Caleb Tennis Tape backups go bye-bye

February 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

SANOur friends at Data Center Knowledge have a great article about how hard drives are replacing tapes for backup purposes.

This is something we’ve seen, and experienced now for a while. The overall cost of a hard drive based system is on par with, if not cheaper, than a comparable tape system.  But factor in “other” costs and it really puts the hard drive system over the edge.

First, one cannot underestimate the human cost.  Someone has to rotate the tapes, and replace bad ones in the deck over time.  This requires a person to constantly monitor the system, something which over time usually languishes.

Second, it’s hard to know if the tape has gone bad until you need it.  While modern tape decks will issue error reports, it’s not always obvious that data was not on a tape until you go to restore from it – and it doesn’t work.  And obviously, that’s the time it’s needed most.

Third, you simply never know when a vendor is going to stop supporting your tape hardware – something happening more and more often.  With a SAN based system, it’s easier to migrate data between vendors over time.  And hard drives are much faster at data transfer than tape based systems.

As the article points out, it’s sometimes even cheaper to buy a direct Gig-E link between your primary facility and your off-site data center and do a backup over-the-wire than use a tape system and rotate tapes offsite manually.

Interested in this approach?  We’ve implemented it for multiple customers, and can help implement it for you as well – saving you money each month on your current tape based system.  Contact us to learn more.

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