Using Online Backup for Offsite Storage Needs

Magnetic tapes have been the preferred media for backing up data for about four decades. Tapes were used for backup when programs and data were stored on Hollerith punch cards. The tapes and machinery have changed many times over the years, but tape is still the most widely used backup media in 2008.

Over the past several years, many organizations have migrated toward disk-based backup systems. Disk-based systems are more reliable than tapes and they have become less expensive to own. Although there are clear advantages to disk-based backup systems, many organizations have large investments in tape backup hardware and media as well as software and processes. Some CIO's and IT directors are reluctant to scrap their investments in tape backup systems and convert over to disk-based systems. Disk-based backup has only recently become cost-effective and widely accepted, but it still does not have the long-term history that tape-based system have.

While many IT executives have been reluctant to make the switch to disk-based backup systems, others have felt compelled to move to disk-based systems due to the cost-saving and reliability advantages. For the traditional shops that have no intention of moving to disk-based systems anytime soon, there is one area where immediate benefits can be had without scrapping the tape backup systems. Moving tapes to an offsite storage facility has always been part of tape backup systems. Online backup services are an ideal way to move critical data off-site automatically, eliminating the manual and error-prone procedures of manually seleting tapes and transporting them back and forth to and from an offsite facility. For those who are determined to keep their tape backup systems in place, they can continue to backup to tape, and also use an online backup service to move critical data off-site. Having the backup data moved off site to a disk-based online backup service provider, is much simpler, less expensive, and more reliable than the traditional methods of physically moving tapes from location to location.

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