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The past still lives in the present

by on September 18, 2012

Some people have said that time has changed, that backup tape isn’t what it was. That’s become clear in the way some of them handle their data, moving to online structures and building virtualized servers. At the same time, though, the number of companies suffering from breaches has increased dramatically due to online storage without viable backups to protect corporate information, putting their continuity and livelihood at risk.

Tape is old. It’s 60 years old as of September 2012, as IBM put the first UNIVAC 1 machine into operation and started constructing the Model 305 Ramac in 1952, according to The Wall Street Journal. In that time the media industry has expanded tremendously and the internet has been born and expanded beyond the limits of anything data was expected to see. Handling all this information has become a titanic feat for organizations of all sizes, but without the backbone of backup tape, many of them would still be faltering.

Tape’s still got it
The cloud has provided businesses and consumers with a fast, cheap and dirty solution to mission-critical information storage. So long as whomever owns the data has a link to the internet and enough bandwidth to support the download, these files can be extracted, reviewed and replaced in real time, allowing for an enhanced level of collaboration never before thought possible.

The downside here is obvious in the previous statement – so long as there’s an internet connection. As soon as there’s a power outage, a business has no way to contact that file storage resource, and if it’s a serious natural disaster, there may not be network connectivity for days. So much for business continuity.

Holding the tape
Still, about one-third of companies use the cloud in some way, according to Channel Pro, while nearly half are using backup tape as their main resource. Companies understand that having lightning-fast resources is desirable, but without any secondary storage reliability, businesses placing all their files online are basically giving hackers free run of their information. As for eDiscovery and continuity, a cloud-only approach is doomed to failure. That’s why organizations are still predominantly using tape after all this time.

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