Online Data Storage Or Tape Backup - Whats Better?

By: Andrew Stratton

Some business owners think their media-oriented backup systems (tape drives, zip drives, CDs) are all they need to insure reliable online business transactions.? But there are hidden costs to those systems that may make online storage a better idea for day-to-day backup.

There's a certain appeal, granted, to having all your business data - customer files, order information, organizational data - right there on tape, disc or zip drive on your own servers in your own offices or stored nearby.

Media based technologies once were, in fact, the most popular means for backing up crucial business data. However, these solutions have an escalating total cost of ownership and simply don't provide the most secure data protection available today.? As the business' data grows, additional tapes, zip disks and CDs must be purchased, driving up equipment and maintenance costs.

And consider this....

What if there's a fire?? What if the fire, itself, is put out before much damage is done, but the sprinkler systems have gone off, drenching your IT facility along with everything else?? What if a Trojan invades your servers?? What if any one of dozens of all-too-common disasters strike and obliterate your carefully backed up business files in an instant?

If your media-based backup systems are all you're relying on and something happens to damage or destroy them, your business is instantly up the proverbial creek without a paddle.? And beyond the physical risk of sole reliance upon that kind of backup, the fact is that it's more expensive, as well.

At first glance, media backups may seem to be cheaper, but there are hidden costs and hassles in using them that aren't present with - aren't even a consideration in - a remote, online backup system.

With media-based backups, an employee (or two or three) must physically see to the backup, and as well as time spent doing so there is the very real fact that human beings make human errors.? Beyond that, the media files have to be physically transported to and from an off-site storage area ...

the storage area, itself, must be leased ... the recovery process is unreliable, as well as time- and labor-intensive ... restoring down to a single-file level can be very challenging ... and, finally, you have no way of knowing whether data was accurately backed up.

With an online data backup system, there's no personnel (and therefore no human error or salaried time) involved ... it gets your data safely stored offsite for you, without anyone having to carry it there ... you can schedule automatic backups for the middle of the night ... you can restore a single file or an entire entry with just a couple of mouse clicks ... you have access to at least twice as many (often more) historical versions of your data files ... and you are automatically notified if there is any kind of glitch in the backup process.

Many companies today are opting to use both a tape/zip/CD backup and a remote backup system, relegating their media-based systems to performing monthly backups and utilizing the remote system for daily data backups. This is proving to be a very cost-effective approach in terms of employee costs and wear and tear on tapes and server hardwareBusiness Management Articles, and one well worth considering in the ever-changing world of online commerce.

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