Data Centers

Determine if tape backups play a role in your disaster recovery solution

Tape systems are the primary methodology used to implement disaster recovery solutions. See how you can use tape systems to protect data in your organization.

Tape systems are the primary methodology used to implement DR solutions. These systems take point-in-time copies of the organization's data and commit them to removable media (i.e., the tapes), which the company can then store in a safe facility.

In many cases, this means that a designated employee takes the backup tapes and places them in a safer location. However, many services are available that can manage tape storage for your organization.

While you can keep the tapes at the same location where you generated them, you risk losing both the production and backup data if a physical disaster, such as fire or a flood, hits your site. So storing tape backups in a safe, different location is a better choice.

Most DR solutions perform backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis—or even a combination of all three. You can perform a full backup, where you copy all data to tape during each backup. You can also create a combination of full, incremental, and differential backups, where you back up only changed files to disk after completing the full backup.

In addition to tape-based backup systems, many products offer the ability to send a copy of your data from one server to another. This method involves storing data on disk rather than storing it offline on tape. You can find such replication solutions that allow you to take either point-in-time copies (snapshots) or allow for storage of real-time copies of the data in one or multiple locations.

Because the DR approach doesn't require the installation or configuration of applications until it's time to restore, you can often protect multiple production servers to a single destination server, reducing your overall budget for DR systems.

As with tape, you can configure these systems to store data locally. Of course, using only local copies creates the possibility that a site loss would also result in massive data loss as well.

Using a combination of both local and off-site copies—or, at the very least, off-site copies only—allows for greater overall protection.

For the many servers that hold relatively static data that doesn't change very often and can be down for a period of time in the event of a major disaster, DR solutions are a good combination of protection and price.

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