Mention Shakespeare and everyone spouts “To be or not to be.” Mention backup, and the question becomes, “To tape or not to tape?” Is tape dead, or do tape-based backup systems still have a place in the modern small business?
Tape was once the only option because hard disks were incredibly expensive. And since old habits die hard, many believe tape is the default standard for backup even today.
Alas, poor Yorick, I knew tape, but tape dwindles in usefulness today, close to useless in the modern small business. Just as VHS tapes gave way to DVDs, tape backups are giving way to hard disk and Internet-based backup. Nearly unlimited disk storage space has changed the backup dynamic in ways tape can't match.
Let's take a look at how disk and online backups protect your data more completely than tape systems. Then, for those who still watch movies on VHS and believe tape is the only “real” backup method, let's look at ways to keep tape systems alive just a little longer.
For all practical purposes, hard disks, local or online, provide an infinite pool of data storage space. For local storage, 1TB hard disks (1,000 gigabytes) can be found for around $100. Add a few to a backup server or network attached storage device, and you have years of backup space for the typical small business.
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By: James E. Gaskin