Tape vs. Online Backup
Recent advancements in network speeds within Australia, have seen a large increase in the number of organisations moving from tape to online backup. Improved broadband capabilities have reduced the previously lengthy backup window associated with online backup.
Where historically backup windows for tape based backup were shorter than online, the opposite is now true in most instances. The rollout of the NBN will only further reduce the backup window for online backup.
One of the main issues with tape backup is the number of mechanical parts contained within a tape drive. Mechanical devices by their nature are prone to wear and tear, which can lead to expensive hardware replacements. Although the software utilised for tape backup is automatic, the physical process of unloading and reloading tapes can place a considerable time and labour expense on a business.
However, the biggest advantage of online backup is data restoration. Restoring data from tape is an extremely difficult and time consuming task. Catalogues need to be restored, servers need to be rebuilt, and data needs to be found. Finding an individual file on a 4TB LTO6 is an arduous and time consuming task, which can take weeks. Online backup, on the other hand, allows a server to be rebuilt in a few hours.
Tape vs. Online Backup Table:
|Tape Backup||Online Backup|
|Ease of Data Restoration||Time consuming and difficult to restore data.||Files can easily be restored over a network connection.|
|Maintenance and Management||Requires technicians to design, manage and maintain tape backup processes and recover data.||Management of backups takes less time and can be outsourced to an experienced IT consultant.|
|Reliability||High mechanical and write failures.||Less mechanical parts and less movement of media leads to improved reliability.|
|Scalability||Limited to capacity of tape drive and media type||High scalability, disks can easily be added to storage arrays.|
|Security||Risk of theft when moving tapes between premise||Risk of hacking when maintained on a network connection.|