The future of backup is disk

leaving tape backup

Tape media has been the medium of choice for IT system backups in one form or another for the best part of 60 years. It has performed a hugely integral and important part of day to day IT resilience throughout this time and until recently remained the most appropriate and cost-effective form of protecting business-critical data.

However times change, and the vast majority of businesses who we talk to list data growth and backup as some of the biggest challenges their IT teams face today.

In the last 60 years (and more so in the last 15 years) demands on IT departments have intensified. Quantities of servers, Operating Systems and Software packages have all dramatically increased. Data Volumes have exploded and Virtualisation has further complicated IT environments! Business demands have changed also, as more and more businesses extend their working day and reduce or even eliminate the backup window with 24 x 7 operations.

These circumstances pose tremendous challenges on often stretched IT resources. Many IT departments find themselves fire fighting and struggling to develop or maintain specific IT Strategies. Backups are seen as a necessary evil. The time and effort spent performing these backups are costly and most IT management teams will argue that their highly skilled IT personnel should not be spending valuable time managing backups, when they could/should use that time driving the business forward with more value-adding tasks.

Disk-based backup was introduced to help alleviate some of these challenges, but in its early form/s (although delivering some benefits) were poorly conceived, difficult to implement and took as much time to manage as tape (if not more). They were hugely expensive and required enormous bandwidth to replicate offsite. Subsequently, they were mainly only taken up by larger businesses with the manpower and funds to allocate.

In recent years however disk-based solutions have matured, developed and diversified to the point where the aforementioned challenges have been addressed. Additional valuable features and benefits have been added and disk-based backup has been opened up to the masses.

The appeal of disk-based backup can be shortlisted to 6 key areas:

  1. More reliable backups through eliminating tape
  2. Faster backups by writing to disk
  3. Multiple onsite copies of backups on disk through utilising data compression
  4. Offsite replication of backups daily or more frequently (no man in a van required and reduced security risk)
  5. Streamlined and more rapid Disaster Recovery processes
  6. Eliminate manual intervention through automation

Blue Chip’s portfolio of solutions enables us to address the numerous challenges experienced by modern businesses. To discuss Blue Chip’s solutions in more detail please contact Data Availability Specialist for more details.

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