Data Storage

    3-2-1 Backup Rule

    What is the 3-2-1 Backup Rule?

     

    The 3-2-1 backup rule is a concept made famous by photographer Peter Krogh. He basically said there are two types of people: those who have already had a storage failure and those who will have one in the future. Its inevitable. The 3-2-1 backup rule helps to answer two important questions: how many backup files should I have and where should I store them?

    The 3-2-1 backup rule goes as follows:

    • Have at least three copies of your data.
    • Store the copies on two different media.
    • Keep one backup copy offsite.

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    1. Create at least THREE different copies of your data

    Yes, I said three copies. That means that in addition to your primary data, you should also have at least two more backups that you can rely on if needed. But why isn’t one backup sufficient you ask? Think about keeping your original data on storage device A and its backup is on storage device B. Both storage devices have the same characteristics, and they have no common failure causes. If device A has a probability of failure that’s 1/100 (and the same is true for device B), then the probability of failure of both devices at the same time is 1/10,000.

    So with THREE copies of data, if you have your primary data (device A) and two backups of it (device B and device C), and if all devices have the same characteristics and no common failure causes, then the probability of failure of all three devices at the same time will be 1/1,000,000 chance of losing all of your data. That’s much better than having only one copy and a 1/100 chance of losing it all, wouldn’t you say? Creating more than two copies of data also avoids a situation where the primary copy and its backup copy are stored in the same physical location, in the event of a natural disaster.

    1. Store your data on at least TWO different types of media

    Now in the last scenario above we assumed that there were no common failure causes for all of the devices that contain your precious data. Clearly, this requirement is much harder to fulfill if your primary data and its backup are located in the same place. Disks from the same RAID aren’t typically independent. Even more so, it is not uncommon to experience failure of one or more disks from the same storage compartment around the same time.

    This is where the #2 comes in 3-2-1 rule. It is recommended that you keep copies of your data on at least TWO different storage types. For example, internal hard disk drives AND removable storage media such as tapes, external hard drives, USB drives, od SD-cards. It is even possible to keep data on two internal hard disk drives in different storage locations.

     

    Learn more about purchasing tape media to expand your data storage strategy 

    1. Store at least ONE of these copies offsite

    Believe it or not, physical separation between data copies is crucial. It’s bad idea to keep your external storage device in the same room as your primary storage device. Just ask the numerous companies that are located in the path of a tornado or in a flood zone. Or what would you do if your business caught fire? If you work for a smaller company with only one location, storing your backups to the cloud would be a smart alternative. Tapes that are stored at an offsite location are also popular among companies of all sizes.

     

    Every system administrator should have a backup. This principle works for any virtual environment; regardless of the system you are running, backup is king!

    3 Things Star Wars Taught Us About Data Storage

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a farm boy on a desert planet joined an uprising while saving a princess from a dark lord. Just like that, one of the most popular cinematic stories of all time was created. What began with one film in 1977 rapidly developed into one of the most successful media empires in existence. Now, more than four decades after it was introduced to audiences worldwide, Star Wars remains a global pop culture sensation. 

    While doing my initial research for this article I came across quite an amazing factoid: George Lucas is truly a data backup and cloud storage buff! Knowing this bit of information, I began to see it throughout the Star Wars narrative. In the wake of this newfound knowledge and inspiration, I’d urge you to weigh the following to make sure your organization doesn’t endure the same struggles that Darth and the Skywalkers have over the course of their adventures.

    Have a Data Security Plan in Place

    It is pretty common knowledge that a decent data backup strategy starts with a strong approach to data security. With a data security plan in place, an organization can considerably reduce the chances of relying solely on backups. Sadly, the most minimal types of security appeared to be neglected throughout the Star Wars trilogy.

    The first eight installments of the trilogy are rampant with data security concerns, but possibly the most noticeable happens when Obi-Wan looks into the origins of a Kamino Saberdart. While looking for the planet Kamino in the Jedi Archives, he discovers a blank space. Yoda concludes to Obi-Wan that the planet has likely been deleted from the archives. 

    Some theories state that Jedi training was a specific type of password protection since the Force is required to manipulate the Jedi Archives. This wouldn’t be very wise considering there were numerous of trained Jedi in the galaxy, and their sworn enemies were force users. A great current day example would be both Google and Amazon offices sharing the same keycards. Not exactly infosec friendly to say the least! The Jedi had weak passwords with absolutely no permissions management.

    In an effort to prevent cyber criminals from potentially accessing your company’s vital data, it is good practice to perform regular reviews of your data security strategies. Double check that there are no glaring holes in your data security strategy, habitually change passwords, use two factor authentication, and ALWAYS use encryption. 

    Have a Backup Plan in Place

    Having a data backup plan in place is a key complement to any security strategy. As the Jedi learned, even when your security is set up perfectly, disaster can strike. Inadequate security management on both sides led to the destruction of 6 planets, the mutilation of 2 others, and the obliteration of a handful of super weapons.

    The best approach if such a plan is referred to as a 3-2-1 backup strategy. This means for every piece of data, you have the data itself, a backup copy on site (an external hard drive of some sort), and a final copy in the cloud. Now, I’ve come across several question regarding the use of a specific data storage medium used in the trilogy. So why does the Star Wars universe use such a basic technology as data-tapes? Simply put, backups are better on tape. The fewer moving parts an object has, the more robust it is. Additionally, the long-term life span of electronic memory is a dilemma, compared to that of tape. When you make a backup of something, you want it to be able to survive a long time. 

    We first see the blueprints for the super weapon when Count Dooku, decides that they would be in safe with Darth Sidious on Scarif. By the time Jynn Erso hears of the Stardust version of the plans for the Death Star, it appears that Scarif is the only place in the Galaxy where you could find a copy of the plans. In a way, the plans on Scarif served as the Empire’s cloud storage. All the Death Star needed was an external hard drive following it through space with an additional copy of the plans!

    If you only have one backup, it’s better than nothing. Not much better, but it is. Make certain that you’re using a 3-2-1 approach for a better backup strategy. Also consider a data backups allocated to different geographic regions in case of a natural disaster. Tape is great for this!

    Have a Version Control Plan in Place

    What good is to have backups if you don’t have the right information backed up? If we came away with one thing from the plans used to defeat the first Death Star, its that the Empire didn’t manage their version control. The backups that they had were not up to date. The focus lens for the superlaser is equatorial when the Death Star’s superlaser was actually on the northern hemisphere.

    To operate a reliable backup solution, it needs to run on a consistent basis. Sometimes daily or even more frequently depending on the situation and data on hand. Whatever backup strategy the Death Star was using, it had clearly gone askew. 

    Version History is also a critical piece to the backup puzzle. Version History lets users keep multiple versions of a file over extended periods of time, sometimes forever. Think if the Empire had set up a Version History. They could have reverted to the pre-final plans to destroy the Death Star.

    Whether you manage a small business or a universal enterprise, your data (assuming its properly secured and backed up) can mean the difference between domination and having your battle station blown into a million pieces across the dark void of space. Data security and backup doesn’t need to be a battle. Create a plan that works for you, ensure your data is secured, and verify every so often that it’s up to date with the most recent versions. May The Data Be With You.

    What is I.T.A.D. ?

    What is ITAD?

    You may have heard some fancy term ITAD or SITAD being thrown around the IT world as of late. What is ITAD exactly? We’ll keep simple, ITAD is an acronym for Information Technology Asset Disposition. Some also refer to it as SITAD (Secure Information Technology Asset Disposition). In a nutshell, IT Asset Disposition is the process of disposing of obsolete, retired, or unwanted equipment in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner. ITAD service partners specialize in the processes related to disposing of and remarketing IT assets. Partnering with an experienced ITAD company can also help organizations focus on alleviating expenses as well as increasing the value of their used IT assets.

    How can ITAD Benefit You?

    IT Asset Disposition service providers can help you get rid of your surplus IT equipment or decommission your current data storage infrastructure. Not only can they dispose of it properly, they will help you get paid for it too! Once they purchase the equipment, they use their own personal end-user network to attempt to recoup as much value from your equipment as possible. There is a still significant life left in some equipment and it could benefit a growing organization that can’t afford to procure new equipment.

    Learn More about Data Center Services Here

    How does the ITAD Market Work?

    The IT asset disposition market is a secondary IT market. It’s used by ITAD companies to remarket the used and retired assets they purchase. Many ITAD companies coordinate with other different ITAD companies to sell the equipment off to the highest bidder. Some ITAD companies rely on a large open network of buyers called broker bin. Others may speak to other ITAD companies directly, although most ITAD companies sell directly to end-users.

    How Do I Choose the ITAD Partner Best for Me?

    With hundreds if not thousands of ITAD companies existing today, it can appear overwhelming to know which one is best for what your company requires.

    Here is a list of things you may want to consider when looking for an ITAD partner:

    1. Does your business have large amounts of inventory and need decommissioning services? You may want to choose a partner who provides:

    2.     Does your business have a small amount of used inventory that you can ship yourself? You may want to consider a partner who offers:

    3.     Does your business have extremely sensitive data on the equipment that needs to be decommissioned? You may want to think about a partner who has:

    You should always be willing to get multiple quotes and get a feel for who works best for you and your organization. No ITAD provider is the same. It is essentially a partnership, should be treated as such.

    If you’re in need of ITAD services for your used IT equipment,

    LTO-9 Tape Technology (Pre-Purchase Program)

    LTO-9 Tape Technology (Pre-Purchase Program)

    Our LTO-9 Pre-Purchase Program allows anyone to pre-order LTO-9 tape technology before it is available. This is the ninth generation of tape technology that delivers on the promise made by the LTO Consortium to develop LTO tape technology through at least 12 generations. In an endeavor to deliver our customers the latest technology on the market, we are offering pre orders of LTO-9 tape technology. This gives our customers the best opportunity to receive the latest generation of LTO tape as soon as it’s available. LTO-9 is expected to be available in Fall 2020.

     How to Buy: CLICK HERE | or call us today @ 1-800-700-7683.

    How to Sell: For those looking to sell your old data tapes prior to upgrading to LTO-9, CLICK HERE to submit your inventory and we will contact you back within 24 Hours.


    LTO TECHNOLOGY FOR LONG-TERM DATA PROTECTION

    LTO tape technology provides organizations with reliable, long-term data protection and preservation. With LTO tape drives, organizations can meet security and compliance requirements, while at the same time, save on storage footprint, power, and cooling costs, which can make a significant difference in operating costs for larger library environments.

    LTO-9 FEATURED HIGHLIGHTS

    • Lowest cost per GB.

    • Tape offers lower power and cooling costs, plus a lower footprint leads to improved TCO.

    • Linear Tape File System (LTFS) support.

    • AES 256-bit Encryption – Military-grade encryption comes standard.

    • WORM technology – Makes data non-rewriteable and non-erasable, which acts as an immutable vault within your tape library to secure and protect an offline copy from ransomware.

    LTO-9 vs. LTO-8

    LTO-9 (Linear Tape-Open 9) is the most recently released tape format from the Linear Tape-Open Consortium, following the LTO-8 format which launched in 2017. LTO-9 is expected to double the capacity of LTO-8 to 60 TB compressed. LTO-8 provides 30 TB of compressed storage capacity and 12 TB of uncompressed capacity, doubling what LTO-7 offered.

    Although, the LTO Consortium has not announced the data transfer rate for LTO-9 yet, LTO-8 features an uncompressed data transfer rate of up to 360 MBps and a compressed data transfer rate of up to 750 MBps. 

    LTO-9 has a similar structure to LTO-8 in that tape drives are backward-compatible with one generation. Essentially, the LTO-8 tapes can read and write to LTO-7 tapes. LTO had typically been able to read back two generations and write back one generation. However, in LTO-8 the backward reading compatibility is limited to one generation. 

    LTO-9 also features the same WORM, LTFS, and 256-bitencryption technology as the prior generation LTO-8.

    Uses for LTO-9

    LTO features high capacity, durability, and portability for a comparatively low cost. Archived data storage is not normally needed on an immediate basis, making tape a solid backup option. More commonly, backup data is used for restores in the event of an incident or data loss.

    LTO-9 tapes housed at an off-site location are a fantastic option for disaster recovery. If an organizations main data hub has an incident, they can use the durable LTO9 tapes to recover their data. According to the LTO consortium, once data becomes less frequently retrieved, it should be migrated to tape. 

    Tape is particularly useful in industries such as entertainment and healthcare that generate large volumes of data every day and require a long-term data storage option that’s less expensive than disk. As ransomware attacks stay in the headlines, tape provides an offline backup storage option immune to a cyber-attack. Data stored on an LTO-9 tape cartridge does not have to be connected to the network. This creates what is called an Airgap and creates a safety net from a cyberattack.

    Pros and Cons of LTO-9 Tape

    Tape capacity continues to expand. When LTO-9 launches, it will have enhanced the compressed capacity of the LTO tape products by almost 60 TB in roughly 10 years. As data levels continue to grow rapidly for many groups, capacity is one of the most important aspects of data storage media. Even the cost of tape is low compared to storing 60 TB on other storage media such as disk or flash. Particularly when taking energy and equipment into consideration as a constant energy source is not required to keep data stored on tape.

    Other advantages of LTO-9 tape include:

    • A reliable generational roadmap that allows customers to count on a new product every few years, and a capacity that is not far off from the original estimate.

    • 256-bit encryption that guarantees security during storage and shipment. Its offline nature also serves as protection from ransomware and cyberattacks, creating an airgap.

    • A reputation of being extremely reliable, with a lifespan of roughly 30 years. The tape format is also portable, making it remarkably easy to transport.

    LTO’s open format also allows customers to access multiple, compatible products. The open format offers intellectual property licenses to prospective manufacturers, leading to innovation and improvements. However, LTO products are not compatible with non-LTO products.

    Depending on the amount of data you need to store, cloud storage can be less expensive than tape. In some instances, cloud backup providers provide a free option up to a specified volume of data. Cloud also offers random access, unlike tape. But restoration of data files can be slow depending on data volume and bandwidth.

    14 questions to ask before upgrading your servers

    Servers are almost always used with specific objectives in mind. Regardless of whether the server is installed in a small business or large enterprise, the server’s role can change over time and sometimes start fulfilling other services and responsibilities. Therefor, it’s important to reviewing a server’s resource load to help ensure the organization improves performance and avoids downtime. 

    What do you do when your servers are obsolete and ready to be retired? Unfortunately, server upgrades aren’t as easy as just dropping in more RAM, they require extensive planning. 

    The server is essentially the backbone of a businesses’ IT functionality. Acquiring and installing a new server is a large undertaking for any business. Choosing the correct server is important to the value of an organization’s future.

    So, what should you consider when it’s time to upgrade? To make matters a little easier, we’ve put together a list of 14 things to consider when upgrading your servers to ensure your organization’s systems perform at the highest levels.

    Does it fit your needs?

    First, let’s make sure that the new server is able to meet your organization’s IT needs. Determine the necessary requirements, compile this information, and work from there.

    Is integration possible?

    Check if you are able to integrate sections of your existing server into the new server. This could potentially save money on new technology and provide a level of consistency in terms of staff knowledge on the existing technology. Upgrading doesn’t mean that you need to throw your old equipment in the trash.

    What are the costs?

    Once you understand the performance requirements, the next step is to gauge which servers meet this most closely. Technology can be very expensive, so you shouldn’t pay for any technology that won’t be of use to your organization’s output.

    What maintenance is involved?

    Even the most current technology needs to be maintained and any length of downtime could be disastrous for an organization. Ensure that some form of maintenance cover is put in place. Usually, there is a warranty included, but it comes with an expiration date. Make sure you ask about extended warranty options if they’re available.

    What about future upgrades?

    Considering the future is critical when it comes to working with new technology. The fast pace at which technology develops means that you may need to consider growing your server a lot sooner than you expected. 

    Do you have a data backup?

    Never make any changes or upgrades to a server, no matter how minor, without having a data backup. When a server is powered down, there is no guarantee that it will come back online. 

    Should you create an image backup?

    Manufacturers tend to offer disk cloning technologies that streamline recovering servers should a failure occur. Some provide a universal restore option that allows you to recover a failed server. When upgrades don’t go as expected, disk images can help recover not only data but a server’s complex configuration.

    How many changes are you making to your servers?

    Don’t make multiple changes all at once. Adding disks, replacing memory, or installing additional cards should all be performed separately. If things go wrong a day or two after the changes are made, the process of isolating the change responsible for the error is much easier, than doing a myriad of changes all at once. If only a single change is executed, it’s much easier to track the source of the problem.

    Are you monitoring your logs?

    After a server upgrade is completed, never presume all is well just because the server booted back up without displaying errors. Monitor log files, error reports, backup operations, and other critical events. Leverage Windows’ internal performance reports to ensure all is performing as intended whenever changes or upgrades are completed.

    Did you confirm the OS you are running?

    It’s easy to forget the operating system a server is running. By performing a quick audit of the system to be upgraded, you can confirm the OS is compatible and will be able to use the additional resources being installed.

    Does the chassis support the upgrade?

    Server hardware can be notoriously inconsistent. Manufacturers often change model numbers and product designs. Whenever installing additional resources, you should read the manufacturer’s technical specifications before purchasing the upgrades.

    Did you double check that it will work?

    Whenever upgrading new server hardware, don’t automatically think the new hardware will plug-and-play well with the server’s operating system. Since the upgrade is being completed on a server, confirm the component is listed on the OS vendor’s hardware compatibility list. It doesn’t hurt to check the server manufacturer’s forums either.

    Does the software need an update?

    Make sure to keep up on any upgrades requiring software adjustments. You must also update a server’s virtual memory settings following a memory upgrade. 

    Did you get the most value for your money?

    Sure, less expensive disks, RAM, power supplies, and other resources are readily available. But when it comes to servers only high-quality components should be installed. While these items may cost a bit more than others, the performance and uptime benefits more than compensate for any additional expense.

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    DTC works with some of the biggest names in #business! We’re here to help. Give our sales team a call today and get your #data on the right track! P: 1-800-700-7683

     

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    Features of LTO Technology over the Years

    Linear Tape Open or better known as (LTO) Ultrium is a high-capacity, single-reel tape storage created and frequently improved by HPE, IBM and Quantum. LTO tape is a powerful yet scalable tape format that helps address the growing demands of data protection.

    PROVIDING GROWTH FOR GENERATIONS.

    Originally introduced at the turn of the new millennium, LTO technology is currently in its 8th generation out of a proposed twelve generations. LTO-8 supports storage capacity of up to 30 TB compressed, twice that of the previous generation LTO-7, and data transfer rates of up to 750MB/second. New generations of LTO storage have been launched consistently with higher capacity and transfer rates along with new features to further protect enterprise data. Furthermore, LTO storage is designed for backward compatibility meaning it can write back one generation and read back two generations of tape. Currently, LTO-8 Ultrium drives are able to read and write LTO -7 and LTO-8 media, ensuring the data storage investment.

    WORM

    LTO technology highlights a write-once, read-many (WORM) ability to make certain that your data isn’t overwritten and supports compliance regulations. The LTO WORM operation is designed to give users a very cost-effective means of storing data in a non-rewriteable format. With the increasing importance of regulatory compliance — including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), and SEC Rule 17-a-4(f) — there is a need for a cost-effective storage solution that can ensure security of corporate data in an permanent format. LTO WORM contains algorithms using the Cartridge Memory (CM), in combination with low level encoding that is mastered on the tape media to prevent tampering.

     

    Encryption

    LTO technology features robust encryption capabilities to heighten security and privacy during storage and transport of tape cartridges. Sadly, it seems like a common occurrence now when a company suffers a breach in security and endangers confidential or private information. Fortunately, recent generation LTO tape drives include one of the strongest encryption capabilities available in the industry to help safeguard the most vulnerable data stored on tape cartridges. LTO tape encryption is specific to all LTO generations since generation 4 (LTO-4). It features a 256-symmetric key AES-GCM algorithm that is implemented at the drive level. This facilitates compression before encryption to maximize tape capacities and deliver high performance during backup. With a rising number of laws and regulations and financial penalties, a security breach can be damaging for corporations. Data managers are called upon to develop effective security for sensitive data and are turning to tape encryption.

     

    Partitioning

    More modern generations of LTO technology include a partitioning feature, which help to enhance file control and space management with the Linear Tape File System (LTFS).

    Beginning with the 5th generation (LTO-5), LTO technology specifications consist of a partitioning feature that allows for a new standard in ease-of-use and portability.

    Partitioning allows for a section of the tape to be set aside for indexing, which tells the drive exactly where in the tape a file is stored.  The second partition holds the actual file.  With LTFS, the indexing information is first read by the drive and presented in a simple, easy-to-use format that allows for “drag and drop” capabilities, similar to a thumb drive.

    Why Your Data Storage Strategy Should Include Tape

    As most businesses utilize the latest in flash and cloud storage technologies to keep up with extensive data growth, tape technology continues to thrive. The decades-old storage platform has continued to be remarkably dependable throughout the multiple innovations in storage equipment. In fact, tape still offers numerous benefits when it comes to backup, archival and other mass storage of data.

     

    Tape’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

     

    The cost per gigabyte of tape storage is less than a penny compared to about three cents for hard disk storage, according to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). In the long run, tape is also less expensive than cloud storage. The hardware, software, and operational costs are all more costly with other forms of data storage technologies. Additionally, tape has a smaller footprint and uses considerably less power than disk. ESG found that in a 10-year total cost of ownership (TCO) study, an LTO tape solution cost just 14% as much as an all-disk infrastructure, and 17% as much as a hybrid disk/cloud storage solution.

     

    The Density of LTO Tape Technology

     

    One of tape’s key value propositions is its density. The most recent release of Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium 8 technology provides capacity of up to 30TB of compressed storage.

     

    The Lifespan of Data Stored on Tape

     

    Yet another major benefit of tape is its longevity of data storage. LTO tape media has a lifespan of 30 years or more, with the average tape drive lasting nearly 10 years. In contrast, the average disk storage lasts roughly four years. ESG conducted a lab audit of LTO-8 drives and found them to be more reliable than disk.

     

    The Ever-Increasing Speed of LTO Tape

     

    There are still several people that hold to the belief that tape is much too slow to be useful in today’s rapidly evolving IT environment. However, the increases in storage speeds over the 8 generations of LTO tape hasn’t been seen by any other storage solutions. For instance, LTO-7 provides compressed data transfer rates of up to 750MB per second, that’s more than 2.7TB per hour, compared to the 80MB per second of LTO-3 which was released only ten years prior.

     

    Data Tape Software

     

    Not only had tape increased in density and speed over the years, tape has also gotten smarter. Linear Tape File System (LTFS) allows tape data to be read as just another drive on a network. Users can drag and drop files to tape and can see a list of saved files using an operating system directory. LTFS is an open standard supported by LTO drives from any manufacturer. By making it possible to maneuver files on tape just as you would with disk, LTFS allows organizations to use tape for more than backup and archival. Tape becomes part of an “active” archival infrastructure in which data can be moved to the most cost-effective storage tier at any time. As a result, tape is increasingly used for audio/video and surveillance data, and in big data and regulatory compliance use cases.

     

    The Future of LTO

     

    LTO technology continues to improve. The LTO Consortium recently finalized the LTO-9 specification and announced plans for the development through 12 generations of the storage technology. LTO-9 is slated for release in Fall 2020. IBM introduced a tape drive based upon the most advanced LTO-8, which offers compressed capacity of up to 30TB (12TB native) and compressed data transfer rates of up to 900MB per second (360MB per second native). The drive comes with AME and AES-256 encryption and write-one-read-many (WORM) capabilities for data protection and is compatible with LTO-7 media.

     

    Tape as a lower cost, portable, and simple to use storage solution has always made it a fantastic choice for long-term archival backup. LTO innovations over the past decade have produced unparalleled increases in capacity and greatly superior economics compared to other storage technologies on the market.

    Infographic: The Importance of Data Backup

    Why is it important to backup your data?

    Your organization may have a top of the line computers and equipment, but eventually they’re going to be obsolete and you don’t want lose your data. Even worse, the Internet harbors many potential threats to data. Viruses and trojans don’t just  steal data they erase it.

    There is also the threat of ransomware. That’s when a hacker puts a virus on your computer that encrypts your data, making it useless. You may have to pay a ransom in order for the hacker to unencrypt your data, with no guarantee that he or she will do so. If you have a current backup of your data, this is less of a worry. You can just wipe your hard drive and restore it to your latest backup.

    Everything You Need to Know About Offsite Data Backup

    All About Offsite Data Backup and How It Works

    Does your business maintain and operate a high-level enterprise data center? If so, then you can’t afford not to delve into offsite data backup. However, the process of knowing exactly how to go about it can be quite confusing to some. That’s why we’re covering the ins and outs of offsite data backup.

    Here are a few things to consider before starting (we’ll go over each):

    • Recovery-point objective (RPO)
    • Recovery-time objective (RTO)
    • Method
    • Risk
    • Cost
    offsite data backup solutions

    Offsite Data Backup Simply Explained

    In essence, it’s a method of backing up data to a remote, cloud-based server or to another piece of data storage hardware. The data storage hardware can then be transported, somewhere other than where the other data is stored, hence the term off-site.

    Factors to Consider

    Recovery-Time Objective (RTO)

    The recovery-time objective is the time it will take you to recover any lost data. This is one of, if not the main reason to look into the different offsite data backup options available. It is always smart to ensure your data is secure, no matter what.

    When utilizing offsite data storage with physical data storage hardware like data tape cartridges, down time can be a factor in your company’s RTO. For example, if your company is located in California and your storage facility is located in Arizona, there will be a downtime in the transportation between the two locations.

    However, it is a good idea to have a fair amount of distance between your backup data and mainline data. This practice will protect against a total data loss if both were stored in the same local area. If a natural disaster were to occur, all of your data could be completely wiped out.

    In the event of a natural disaster at the mainline facility, a data recovery would require physically moving tape cartridges between locations. With the task of setting them up for a restoration included, you’ll need to account for shipping and travel time. However, this also depends on the size of the company, the number of tape cartridges. And the amount of data attempting to be restored.

    Recovery-Point Objective (RPO)

    The recovery point objective is the amount of time between data backups, based on the method you use to back up your data. For obvious reasons, cloud backup storage comes with the most advantages in terms of RPO. Some of them include:

    • Multiple backups in any given 24-hour period
    • No physical hardware to buy, maintain, or store
    • Quicker recovery times

    While using physical data tape cartridges has security and cost advantages of its own, the data backup opportunities might not be as convenient. This goes with saying that should an organization experience a major data loss, they may not be guaranteed accurate, up to date information.

    The Risk of Offsite Backup

    The utilization of cloud services as a backup and data storage is becoming more popular than ever before; even among organizations that prefer a hybrid approach.

    However, many companies still have concerns about potential security breaches within a cloud service provider. This cloud apprehension has led to the recent comeback of hard disk storage.

    The way you decide to implement your data backup will affect your RPO and RTO, and both methods come with their own risks. For example:

    • You can increase security and reduce risk by storing tape cartridges farther; resulting in an increased RTO and decreased RPO.
    • You can decrease the RTO and increase the RPO by storing tape cartridges at a nearby location; resulting in an increased risk of losing them in a location-wide catastrophe.

    The first thing any company should do is decide on the data backup method that is right for their individual needs. That crucial decision will make it much easier to weigh the pros and cons of the specific method they choose.

    streamer, tape library for data backup

    The Cost of Offsite Backup

    Your choice of method for backing up your data will also have an effect on financial decisions.

    Cloud service providers require different fees for different plans. Most providers have monthly and annual plans that can also determine the cost benefits associated with each.

    Disk drive and data tape storage have other expense factors associated like:

    • Cost of the data storage hardware (tape storage cartridges)
    • Transportation or shipping fees to an off-site location
    • Overhead associated with an off-site data storage facility (rent, mortgage, utilities’, etc.)
    • The cost of updating a live data copy

    At the end of the day, an organization is responsible for balancing the cost and the risk associated with managing its RTO and RPO. It comes down to the size of the business, the amount of data that requires an updated back up, how often the backups need to occur, and the overall budget assigned to the backup itself.

    How We Can Help

    The decisions any organization has to make when choosing on an off-site data storage solution are going depend on the size of the company and its data center, the location of both the main site and the off-site facilities, the type of storage hardware being used, and even type of data being stored.

    Nevertheless, general data security, data storage, and data backup best practices are going to remain fairly constant. A business can adopt its own plan and strategy to fit its individual data requirements, but the most important thing that must remain is taking an active part in the safety of vital data.

    Trusting the help of a reputable ITAD vendor makes a huge difference. There are countless security measures that a business may not think to take into account. A professional ITAD company will to ensure your data is properly secure from start to finish.

    Since 1965, we’ve been in the business of helping organizations with all of their IT asset needs. With over 130 years combined industry experience, our equipment experts can assist in offloading old or retired hardware fast and easy. Contact us today for a free quote and see why we’ve been trusted by businesses both large and small for over half a century.

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