes and recovery must begin.

The Way Forward.

Even if you’re dead-set on using tapes, with the latest advances in cloud recovery technology, it is highly recommended by the majority of IT professionals to keep the tapes for long-term archiving and switch to a disaster recovery solution that works. StorageCraft is the data recovery pro. We can help you find the perfect for solution for the needs of your business with our wide variety of products. Contact us today for more details or request a free demo of our OneXafe.