For years the standard procedure for businesses that bothered to backup their data was to use a tape system. In the last decade, a number of factors, such as improving internet speeds, ever growing data sizes and improved security have inspired large numbers of business to implement a cloud backup solution.
These improvements are on top of the inherent drawbacks to a tape, disk or a locally based backup method. All three methods requires a lot of management and there are plenty of points where problems can (and do) occur. Here are just a few;
- Tapes or disks can be corrupted
- Someone has to physically set up the storage vehicle
- Tapes and disks have to be ordered carefully in chronological order
- Providers have been known to lose storage tapes from time to time, in sometimes high profile cases
- 77% of companies that do test their tape backups experience failures
Despite the drawbacks to tape, disk and local backup options, many businesses still don’t currently or even plan to use online or cloud backup solutions. Many feel that they aren’t secure enough; that it would be too easy for someone to hack in and steal their data. This is entirely dependent on the provider, and a good provider should use the highest of encryption standards, such as FIPS 140-2. Encryption of data is something that comes as standard with most cloud backup providers. Even the biggest tape provider, Iron Mountain, only began to encrypt data in 2005, after it had lost track of several customers’ data, which just happened to be unencrypted. Too little, too late, for those customers.
For any IT provider, being able to quickly restore a customers’ working environment in the event of a disaster, should be one of their primary concerns. This simply isn’t possible with an off-site tape solution, which requires couriering of the tapes back to the customer’s site (or sites). This is a costly exercise, both in time and money, and can significantly damage a SMBs long term functioning.
It begs the question, why a company would chose an unreliable, cumbersome and potentially insecure method of backup over a modern, highly secure and dependable one.