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Tape Management: A Necessary Nuisance

by on September 20, 2011

A survey of 125 small businesses turned up this not-so-surprising result: 31 percent of small-business owners said that backing up data is a nuisance that takes time away from running their business. With this outlook in mind, it’s also not surprising that the same study revealed that 48 percent of small businesses with between two and 20 employees had experienced data loss.

IStock_000017562963XSmall Of course, the study does talk about the data backup methods these small businesses are using—so, clearly, they seem to be doing some level of backup. But one might venture a guess that many organizations for which backup is a nonessential hassle—versus a critical part of running the business—are managing the backup process haphazardly or not at all, resulting in data loss.

Backup management is one area where the old saying really applies: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” No matter how much of a hassle backing up your data is, it doesn’t compare to the world of hurt a preventable data loss can bring to your organization.

For companies backing up to tape, the ounce of prevention is not just about making sure that you do run backups, but also about managing your tapes effectively. Investing the time and budget up front in developing a strategy and/or a system for managing your tapes can save you from needing pounds and pounds of “cure” down the road.

Managing backup tapes, like other routine technology tasks, is not why most of us got into IT in the first place—or why most entrepreneurs started their small businesses. But while there’s nothing glamorous about tape management, not managing your tapes could have a decidedly unglamorous result. Not being able to find a tape needed to perform a data restore, respond to an e-discovery request or meet compliance requirements is a much bigger hassle than just managing backups properly in the first place.

Tape offers a low-cost, reliable backup method that is straightforward to manage—and with today’s tape management systems, there’s no excuse for the type of data loss the surveyed organizations reported. Nuisance or not, tape management is a critical part of protecting your business—one that you’ll ignore at your own peril.

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