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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

The Leap: Transitioning from Tape to Cloud Backup and Recovery

So, you’re considering making the leap from data tape to cloud backup and recovery, eh? Good for you. With today’s private cloud platforms, you’ll have peace of mind about the security of your data’s backup. Plus, you’ll join the “cutting edge” — all the cool enterprises are going cloud, so why not you?

cloud backup and recovery leap

Ready to make your leap into the cloud?

Indeed, RedmondMag.com reports that enterprise spending on public cloud infrastructure services grew 43 percent last year to total $6.1 billion, according to IT market researcher Gartner. The forecast is that spending will grow 48 percent this year, as well.

In addition, a survey of 3,236 global IT executives last fall by Symantec Corp. found 93 percent are at least discussing the use of cloud services.

But before you make a leap like that, there is plenty to consider. Hopefully this blog post will cover some that may help.

Cloud Backup and Recovery vs. Cloud Storage

If your business is of the type that is required to keep records for long periods of time due to federal compliance regulations, you likely already have that information stored on data tape. And it’s probably safe there until you no longer need it.

But data that directly affects your day-to-day operations — such as e-mail, CRM databases, employee documents, HR, etc. — is constantly changing, so cloud-based backup and recovery may be the answer, since it can be backed up incrementally at predetermined intervals, without accessing tapes.

In such a case, you can leave the long-term storage to tape, at least for the time being, while letting your cloud-based solution handle the more immediately time-sensitive backup and recovery.

How Fast Will You Need to Recover Lost Data?

The more data you store in a cloud backup and recovery tier, the longer it could take to download and restore in the event of a lost-data disaster. So, what is your “recovery time objective”, or RTO?

Chances are, cloud will provide a faster recovery than tape. And many cloud backup and recovery providers will offer an option of delivering a physical server with your data already loaded, which is invaluable in the event your physical workspace is rendered unusable, preventing download of your data.

More importantly, if your backups are incremental, and you need to only recover a certain amount of data, your RTO will be much faster via cloud restore than a bulk tape restore, significantly increasing your ability to achieve your RTO.

Is Cloud Backup and Recovery Secure?

Security should always be a huge concern. If your data tapes are stored in a well-maintained, climate-controlled vault, you can feel secure, especially if you do regular rotations and make sure your tapes are in good condition with data intact.

But many organizations have resisted going to a cloud backup and recovery platform due to security concerns, which are legitimate. Where will my information be stored? Will it always be available? What if the remote cloud servers where my information resides are affected by a disaster?

Fortunately, a private cloud solution isn’t a one-stop deal. For instance, for Louisville businesses who use TDV Cloud, they can manage their information themselves, on their servers, and the backup/recovery component exists at multiple points.

Furthermore, per Yotta280.com, tape backup is a one-level backup and may not be much, if any, safer.

“Tape technology itself is changing,” writes Yotta280 blogger Terry Fields. “The newer technologies/software is not made backward compatible and much of the data copied onto onto tapes in the past become irrecoverable. Further, the tape owners and cloud vendors may not have access to the software that can read the data. So, the data will have to be read at the customer location using the appropriate proprietary software that was used to write the data and the output copied to a temporary location before it can be transferred to the cloud vendor’s storage.”

How Much Data Will You be Backing Up?

Many organizations have employees who use their own devices — smartphones, notebooks, iPads, etc. — for work. That media isn’t usually connected to the company’s network, and thus aren’t backed up regularly. What happens if a notebook containing valuable company data goes corrupt, or gets accidentally dropped into a toilet or left on a plane? Oops.

With some cloud backup and recovery solutions, those devices can be backed up remotely by the users. So if your sales team is at a conference, they can simply connect to the Internet and back up the info from their hotel. You can’t readily do that with a traditional server-to-tape solution.

If your business utilizes a “bring your own device” policy for employees on the go, cloud backup and recovery is something you should strongly consider.

In Conclusion

There is much more to consider as you contemplate making the leap; we’ll explore more of those in a later post. But as noted before, enterprises are more and more turning to cloud backup solutions for their data backup and data recovery needs, if only to ensure their disaster recovery plan can meet RTOs.

As Fields wrote for Yotta280.com, “Migrating from tape to cloud is a sign of maturity of the SMB and the enterprise. IT needs to follow technology and the cloud, unlike the tape, makes it easier to do so.”

Want to learn more about how TDV Cloud can give your company a backup and recovery advantage? Contact us today.

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