Tape Backup Vs. Disk Backup

A strong disaster recovery strategy provides essential protection for your business, but to keep your data safe, you need to choose appropriate storage media. At Secure Data Recovery Services, we treat hundreds of disk backup and tape backup systems every year, and our clients often ask whether we recommend a particular type of media for data archiving.

What's the Difference between Tape Backup and Disk Backup?

Whether you use tapes or disks to store essential files, you need an appropriate backup strategy to prevent data loss.

Disk backups provide some obvious advantages over tapes. Tape drives cannot randomly access data, so they offer extremely slow access speeds for individual files when compared to disk-based systems. Some manufacturers have attempted to correct this discrepancy by introducing specialized file systems that allow for faster access (notably IBM's Linear Tape File System), but tapes are still intrinsically slower than disk-based media in this respect.

Some of the advantages of disk backups include:

  • Fast Access to Stored Data
  • Lower Setup Costs
  • Easier to Recall Specific Backups Electronically
  • Flexible Security Features
  • Easier to Verify Written Data
  • Better Scalability

While tape backups require a significant initial investment, they often provide a better long-term return on investment for larger businesses. Tape drives use less electricity than disk-based systems, and you can store tapes for decades without losing data. However, media storage and management adds to the cost of a tape-based backup system.

The major advantages of tape backups include:

  • Dependable Durability for Long-Term Storage
  • Greater Portability
  • Lower Costs for Enterprise-Level Systems
  • Excellent Security and Encryption Capabilities
  • Less Susceptible to Environmental Damage and Shock Damage
  • Effective for Full System Backups

In recent years, disk-based backups have become much more affordable, and many enterprise-level businesses now prefer disk storage systems for backup and archiving. By using up-to-date encryption tools, you can set up a RAID server or cloud system with excellent security at a reasonable price.

What to Consider When Choosing a Data Backup System

To create an effective backup strategy, you should consider the size and frequency of your backups. All disk backup and tape backup systems need to follow well-established protocols in order to provide dependable results, and you should carefully evaluate your backup habits before choosing storage media.

Disk-based backups might make sense for your business if you regularly need to recall individual files from your media. You might also upgrade from tapes to disks if you could save enough on media costs and administration to replace your current system.

If you decide to implement a new backup strategy, you need help from a professional data transfer service. Secure Data Recovery Services offers data tape conversion and other media services to help your business quickly transition to a new system. Our specialists can also help you avoid a data loss disaster by repairing damaged media, and we can securely treat data through an expansive network of more than 40 offices across the United States. For more information or to discuss your business's backup strategy, contact our customer services team today.