Tape technology in its death throes

Organisations moving towards Cloud-based data archiving services

Tape backup technology is unquestionably in its death throes and more than 60 per cent of businesses will be using Cloud-based data archiving services within three years, Greg Wyman, StorageCraft’s Asia-Pacific vice president has predicted.

According to Wyman, a lot of small and medium businesses have stopped using tape technology over the past three to four years. Instead, they are using software to do disk-to-disk backup.

“[This enables them] to restore files in a matter of a couple of minutes, which you just cannot do with tape,” he said. “Over 50 per cent of our SMB customers have eliminated tape within their businesses today.

“Tape will end up dying because organisations will be looking at more than just archiving data, they need to be able to get to that data in production and restore files faster.

“That [trend] will move up to medium to large customers as the Cloud becomes more established as an archival medium. You have the ability to do server recovery and that is replicated to let’s call it ‘cloud 1’, you’ll replicate to a second or even third cloud, so if cloud 1 fails, you still have multiple points of redundancy.”

Wyman said that tape backups were becoming a huge pain for businesses to manage, particularly large organisations that are generating large amounts of data. Wyman used an example of an organisation that was being audited by the Australian Taxation Office and needed to extract financial data over seven years from older DLT tapes.

“You’d have to find a DLT tape drive because you were using DLT as your tape backup medium, then you’d have to build a Windows NT server and find software that runs the DLT tape drive,” said Wyman.

“Assuming [the user] can get all of that done, [they] would have to start the restore process and keep their fingers crossed that they can restore the operating system and the data, which is a huge pain.”

Instead, organisations should be using backup software to restore files faster and easier and offer true “recoverability of data”.

Wyman added that recovery-as-a-service offerings – where organisations pay a monthly fee to a third-party to provide data storage and backups – was gaining a lot of traction the market.

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