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Tape vs. Cloud: The Data Recovery Debate Rages On

Since the rapid rise of Big Data and cloud adoption for backup and data recovery began in recent years, the tape-vs.-cloud debate has been a hot one. Some prefer the hands-on, physical backup tape provides, while some argue for the efficiency of cloud backup in case of a disaster.

TechTarget.com recently published an article that details this debate through interviews with analysts and experts.

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There are plenty of interesting comments worth considering, especially if you’re looking at options for your data recovery solution. Here are some highlights:

– Many companies are backing up to a local appliance, replicating it to a cloud infrastructure and then also replicating it elsewhere on the back end for disaster recovery or other uses. “As a concept, using the cloud — whether public or private — as a large component of your backup regimen is definitely an emerging trend,” said Rachel Dines of Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. “I’m seeing quite a bit of adoption of disk-to-disk-to-cloud.”

-Another analyst said it is a bad idea to eliminate tape and move entirely to the cloud. “I hate it,” said Ben Woo, managing director of New York City-based Neuralytix Inc. “I think there’s still an absolute need and an absolute place for tape, particularly for large organizations. Cloud is great for fault tolerance, but when it comes to true disaster recovery, when there are unfortunately man-made or natural disasters like 9-11 or Sandy, [and] you need to rebuild your data center from scratch, to me, there’s no alternative to tape. What are you going to do with the cloud? You’re not going to pull the wires over the Internet.”

-Connor Fee, director of marketing for Natick, Mass.-based cloud-integrated storage vendor Nasuni, said the public cloud is usually the better option for storage than private clouds. “Public is better than private — with one caveat,” Fee said. “When I say public cloud vs. private cloud, I am referring exclusively to storage. I can say that because we’ve run four years of annual testing and I can tell you that the best of the public stuff is so much better than the rest of the public stuff, and definitely better than what you’re running with private stuff. The other caveat is the customer owns, holds and applies a private encryption key.”

Well, we know that the cloud adoption trend for backup and data recovery is still there. One recent study reported that 75 percent of its 850 respondents are currently using a cloud platform of some kind. That’s up from 67 percent last year.

Interested in learning more about cloud backup and data recovery? Download our free white paper titled “10 Sins of Enterprise Backup and Recovery.”

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