Businesses are already utilizing tape to back up their data now that the early days of computing. Tape has its limitations, but it was a lot cheaper than the alternatives, so its use continued.
Today, the circumstance is changing. The cost of disk storage has come down dramatically along with other the performance, longevity and use characteristics of disk seem to be far superior to tape. As a result, several businesses are trying to move away in one tape for their backup and disaster recovery needs.
The major requirements of an ideal backup scheme are:
. It have to be economical. huge numbers of data have to be accommodated (due into the have to keep multiple versions of the data), but in many cases the data should never be accessed. Its contribution to the companys bottom line only comes if the data is needed, otherwise, It is an unnecessary expense.
. It need to be dependable over the long term. Some data need to be stored for long periods of time, possibly decades in some situations, to meet regulatory and company needs. If that data is ever needed it must be readable and accessible. When tape sits unused for any long period, it gets brittle and it is prone to breaking and data loss.
. It need to be rapidly and simple to set up and operate. Back-up windows are Obtaining tighter as the hours of operation increase and the amount of data continues to grow. As a result, the speed of the backup is critically important. If the backup approach may be automated, human errors and expenses are reduced.
. Restoring data, either individual files or a whole system, must be quick, simple and reliable. Today, it can require a long time to retrieve tapes in one their offsite storage. Data on tape is stored sequentially so access to specific records can be cumbersome. Reading the tapes might be problematic if the tape is old, brittle or distorted. All this uses precious IT resources that would be much better spent elsewhere. Disk storage has none of the issues.
The NAS Approach
With prices at the $2 per GB range, Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems appear to be swiftly becoming the ideal, cost-effective back-up solution.
. Disk-to-Disk data transfer speeds far exceed those of writing to tape, so a lot more data might be backed up in less time.
. Disk storage has better longevity than tape, therefore the data is going to be there and accessible Once you need it.
. Random usage of data on disk saves time when trying to restore specific files.
. NAS devices are independent, complete systems that connect directly to your network so they dont impact your other systems.
. Tape rotation schemes appear to be possible along with other disk-based systems and sophisticated ones can eliminate duplicate files for more compact storage.
. For smaller numbers of data, removable disk drives mounted in hot-swap enclosures can provide a competitive alternative for offsite data storage.
. Locating a NAS method in An additional office and backing it up over the network provides a fast, automated remote backup. at the event of a disaster, the backup method is immediately willing to step in for rapid recovery and business continuity.
Many businesses seem to be implementing a staged approach, where an onsite NAS delivers quick backups and restores for servers and workstations. Then, to prepare to get a disaster that destroys or prevents access into the primary place of business, the data is automatically replicated to a second NAS at An additional location. For rapidly changing and highly important data, the on-site and off-site systems could be set up to mirror each and every other, to ensure that small or no data is lost if disaster ought to strike.
There are other causes of deploying a NAS system. By accomplishing numerous goals, the NAS could be even less complicated to justify. Examples include:
. additional end user storage. Centralized storage is simpler to back up than it is data stored on many end user systems.
. ideal for central repositories for workgroup or departmental data that must be shared.
. Regulation compliance, which include email retention requirements for HIPAA or Sarbannes-Oxley.
Even In the event you decide not to abandon tape backup entirely, you can use a NAS as a rapid staging server to gather the data from one other systems swiftly during your backup window. Then let the NAS feed the data in to the tape unit with out worrying about time constraints. This very is referred to as disk-to-disk-to-tape backup.
Network Attached Storage systems appear to be swiftly becoming the preferred data sharing, management and backup solution for company applications and database environments.
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