Going Old School With Tape Backups

Going Old School With Tape Backups

So hey, have you heard that everything old is new again? Nowadays, it’s cool to be retro and old school, despite the risk of being mistaken for a hipster. This old school trend extends even to the world of the Internet, data, networks, and other aspects of IT.

Those of us who are of a certain age (though we’re in no hurry to admit it!) can remember back to the bad old days of computer rooms kept at frigid temperatures, filled with banks of huge mainframes, noisy punch-card readers, and of course, tape drives, the latter so essential for backing up data. Good thing those days are over, right?

Not so fast …

There’s something to be said about committing one copy of your backed up data onto tape. In fact, it’s a rather smart and prudent idea. Here is why.

The Internet Isn’t Invulnerable

Picture a situation where your Internet access is somehow down for a long period of time; no more email, cat videos, online surveys, or access to your data backups residing in the cloud, at least not for the time being. As the article “4 Reasons To Supplement Your Cloud Backups With Onsite Tape Backups” points out, you would be completely unable to restore your systems and resume operations.

Granted, it’s not likely to happen, but having a copy of your backed up data onsite guarantees that such an outage wouldn’t hurt you.

Be Prepared For Any Eventuality

It isn’t just the (admittedly small) prospect of being without the Internet that poses a threat to your data. You could have Internet access, but for some reason your cloud storage is inaccessible. Or perhaps the backup copy that you stored off-site is unavailable. By having a tape backup onsite, you always have a copy of your crucial data that’s within a short walk down the hall.

Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing

While there may indeed come a point where your company is going backup happy and should really take a step back and calm down, hitting that particular threshold takes some doing when your crucial data is concerned. This is your company’s important information; you can’t be too careful.

The Rule Of Three

The Rule of Three is the Gospel for IT departments that are serious about protecting their data. The Rule says that you need at least three backups of all crucial data. Not only that, but you need at least two different types or media, like flash drives, the cloud, tape drives, external hard drives, etc. And the final part of the Rule says that at least one of those copies must be stored offsite.

That phrase “at least” sure comes up a lot in the context of the Rule, doesn’t it? It’s like the Rule of Three is trying to tell us all something.

In any event, by using tape backups, you satisfy the second part of the Rule. Picture, if you will, all of your important data backed up as follows: one copy is kept on the cloud, another copy is on an external hard drive that’s located within easy reach, and the final copy is on tape and stored in the building’s basement or other safe location.

Remember, your company’s data is the sum total of your business’ identity, with employee records, customer information, budgets, accounts payable and receivable, special projects, inventory, and much more. If that information goes, your company goes right along with it. Be prepared for anything, and your business will smoothly navigate through whatever storms, literal or figurative, arise.