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A Comprehensive Guide to Tape
vs. Cloud Data Backup for Businesses

A Comprehensive Guide to Tape vs. Cloud Data Backup for Businesses

What would you do if you lost everything? If you left work and something went wrong today what would your business lose?

Losing your data is a lot more common than you’d think and one small failure or accident could destroy all of your company’s important information. Deciding on the right back up option is a critical decision for many businesses wishing to safeguard their important data.

When businesses weigh up their data storage options there’s two main factors to consider – cost and security. And, more often than not, these are the two contrasting elements when it comes to tape and cloud backup options.

You may understand that yes, the cloud is secure but is it cost effective? And of course, tapes are cheap but are they reliable? Aside from those factors, once deployed both options will require new ways of working and the creation of new policies and guidelines to ensure your data is safe and secure.

In this guide, we review up the pros and cons of both storage options, showing you the key elements to consider when making your decision.

Mind the gap

Now, in the 21st century, many organisations are faced with the challenge of rapid growth and we both know that scaling up can quickly add up.

Storage is one of the most costly categories to businesses, so maximising the initial investment in storage is high up the list on most IT agendas.

To ensure you’re maximising your storage options you will need to be mindful of the gap between cost and scale.

The challenge of security, protection & reliability

In addition to having a backup system in place, it’s equally important to know that backups are being completed and that these backups will restore properly.

In the modern, fast paced office environment where the trend is geared towards 24/7 operations and the ‘back-up window’ is shrinking, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need to restore data only to find that the data is corrupt.

When weighing up the options between tape and cloud there are a few factors that come into play.

What's ahead?

In the beginning, cloud computing could have been seen as a flash in the pan, but over the past few years it’s fair to say that perception has changed.

Although many are readying themselves for a move to the cloud, it’s important to know that some cloud benefits do come with a price but good cloud management tools will help organisations to cope with these costs and cloud freedom.

When planning for the future of cloud backup it’s important to consider:

The problem with tape

An estimated 50% of businesses are still using tape but before you rely on your tape backup it’s worth noting some common issues with tape based approaches:


Magnetic media is extremely susceptible to corruption. The data is usually saved to the magnetic media and then exposure, a fingerprint, getting too close to a magnetised area and the data on the tape becomes unusable, and you don’t ever know it, or at least not until you try to restore and find it isn’t there.

Lengthy restore time

Some data backup systems make this process difficult because of the need to re-catalogue data sets and having to determine the correct tape where the data lies.

Capacity planning

Most organisations do not properly size the data backup system when it is initially purchased. They don’t anticipate the growth in the amount of data they will be required to backup. This results in an initial capital expenditure that becomes quickly outdated and new investment is required.


Keeping track of backups can be time consuming (therefore costly) and prone to human error. A member of staff, often without the correct training can be responsible for changing, transporting offsite and storing critical backups.


Tapes can be easily lost or stolen and present the risk of being unencrypted.

Backup Window

With the ever increasing size of data sets, IT managers are faced with decreasing backup windows in which to protect critical data.

Create your Cloud Backup case now