Tape backup devices still used by majority of SMBs

Tape is still the No. 1 backup method for SMBs. Check out out latest news and expert advice on tape backup devices.

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Tape backup devices are still a preferred technology in small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). According to a survey of 441 data protection professionals, Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group found that a tape-only backup strategy in companies with fewer than 1,000 employees is more predominant than in firms with more than 1,000 employees (by a 3:2 margin).

In addition, recent advances in tape technology like the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) and the latest iteration of LTO tape, LTO-5, have boosted the appeal of using tape backup devices for data archiving. To help you get updated on the latest tape backup information, we've compiled our most recent news, tutorials and expert advice on tape backup devices in one place to help get up to speed quickly.

TAPE STORAGE STRATEGY TUTORIAL

Tape backup devices have a number of inherent benefits for long-term data archiving—tape can be truly offline; it can be easily transported offsite; and though disk prices continue to fall, tape is still relatively inexpensive. And, as many organizations turn to disk backup for ease of use and faster restores, tape vendors continue to innovate. In addition, many of the recent developments in the tape market are aimed at making tape more useful for long-term data archiving. In this tutorial, learn about the latest developments on tape storage systems, LTO-5 and LTFS, the differences between backup software vs. archiving software, and how tape is evolving into a long-term data archiving medium. Click here to read the full tutorial on tape storage systems.

TAPE BACKUP ENCRYPTION TUTORIAL

Is your enterprise encrypting data on tape yet? It has become obvious over the past few years that tape isn't dead and is still being used for backup and archiving in many organizations. The tricky thing with tape is because of its portability, there comes an increased risk for security compromises. In a world where every enterprise has data that would lead to catastrophe if lost, stolen or unintentionally disclosed, addressing this risk should be at the top of IT priorities. In this tutorial, learn about the different tape backup encryption approaches, and the pros and cons of each. Click here to read the tutorial on tape backup encryption.

TAPE MEDIA STORAGE FOR SMBs: THE PROS AND CONS

There are many advantages to using tape backup devices and tape libraries. For example, backup tapes can be removed and stored safely offsite. And tape cartridges can usually recover from drops and other damages that could make hard drives non-functional. Tape cartridges may even survive floods and other disasters that would wipe out systems based on disk storage. Also, in the case of a disaster, tape recovery services can be used to clean and dry tapes, and recover much of the data that was originally stored on them. In this tip, read about the pros and cons of tape storage, popular tape data storage technologies today, and how tape compares to other backup considerations in terms of reliability, cost and more. Click here to read the full tip on tape media storage.

LTFS AND ITS IMPACT ON DATA ARCHIVING

It's been barely a year since IBM Corp. launched Linear Tape File System (LTFS) for LTO-5 tapes, and vendors are starting to roll out products that support the LTFS open-standard format to make it easier to write and read archived data. IBM, in May, added LTFS support to its tape libraries; Oracle supports LTO-5 on its StorageTek tape libraries and drives; and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. said it is working on LTFS support for tape automation in libraries.

LTFS support is also showing up in products besides tape libraries. Crossroads Systems Inc. expects to ship StrongBox—billed as network-attached storage (NAS) for tape—with LTFS support later this year. Quantum Corp. said the ability to import and export to LTFS tapes is on the roadmap for its StorNext software, probably in the first half of 2012. In addition, Cache-A supports LTFS across its archive appliances for media and entertainment companies. Click here to read the whole article on the Linear Tape File System.

For even more news on backup and recovery for SMBs, bookmark our special section on small business backup.

This was first published in July 2011

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