Do I still need tape backup

Posted on 2011-04-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi there,

I you were designing a new system using SAN technologies and had decent bandwidth between your prod and DR environment, would you

a) use tape and replication
b) just use replication

Question by:58872
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Unless you have hotplug drives to take off site to a bank or Iron Mountain, then tapes are still an excellent offsite media.

    By Dr environment are you referring to an Internet backup site?  If so that would be sufficient to ensure that you are covered in the case of a disaster at your site.
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Depends on your business requirements.

    If you're in a business that can never (or at least, for several years) delete anything, then I would use tape because for large volumes of data, cost per gigabyte, tape is still cheapest.  If archival data is not a concern, then I probably skip tape - just be careful... replication replicates everything... including DELETES and corruption could mess things up even worse.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Just to be safe, I would maintain the tape backups, mostly for recovering accidentily deleted files.  I have gone to using 1TB usb 3.0 portable drives as my backup device.  They are not a lot more than a tape costs these days, plus they are faster and just as portable.
    LVL 30

    Accepted Solution

    If you have the luxury of a secondary site, I'd use a combination of archive and backup - but this has to be driven by your business requirements (as leew notes), and the hardest part is nailing down the business requirements as once you start asking for management to define those requirements you'll get all sorts of wacky answers.

    In a perfect world, you use backup for operational recovery only and archive to store your data for the long term. If you were to use a unified storage array (like an EMC VNX or NetApp array), you can move your archive data to a WORM (Write Once Read Many) file system with retention periods derived from your business requirements. You can then replicate the WORM data to a DR site and your backup for the archive data is done. That only leaves the operational backups which will typically be around 20% of your entire data set. Keep 30 days of backups for operational recovery and there's no need to move data off to tape as all your historical data is in the archive and protected.

    The technology part is easy. The hard part is getting the business requirements nailed down. You've heard about how hard it is to herd cats?  :-)
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    by:Gerald Connolly
    Although its harder and harder to justify tape for backup with all the advantages that D2D systems give, it can be seen from this report that the only solution for archiving is still tape Tape delivers
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Think of the worst possible scenario:
    The building(s) where the majority of your servers and/or information are completely destroyed by fire, water, acts of God, etc.
    If you have an offiste place to keep your tapes you are protected.
    If you don't, yes this might be a low priority, but eventually if the company resumes they will want their data restored on a server.
    Kelly W.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks...sorry about the delay.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    by:Duncan Meyers
    Thanks! Glad I could help.

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