Online Backup Or Tape Backup – Confused About Which To Choose?

We work in an increasingly data driven business environment where your business critical data is the core of your business. It is estimated that 60% of companies that lose their data shut down within 6 months. We are all aware of the pifalls of inadequate backups – the problem is what to do about it. What’s the most effective way to backup and secure your data?

Online backup or tape – what’s the answer?

As with a lot of things in life the answer is not straightforward and the solution probably falls somewhere in the middle. In other words a combination of tape and online backup could be the answer for your business.

Tape technology has evolved over the last 50 years into the high performance medium we use today -but is has drawbacks. One of the issues with tape backup is that it is a mechanical device that needs human intervention. Mechanisms break and human beings can forget to change the tape or take copies off site. The tape is prone to wear and tear and the issues surrounding off site storage and retrieval are not to be underestimated.

Online backup solves a lot of the issues associated with tape backup butit is not without drawbacks. If you have large quantities of data to backup cost can be an issue. Online backup software needs a certain amount of IT expertise to install and maintain and in most cases online backup relies totally on a broadband Internet connection. Internet connections are reliable but they are not 100%.

Is cost an issue?

Backing up online could be costly if you have large quantities of data to backup. Your answer may be to take advantage of online backup;but only for your vital data. You need to consider,very carefully, the data critical areas of your business. To help you brainstorm some ideas I’ve listed below some areas you need to take into account.

Business continuity.
Legal requirements
Regulatory requirements
Data protection regulations
Disaster recovery.
Inland revenue requirements
Customer data
Supplier data
Payroll records
Product specs

These are just a few of the areas you need to consider. Depending on your type of business and where you operate there may well be other vital areas you need to cover. Take the advice of both your company accountant and lawyer when drawing up your data backup strategy.

Most Important.

Whatever decision you make between online backup,tape, or a combination of both make sure you backup your vital data. Don’t become one of the companies that each year shut their doors and fold because they failed to secure their most valuable asset – their data.

Last but not least.

Online backup or tape – make sure you test your backups. You should carry out regular retrievals to make sure your data is being backup up correctly. Don’t wait to have a disaster before you realise your backup data is corrupt and unrecoverable.

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