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Why Data Backup And Recovery Systems Are Like Your Insurance Policy

From the experts | Posted on April 8, 2012 by Lesley Morris


Your data backup and recovery systems are like your insurance policy. Knowing that you have a process and system in place to ensure your data is secure and recoverable quickly and reliably means you can sleep at night knowing that your valuable corporate assets are safe.

But wait, have you tested your tape backup lately? If you have legacy tape backup systems in place – can they cope with the demands of a consolidated and virtualized infrastructure? How about the expanding volume of data growing exponentially year over year?

Challenges of a Tape Back-up Environment

Tape has long been the baseline backup medium used by most businesses, but with the arrival of consolidated infrastructures and virtualized environments the demands on legacy systems may be too complex or costly to manage depending on the types of applications and recovery point objectives in scope for the back-up.

Although moving to consolidation optimizes the use of server resources, it can also lead to challenges for backup and recovery when it creates higher server utilization, leaving little bandwidth for backup systems.

Added to that are issues around government mandated compliance regulations, multiple new business applications increasing data volumes and the growing imperative for IT to be able to focus on business initiatives, and the result is  huge pressures on legacy tape systems to meet all the competing needs.

How will I know when to make the switch to disk?

There’s no hard and fast cutoff point, but here are a few questions to ask yourself that might help clarify if you are ready for a transition.

  •  Can I meet backup windows consistently?
  •  Do I have regular backup failures?
  •  Are my backup costs growing?
  •  Am I spending more time and money on tape management?
  •  Can I back up my virtualized environment?

Tape vs. Disk

The alternative is to move to a disk based system which provides secure and reliable backup in addition to features such as data deduplication, tight integration with virtualized environments and a capacity to grow for future needs.  For more information about the advantages of disk read our recent story on Softchoice Advisor.

Still wondering about moving from tape to disk? Here’s a comparison chart that might help you decide:



Slow Backup & Restore

  •  Physical loading & unloading may impede backup windows
Faster Backup

  •  Data can be restored in minutes
Backup Process Failures

  • Tape drives, media & library failures are common

  • Reduces storage capacity by 10-30x

  • Travel to offsite locations is costly & time consuming, the cost of tape media is increasing  
Increased backup and recovery reliability

  • End to end data verification, self-healing and automated fault detection
Some data not included in backups

  • Some data is excluded because it is too time consuming to backup

  • According to IDC the average payback is just over 3 years  ROI is 450%



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