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Compare tape backup with disk backup

Posted on Dec 04, 2017 by Brithny to Backup Utility

What's the difference between tape backup and disk backup? How to back up your data to the tape with the best tape backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup Server?

New trends in storage now make it easier than ever for companies to expand their data capacity. However, many companies continue to rely on tape backup as the primary media for backing up their data. When talking about backup storage people always think in terms of scalability of performance, reliability, security, and usability issues.

The basics of backup management haven't changed much over the past year, but new products and technologies have made it easier to address these issues, making extreme scalability in disk-based data backup much more feasible and desirable than the traditional tape backup.

Comparing in speed - As a primary target for backup, the disk has quickly become accepted as the optimal media. Backing up directly to disk will speed up the backup process and also significantly reduce restore times for individual files.

Comparing costs - Disk-based backups don't suffer from the same incremental restore penalties experienced by tape drives. For comparison, let's consider the example of a business that keeps 12 weeks of backup of 4TB of file data that changes at a rate of 5% per day. With tape, a reasonable backup schedule would mean at least 1 full backup per week, plus nightly incremental backups. With disk-based solutions, the enterprise only needs to perform one full backup every 4 weeks, with nightly incremental backups in between.

Disk versus tape technology

Understanding the facts

The truth is that most IT managers are anxious to replace their tape drives and cartridges within their data centers with hard disk drives. Holding them back from doing this is the common belief that disks can't match the attributes of tapes:

  • First, the tape can be removed. Data should be removed from the system to help prevent intentional or unintentional corruption from a virus or system error.
  • Second, the tape can be transported. It can be taken to an offsite location. This provides a second level of disaster recovery. If the main data center suffers an outage, data can be restored from offsite tapes.
  • Third, tape media quality is thought to have improved since the appearance of round tape reels in the 1950s.
  • Fourth, the tape is believed to be a cost-effective storage media.

These attributes are indeed important but the facts are that tape is not the only backup media with these attributes.

Disk-based Backups

Major advantages of disk technology

  • Faster restores

The random access nature of disk drives enables the instant merging of incremental backups. Contrast this with tape, where multiple incremental backups are often spread across multiple tapes and likely to be far from the start of the tape. The RAID configuration of the disks in a backup appliance allows for redundancy and increased throughput by backing-up and restoring multiple clients simultaneously. So when you need to restore a file or even a single email, you can find it and restore it in a matter of minutes without sorting through any number of tapes.

  • Accelerated backup and archiving

Another benefit of disk-based backups is performance. Disk-based solutions leverage RAID performance and reliability to quickly backup and restore data.

  • Greater reliability

Research has found that as many as 70% of tape recovery attempts fail. Disk-based solutions benefit from very reliable commodity disks, made even more reliable by using RAID to protect against disk failures. There are no tapes to misplace, or robotics to jam and recalibrate. Disk drives are self-contained and less sensitive to environmental conditions, so they can be reliably used for a longer period of time in more diverse environments. For most SATA drives, the manufacturers' warranties are 5 years.

  • Easier management

Disk-based solutions are easier to manage overall. The interfaces and concepts of a file system, disk, and network attached storage (NAS) are familiar even to entry-level IT staff, meaning less training and fewer mistakes from the start.

The best tape backup software - EaseUS Todo Backup Server

server backup software

EaseUS Todo Backup Server is the perfect tape backup software. It can support backing up data or system state to tape which is typically used for offline, archival data storage. For more detailed information please refer to how to backup Windows Server to tape.