When we were reviewing the main strengths of traditional tape and disk storage with our team and some of our customers to help shape our cloud-based service, it really became clear that this question should be reversed.
Instead of asking the question of whether your organisation is ready for cloud backup, perhaps the question that should actually be posed is ‘why would your organisation not go for cloud backup’.
In this article, we explore the day-to-day reality of working with tape or disk solutions, and put this in the context of cloud-based storage and backup.
Get this on tape
The day-to-day reality for IT departments working with tape are that you’ll need to commit more time to finding your data, maintaining it, and recovering it.
The introduction of LTO-5s LTFS linear tape filing systems (the main selling point of which is they make tapes function more like hard disks) has made it quicker to find your data on tapes by making it possible to actually find specific data on a tape without needing to search through everything. However, it’s still not as fast as a hard disk based storage solution.
Tapes also need attention – they need a pristine environment in order to prevent dust and dirt from interfering with their performance. And they also need logging, labelling and testing – while this isn’t difficult work, we’re pretty sure there are better and more valuable things you and your team could be doing.
The road to recovery can also be an arduous one with tape. On a physical level, if the particular data you need to recover is in residence at an offsite storage facility, that already presents one-time challenge to getting that data back. And even ensuring that key, frequently-used and business critical information is stored in-house isn’t an ideal solution – remember that sprawling IT cupboard we discussed in our first blog?
The day-to-day reality for IT departments working with tape are that you’ll need to commit more time to looking after those high-maintenance tapes, and that’s even if you don’t need to locate any data on them.
Do hard disks make your head spin?
With disks, recovery can be faster than tape, deduplication is easier, and disks are easy to locate – after all a data centre can’t go missing (can it?).
But let’s explore those statements in a little more detail.
Firstly, when you run out of disk storage space it’s a likely to be a chunky CAPEX purchase for additional capacity. Additionally, purchasing storage in this way means that you’ll pay out upfront and then only using the capacity over a number of years, whereas with cloud storage it’s a more convenient (and OPEX-friendly) pay-as-you-go model.
Just like buying bread and milk, you’ll pay for convenience. Because disks are always running, not only do they need power to run, but they need power to stay cool. The total costs of running disk-based storage should therefore always be taken into account from both a business and environmental impact perspective.
Then there’s the age-old onsite versus offsite storage conundrum. While onsite allows quick(er) access to data, offsite provides greater data security in the event of onsite physical disaster but comes with the obvious flaw of increased recovery times
The reality is that disk-based storage can leave the IT team’s heads spinning as much as the disks themselves.
What’s the solution?
Today, IT departments have objectives to move data and its associated workloads to the cloud in order to address some of the aforementioned efficiency challenges, scalability, cost savings and security considerations. Put simply, backing up data – one of every organisation’s most precious commodities – has to be more slick in the modern age than tape or disk solutions can offer.
Most of all, the IT department should be able to tell management, with confidence, that the company’s data is secure.
PAV provides a solution specifically for Commvault customers that is highly resilient, scalable and offers secure Cloud based Storage. It is simple, cost-effective and designed specifically for storing business data offsite.
This solution enables customers to retain important or critical data offsite as part of a disaster recovery or long-term archive strategy, and without the costs and hassle of traditional tape or disk-based solutions. Give one of our friendly team a call on 01273 834 000 to find out more.