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How do I know if tape storage is right for my SMB?

Tape storage is a good storage solution for many SMBs, but Greg Schulz discusses that in the end, it depends on a company's specific needs in order to determine whether or not tape storage is right for their SMB.

How do I know if tape storage is right for my SMB?
Given all the talk about data deduplication, virtual tape libraries (VTLs), disk-to-disk backup and cloud or managed service-based backups, SMBs often have a difficult time determining whether or not tape storage is right for them. The answer is going to come down to what your specific needs are, and if the storage is low cost. Portability and compatibility with existing software and procedures and regulatory compliance is also important. Also, it's going to depend on if you're currently using tape, your vendor preferences, your investments, and if you have a preference for using all disk and eliminating tape, or leveraging disk and tape together.

In a nutshell, tape is a good choice because it's portable. Also, tape is low-cost because of its energy-efficient storage of offline data for large monthly or weekly full backups or archives that leverage disk to disk to tape with a VTL. Keep in mind though, if you leverage tape for your bulk offline data, keep a gold or master copy of data on disk, as well as for long-term archives complimenting disk to disk for fast backups and restores....

Of course if you have no tape and are thinking of cloud storage or leveraging removable hard disk drive, then tape may be a mute point. But overall, whether or not you need tape really depends on your specific needs.

This was first published in August 2009

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