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What Is The Best Way To Backup Data?

Aug 17, 2007
Although businesses realize the severe loss associated with losing their data, a surprising majority still aren't backing up. Most people have good intentions of implementing some sort of backup service, but aren't entirely sure where to begin. Here we'll take a comparative look at 3 types of information backup plans: direct access storage, tape backup drives, and online storage.

Direct Attached Storage:
The best thing about direct attached storage is that it's easy to access the information if your main drive is lost. Data in its correct form can be accessed right from the direct attached storage drive and you can quickly go on with you life.

For most small to medium sized businesses, a direct access storage unit is the most logical option. The backups can be scheduled to occur automatically and do their job consistently and regularly without the need for a person to manage it full time. The size of a direct access storage unit is often plenty of room for a small to midsized business.

Tape Backup Drives:
There are 3 main benefits to keeping a tape library with a tape backup drive.

Off Site Storage - The first benefit is that the data can be stored off site to reduce risk of loss of both your primary data and your backup data due to fire, flooding, or other natural disasters.

Unlimited Storage Capacity - For businesses that have a great deal of data, not using tape backup drives means filling up numerous hard disks, which doesn't make sense economically. Instead of purchasing a new storage unit each time the drive is full, a new tape can be placed into the existing hardware and the full tape can be added to the tape library.

Chronological Records - Direct access storage and online storage solutions often present the storage of only the most current document as an asset. In most cases, having only the most current document is all that matters. However, many businesses require 'snapshots' of various documents throughout their lifespan and a tape library is an excellent way to accomplish this. With a tape backup drive, you can look back on a document such as a customer contract during different stages of its development to look for critical variations.

Online Data Backup:
Online data backup services can cost $1500 per year on the low end for just one Window based computer. While convenient, the cost may not be justifiable for many small businesses who can buy a tape backup drive or a direct access storage drive for a fraction of the yearly cost of an online service. Also, you'll want to do a good deal of investigation as to how safe your data actually is.

The obvious benefit to an online service is that the data is being stored outside of the office and better dispersed. In the event of a fire, it's best to have your data in multiple locations so to reduce risk. However, this can also be achieved by storing tape libraries in a remote location or fire resistant safe.

Because each business is different, there is no one right way to handle information backup. Companies who specialize in backup products can be a great source for information and consultation as to which type of backup system to choose. If you're not backing up your information now, make it a goal to have a system implemented by the end of the month. It's a natural tendency to put off preventative measures as long as everything is fine today. Once you implement a system it can, for the most part run on its own and you'll be back to business as usual with an even greater sense of security.
About the Author
Author is a writer for Sunstar Company which specializes in direct
attached storage
and tape back drives. For additional information you can visit
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