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When Does Tape Backup in Offsite Storage Fail?

January 29, 2013

The real question is when did offsite backup use tape storage and succeed? The answer: perhaps back in the 1960s and 1970s when magnetic tape data backup storage was at the height of technology. However, the ongoing IT revolution brings with it the need for a similarly evolved data storage solution that meets modern data requirements.

In other words, as the dynamic nature of information technology continues to surge forward, your data backup storage solution must keep up in the race. There’s really no other option.

The History of Offsite Storage and Tape Backup:


Timeline : Data Backup

This brings us back to the initial question: if tape storage maintains validity as a usable offsite backup and recovery method in a modern age, as indicated in the chart above, then why does it continuously fail? Typical tape backup failures fall into any of the three categories:

•    Media Failure. The system itself fails to work. For example, industry data is improperly copied and stored due to a large number of media factors…and the result is damaged files that are useless in the case of a restore.
•    Human Error. According to Health Business Daily, “It wasn’t a sophisticated hacker from a rogue nation or a failure of fancy technology that caused the largest health care data breach on record. The recent loss of data on 4.9 million TRICARE patients happened when a thief made off with back-up tapes left in a worker’s car.” This breach happened in 2011, long after the introduction of online backup storage that might have prevented it. All in all, the scope of human error in tape backup is broad and wide-ranging
•    Hardware Failure. The tape itself is scratched, stretched, warped, or otherwise compromised. Or maybe the vaulting system is defective, deficient, or damaged to the point of inadequately executing the task it was commissioned to perform.

It’s seems like a small request to be able to go about your day’s trials and tasks with certainty that your company’s greatest asset has been properly backed up with your current data storage solution. Is a full guarantee of your data’s recoverability too much to ask? If proper backup isn’t taking place, or if you aren’t entirely convinced that you can restore and recover thoroughly and efficiently, then the data storage solution in your disaster recovery plan is already failing…and business stability is at risk. Would you rest your most precious asset on a three-legged stool with one of its supports sawn halfway off?

We don’t mean to scare you. In fact, our purpose here is to provide a shining light in the dark underbelly of IT disaster prevention. However, getting out of the dark will require hopping on board with the cloud and ditching tape storage for offsite backup. The cloud solution offered by Dakota Backup & Recovery LLC provides two unmatchable features that tape backup can’t hold a candle to.

DB&R’s Data Storage Solution Features:

Autonomic Healing. While we’re using the term “healing,” let’s make an analogy between the biological immune system and our solution’s Autonomic Healing feature. Just as phagocytes patrol the body’s tissues in search of pathogens in a biological immune system, so does Autonomic Healing patrol our SAS70 Type II certified data centers in search of damaged or corrupt files. If harmful pathogens are detected by the phagocytes, a reaction is triggered in the body’s immune system to attend to the diseased cell. Likewise, if Autonomic Healing discovers files that are corrupt or damaged, a response is triggered for an uncompromised copy of the file to be pulled from the replicated data center first or the original source second—the primary business’s on-site location—and recopied over the damaged file at the offsite backup location. The body’s immune system is a remarkably efficient structure that keeps its components healthy and in working order—the same is true for Autonomic Healing.

Restore Validation is an outcome of Autonomic Healing. Because your files are automatically and continuously patrolled and verified for integrity at our SAS70 Type II certified data centers, the data that Dakota Backup & Recovery restores to your primary network in the case of a disaster or IT failure will be accurate, authentic, and damage free. Does your tape backup come with that kind scratch-free, human-error-resistant type of guarantee?

Absolutely not. In fact, most enterprises utilizing tape backup for offsite storage won’t realize that their copied files are corrupt until they try to execute a restore. Imagine pulling out those tapes in a desperate recovery situation only to find that the files didn’t copy properly, or the tape has been scratched, or that something simply isn’t working as it should…it’s enough to send a chill down your spine.

Dakota Backup, LLC was formed in 2005 as an affiliate of KT Connections, Inc. and Ketel Thorstenson, LLP. With a staff of more than 150 professionals, Ketel Thorstenson is the region's largest business accounting firm. Dakota Backup and KT Connections, collectively employing over 40 professionals, are the technology arms of this business group providing all forms of information technology infrastructure sales and support, data backup and business continuity solutions. Dakota Backup is an eight-year partner with Asigra Cloud Backup, offering SAS70 Type II data centers and low disaster profile data center locations. Visit http://www.dakotabackup.com for more information.

Last Modified: 01-29-2013-14:05:44

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