Tape still vital for enterprise storage and disaster recovery


Although a number of new technologies have emerged in recent years that facilitate more actionable enterprise storage and disaster recovery initiatives, companies may still be wise to utilize tape-based storage in select instances.


As of late, the average firm has been far more likely to look into a cloud computing solution over alternatives for meeting their evolving storage and security needs. After all, the cloud offers a number of key benefits that on-premise legacy equipment cannot provide, including easy scalability, remote accessibility and improved cost efficiency.


However, the rise of cloud computing does not necessarily negate other storage options, namely tape-based solutions. Although some firms may view tape as an antiquated technology when compared with remotely hosted solutions, IT analyst George Crump wrote for InformationWeek that it is an ideal technology to leverage in conjunction with the cloud.


“Questions about the usefulness of tape come up often in conversations with users and vendors,” Crump wrote. “The general theory, especially by cloud storage vendors, is that tape has outlived its usefulness. The reality is that it has not; in fact, I often make the case that tape is actually more useful than it has ever been, especially in the cloud.”


Why tape is still helpful

One of the key benefits of tape-based storage, according to Crump, is that it provides businesses with a cost-effective way to build redundancy into data storage networks. Although the cloud is an ideal option for meeting many storage and application hosting needs, enterprises often need to have additional solutions in place. For example, many compliance solutions providers often recommend having the same data stored in multiple locations in the event of an audit or unplanned downtime.


Consider the example of the Ontario Provincial Government. Earlier this year, the Energy Minister’s former chief of staff was accused of deleting official emails. According to Computing Canada, compounding the issue was that the department only backed up one day’s worth of emails and their data migration solution did not account for messages not present in an inbox at the end of a day. If the agency had a tape-based redundant storage system in place, then perhaps they would have had an easier time complying with provincial laws dictating that all official correspondences be safely stored.


Additionally, the redundancy offered by tape-based storage is especially useful for disaster recovery purposes, Crump noted. In the rare event that a cloud-based solution goes down, tape ensures that mission-critical data can still be recovered. Plus, in comparison with other data backup solutions, tape is usually far more economical.


The recent flooding in Calgary demonstrates how tape is still ideal for disaster recovery in certain instances. The Sun News Network reported that Internet access and critical infrastructure in downtown Calgary was temporarily shut downduring the flooding that crippled parts of southern Alberta earlier this month. If businesses operating in this area exclusively used the cloud, then the flooding would have entirely cut them off from their mission-critical data and applications. However, this temporary loss of connectivity would have not been as damaging if the organization also leveraged on-premise tape-based options.


To determine if tape, in conjunction with a cloud computing solution, is ideal for your business, talk with FlexITy. As Canada’s leading IT consulting services firm, FlexITy has assisted enterprise clients in a variety of industries meet unique business needs. Armed with this knowledge, FlexITy can help any organization determine what available solutions are best for meeting the enterprise IT demands of today and tomorrow.