Although offsite tape vaulting has long been thought of as a long-term data-archiving solution, it can figure in backup operations as well. The cost-per-gigabyte of tape storage keeps dropping, and new technologies, such as Web access to tape catalogs and the LTFS file format (which makes tapes look like just another drive), make tape attractive for protecting less-critical data. Best of all, tapes are stored offsite, where they're safe from any disaster that might strike your facilities. (Photo: Fotolia)
The cloud is coming on strong for backup. Why? From an operations perspective, it cuts labor costs and turns a capital expense into an operational one that you pay for with a predictable subscription. If needs change, you can adjust the terms rather than purchase new equipment. Like tape, the cloud keeps your data safely offsite and, like disk, it can be very fast for data retrieval. A robust cloud service can back up many servers and desktops, regardless of where they are in the world. (Photo: Fotolia)
Evaluate Your Data Security
No matter which forms of data storage you choose, you should be encrypting data from the time it leaves your facility until it's returned and restored in your enterprise. You also need a verifiable chain of custody that describes any journey your data takes; regulators demand it. In fact, those same regulators may want to know if you are complying with the latest data center security standards, especially if you take the cloud route.
To finesse all these challenges, work carefully with your backup service partner to establish the appropriate level of data security. And don't forget about testing. Your backup data is useless if you can't get it when you need it--or if the data is corrupted. Any backup service you use should come with regularly scheduled testing to ensure that all systems are ready in case of a business interruption. (Photo: Fotolia)