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Don’t swap hardware, update software to save money

by on August 29, 2012

Backup tape is secure, reliable and as old as the hills. It’s consistent and tends to stand up to hackers, unlike online resources, and it can easily be scaled internally instead of paying an outside party to handle more information. So why do companies keep adding more tools to it, if not to add redundancy for backup protection?


The fact is that a lot of people assume there’s a need to move toward online data storage because they think it’s more secure. The issue here is that, by putting things constantly within the reach of hackers, it’s inherently more at risk. That’s why it’s a better idea, if you’re concerned about the safety of your tape tracking hardware, to upgrade your security software instead of spending tons of money to overhaul your entire infrastructure.

Better software solutions

It’s all well and good to have multiple solutions to ensure business continuity. Paying to replace an entire structure, though, reduces the efficiency of the remaining system, as it must absorb all data on its own, on top of being unstructured to start with. The complications of reformatting and building up a new tape tracking system digitally seems pointless if you already own a whole array of backup hardware.

Security expert Bruce Schneier wrote that it makes more sense to enhance security and firewall protocols rather than buying entirely new hardware, as one will always far outweigh the other in costs and practicality. He told eSecurity Planet that “As you move stuff to the cloud you lose control of the data.” Those familiar with eDiscovery practices know how bad that scenario can be.

Modernized systems

It’s just not necessary to replace backup tape management systems. According to Data Center Journal, the storage solution itself isn’t the weak link in the security chain, it’s the protection software that needs replacement. Unless something is broken, the source wrote, don’t fix it. If you know that your security is an issue, work on the problem within the infrastructure it targets, rather than simply removing all of those functions and paying for a different solution. The fact of the matter is, the security problem would persist no matter what kind of backup storage is in place.

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