Tape has spent several decades as the medium of choice for data storage. It reigned supreme throughout the 1980s and 1990s, but with cloud storage growing in popularity and the price of flash storage declining, many people have been eager to declare tape a dead storage medium. Although tape as a storage medium is on the decline, it isn’t dead yet; it will likely still be hanging around for quite some time still.
Regardless of whether you’re using tape or a cloud storage system, having your data backed up off-site is always a wise idea. Off-site data backup creates an extra layer of security for your data in the event something catastrophic happens to your main facility. If your backed up data is stored on-site, there’s always the possibility that it will be lost or damaged if something catastrophic happens to your main facility, like a fire or natural disaster. But if you’re going to invest in backing your data up off-site, cloud storage has some significant advantages over tape.
When businesses put their data into storage, they need their data will need to still be readable anywhere from 15 to 30 years later. When you use tape to backup your data, you’re storing your data on a relatively unpredictable medium. Because tape is a physical medium, it is susceptible to wear and tear. Tape also needs to be stored properly if it’s going to remain in good, readable condition. If tape isn’t stored properly, it can deteriorate or be damaged, potentially making data irretrievable in the event you need it.
Your data belongs to you; you shouldn’t have to wait to have access it. Have you ever logged into your bank account to look up a bank statement from several months ago, only to be told you’ll have to make a special request for that statement and it’s going to take a while before you’ll be able to have it? This is something that happens when banks use tape to backup their data. Once the data is moved to tape, someone has to go back and look it up when it’s needed. With cloud storage, your data is there for you exactly when you need it.
Since you won’t need a person to look up older information that has been archived to tape, cloud computing is going to inherently have some cost savings over tape storage. Since cloud storage solutions are becoming more and more affordable, the cost savings also make it easier for companies to create redundancy that is always desirable with data storage. Although cloud storage is less susceptible to damage the way tape is, that doesn’t mean cloud storage is completely fail safe. If there are issues with one cloud, you can afford to have another cloud to fall back on until the main cloud is gotten back online.