There’s a lot to debate when it comes to Tape or Cloud – but when your data is on the line, you need to be sure.

Data Backup Services New Jersey

Unexpected emergencies pose serious risks to businesses of any size. Without thorough and effective planning, a severe storm or power outage could put your company at risk of financial losses, reputational damage or worse. A reliable data backup solution tends to be the best — and often, only — way for a business to prepare for emergency situations.

However, there’s more than option out there on the market – do you know enough about the types of backup solutions to know which is best for you?

Tape Backup
Tape backup came into widespread use in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. At that time, the tapes were big reel-to-reel setups (pioneered by IBM) that remind one of the old movie projector tapes. The equipment to run these tape backups was bulky, and the full-time manpower necessary to supervise the backup was costly.

As technology progressed, so did tape backup. In the same timeframe, the field of music moved from vinyl records to 8 Track Tapes, to cassette tapes, and more recently to cd and mp3. The technology in the field of data backup has walked pretty much in lockstep with the progression found in music storage. The big reel-to-reel tape machines of the 1970’s gave way to the faster, more efficient LTO tapes that many businesses still rely on to this day.

However, a faster, more efficient tape like the LTO is still a tape. Things change over time, and just like the cassette tape and the Walkman gave way to the cd and the mp3 player, the LTO is now rightfully losing market share to a new generation of backup technology, due to some concerning disadvantages:

  • Vulnerability: The tapes that many companies are using and depending on to store and backup their data can be damaged by heat, humidity, dust, and magnetic fields.
  • Cost and Complexity: A company that wants to use tape backup must first lay out a sizeable, up-front investment to purchase and install the system. Following this, it is necessary to buy and install the software required. Once set up and running, the company incurs the daily manpower cost necessary to change out the tapes, as well as the administrative and fiscal resources that are required in the monitoring and management of proper off-site tape storage.
  • Limitations: Conventional tape storage can’t keep up with the exorbitant amount of data used by companies today.

External HDD Backup
At this point in time, an External Hard Drive backup is the most popular option, for a number of reasons. It’s simple to set up on your own, especially with the help of free software like Backup and Restore of Macrium Reflect Free for Microsoft and Time Machine for Mac. It can also be rather inexpensive compared to the alternatives, given that it only requires an investment in external storage space. Whereas a 1 terabyte hard drive could have once cost you more than $500, today you can easily find one for less than $100.

However, along with the simplicity and cost-effect come a number of disadvantages, many similar to Tape Backup:

  • Vulnerability: Depending on how you store your HDD, it can be very vulnerable. If it’s on the desk next to the computer that it’s backing up, then anything from a coffee spill to an office fire can put it out of commission. Even if you have a more complex configuration, with the HDD stored in a separate, safe room, it’s still vulnerable to any on-site disasters.
  • Failure: Especially when it comes to the less expensive consumer options (which many businesses rely on), an HDD can be susceptible to hardware failure, for any number of reasons. Without a backup for your backup, if it fails, you’re out of luck.

Cloud Backup
Power outages, cyber-attacks, hardware issues, and human error are all common occurrences – and when they stop you from getting work done, there are major effects; lost wages, diminished productivity, unhappy clients, and in some cases, legal issues. A cloud backup solution addresses each and everyone one of these possibilities. With backups of your data and applications in the cloud, you always have secure and easy access to everything you need to continue working and serving.

A robust cloud backup solution backs up to a local server that has the capability of spinning up a virtual image of your server in the event of a disaster (this does not require us to copy any data across the network, which means it will usually be back online within an hour). You can also restore individual files from the backup system. The backup runs on the hour during weekdays and is pushed off-site daily to a secured facility. This facility has the capability to spin up a virtual image of your servers at this facility in the unlikely case of a catastrophic disaster (i.e. flood, fire or theft).

That said, it’s important to remember that a backup solution is just one aspect of a comprehensive business continuity plan. Whether you go with an outdated tape backup or the modern cloud backup solution, it won’t be enough on its own. Be sure to work with an expert IT services partner to cover all your bases.

For more information about developing a comprehensive business continuity plan, get in touch with Outsource My IT at (973) 638-2722 or send an email to contactus@outsourcemyit.com.