Cloud backup is on the rise – but why is tape so sticky?

Dec 2014

Cloud backup is on the rise – but why is tape so sticky?


The following is a guest post by Peter Groucutt, Managing Director at Databarracks

As an Asigra partner, backup and recovery always play a big part in our annual Data Health Check survey. Our 2014 results Databarracks Health Check show that backup services with 3rd party providers are being used by more respondents in the UK than ever before – but tape remains sticky. 4% of our respondents are still using a tape-only backup solution (although this figure has fallen from 19% in 2008), and nearly a quarter (23%) use tape in combination with disk.

Tapes are a notoriously risky method of backing up your data – they are slow, bulky and unreliable. So why the reluctance to leave tape behind? Mostly, it all comes down to cost. Tape is a low-cost option for organisations that have a lot of data to store - and at the rate that data is growing, that’s most of us (file data was the leading cause of unwanted storage growth in 2014). Half of the battle is understanding what data you have. Once you do this, you can archive the inactive data and then backup business-critical files to high-performance storage that can be restored much more quickly.

Of the organisations that are only using tape for their backups, it would take 44% of them more than 24 hours to recover from a disaster. This fell to just 15% for those using a combination of tape and disk, and 11% for those using an online backup service - with nearly a third of online backup users able to recover in less than 4 hours.

Management of backups is another reason we expect to see the adoption of cloud backup services rise in 2015. This year, 32% of large businesses in the UK admitted they employed dedicated members of staff just to manage their backups, with a further 25% spending over 2 hours per day on the task. Managed cloud backup solutions relieve your IT team of this responsibility and allow them to focus more time on actually doing their job and improving the company through technology. 60% of organisations using a cloud backup service through a 3rd party provider spend less than 2 hours managing backups per day, with a third spending less than 30 minutes.

For more information, you can read the online Data Health Check infographic here, or download the full report here.

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