Are Tape Back-ups Going the Way of VHS?


If you’ve ever tried to pop a VHS tape into your high-definition, flat-screen TV, you’ll quickly see that the technologies aren’t compatible. VHS tapes never produced the best-quality images, but when you try to view them on today’s HDTV models, the result is barely watchable.

Many companies still use tape (of a different kind) to back-up their mission critical data. Will this technology soon be as obsolete as VHS tapes for movies and TV shows? We’re not going to see the end of tape any time soon, but there are several drawbacks that you don’t find with other data backup systems.

Drawbacks to Tape-based Back-up Systems 

1. Data on magnetic tapes can be easily erased. – If you place a back-up data tape too close to a magnetic source (like a computer hard drive), or if you touch the delicate tape, you can render the data unreadable. In many cases, a professional data recovery firm like 24 Hour Data can access the lost or damaged data. But your back-ups are supposed to be there to protect you in the event of a data loss emergency — not pile another emergency on to your first data recovery emergency!

2. Tapes can be lost or stolen – If your company is transporting data tapes off-site for remote storage, which is data back-up best practices, you’re putting mission critical, and often secure, data in the hands of people you don’t know. Many times, tapes have “disappeared” en route to the storage facility. To make the situation worse, data stored on back-up tapes is often not encrypted, which means an organization that is responsible for storing people’s financial data must disclose the loss of that data, facing potential lost business, angry customers, possible lawsuits, and a public relations nightmare.

3. Off-site storage could make it difficult to recover lost data in a timely manner. – While off-site storage is a data back-up best practices to protect your mission critical data from localized disasters such as fires or floods, in the event of a regional disaster (like a hurricane or earthquake), accessing your data back-up tapes could take more time than you’d like if you are anxious to return to business as usual. In some cases, accessing lost data through remote tape back-ups can take longer than simply calling a data recovery firm to recover lost data from the original source.

Is It Time to Switch Back-up Methods?

If you’re currently using tape back-ups, it’s true that any back-up is better than no back up at all. But consider switching to a cloud-based data back-up system. Tape back-ups will still be around for a while; they’re not going the way of the dinosaur (or VHS) any time soon, if only because it takes many companies a long time to make a move.

But today’s back-up methods are more reliable, less expensive, and can permit you to access your data faster and more easily. If you’re still using tape, it may be time to consider alternatives.

Too Late? Need Emergency Data Recovery?

So what happens if your company’s RAID server fails and you can’t access your tape back-ups? Don’t panic. We’ve still got your back. Know that, whatever kind of data emergency you face, 24 Hour Data has trained data recovery specialists on staff to recover your lost data in a timely manner, regardless of the storage format

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