In the world of business today, there are few certainties. But everyone can agree that data management is a key component of a business’s operations and a vital component for measuring success month over month and year over year. Without proper data management, businesses are unable to measure performance or keep track of important reports and/or correspondences. With data being one of the most vital components of a thriving business, it is important to have a reliable backup and disaster recovery solution in the event of data loss.
There are many different backup and disaster recovery solutions out there, each provider promising something different from the last, but what are the real differences between them? Let’s review the most common backup and disaster recovery solutions used by businesses today: tape backup and disk to disk backup and their respective disaster recovery processes.
Tape backup is a method of copying all or part of the contents of a server to a tape cartridge so that in the event of a data loss or server failure, data can be restored at the point of the last backup. In the event that a restore is needed, the data can be retrieved from the most recent tape backup, which may have been taken a day ago, a week ago or even months ago, depending on the businesses backup schedule.
In order for a tape system to be a true disaster recovery solution, the tapes must be stored offsite. This means that:
1) Businesses must have a secure transport system from the business office to the storage location of the tape.
2) Tapes must be secured in a safe location, free of any magnetic waves or potential disasters.
3) Tapes must be able to be safely transported back to the business intact and unharmed in the event of a necessary restore.
4) Data from the tape must be unharmed and the server Operating System must be functional in order to restore the data to the appropriate file format.
From an RTO (Recovery Time Objective) standpoint, tape backup as a method of disaster recovery could prove to be a hassle because the time it takes to restore business data could mean extra, unnecessary downtime, resulting in higher revenue loss for businesses. The RTO of a tape backup and disaster recovery solution is also greatly increased if the server’s operating system is not functional. In this case, the business would have to purchase new equipment and, often times, has to contract a technician to reload the data onto the new device, incurring a hefty hourly fee.
Although the use of tape backup by businesses these days is decreasing, this particular backup method is still around due to low item cost for tapes making it a seemingly cost-effective solution. Although, in the event of an actual disaster, the price of tape backup can be extremely high, up to and including the loss of business.
The Alternative: Disk to Disk Backup with Cloud Recovery
The most common alternative to tape backup in the post- Superstorm Sandy age, is disk to disk backup. Disk to disk backup is the process of backing up a server, including the operating system, to “another hard disk rather than to a tape or floppy” (Wikepedia). In this case, the backup hard disk is in an onsite appliance which takes backups of the server data and houses the same operating system as the server.
Disk to disk is commonly and most effectively used when the added layer of Cloud backup is introduced. In this backup and disaster recovery solution, the data from the backup disk is transmitted over the internet (usually in the evening, after business hours) to a secure data center in a geographically safe area. This means that business data is sitting in 2 locations separate from the native device, making fast recovery possible in the event of either a server-paralyzing event such as spilled coffee or other human error, or an office-paralyzing event such as a fire or natural disaster.
In our disk to disk backup and disaster recovery solution, file recovery from the backup appliance is simple. Lost files, documents, emails, etc. are easily retrievable from the appliance within minutes. The backup appliance can also act as a server in the event of a server crash because the operating system on the appliance and the server are the same. In this solution, businesses don’t have to worry about extended downtime. And because the appliance can back up in increments as low as every 5 minutes, actual data loss is very minimal.
The price of disk to disk to Cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions vary based on the amount of data being backed up. However, packages do start around $300 per month.
For questions about the best backup and disaster recovery solution and pricing for your business, contact our experts today.