Protecting Data - Part 5 - Tape Alternatives Part 1 - Geek Guru

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Protecting Data – Part 5 – Tape Alternatives Part 1

In this series of mini-blogs we’re looking at backups and data protection. How do you backup your data, how is it best to store data to ensure you always have a copy at hand and how do you protect it when it’s off site.

Tapes Alternatives – External Drives

With the advent of Windows Server 2008 even Microsoft have turned their back on tapes. The media of choice for Windows Server Backup is now external USB drives. These have some real benefits:

  • No need for a drive – External hard drives are both media and drive in one. They don’t require an expensive dock to connect to a server.
  • Relatively cheap – External drives are well priced when compared to a tape drive and media and the price per MB is continually dropping.
  • High capacity – External drives come in sizes that are more than adequate for SMEs.

We are seeing external drives being used more and more – especially for Small Business Server backups where budgets tend to restrict the use of more expensive mediums. However, external drives are not without their issues.

  • Fragile – When powered external drives are prone to shock damage. Even in transit they can easily be damaged if dropped.
  • Don’t scale well – Whilst a couple of drives are cheaper than a tape drive and tapes, the cost benefits don’t scale well as more drives are added.
  • Poor archive – Drives don’t make a great archive medium due to price and lack of a read-only mode.

Next Time – More Media Option

Don’t like the look of external drives as a backup medium. Check out the next blog for some more ideas.

Posted on by Tim
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