Technology gets obsolete almost by the minute! But, has the cloud really made the tape technology obsolete? The answer is “Yes” and “No”. Cloud Backup is an integrative technology. It integrates and absorbs all available technologies to ease the pains of each individual technology. Tape technology is now a dimension of the cloud technology or can be seamlessly hooked up with it to provide the client enterprise with the advantages of both cloud backup and tape backup.
Cloud backup vendors are increasingly adopting standards that simplify data transmission and storage across devices—both tape and disk. Files are turned into objects that have their own metadata and can be moved around without loss of identity or self descriptive information contained in the metadata. Data integrity checks can be enforced and standard protocols such as Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) management interface are used to ensure standardization of object based data storage and transmission in heterogeneous environments.
Many cloud backup vendors offer disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backups for a variety of reasons. When data that is transferred to the cloud needs to be archived, cloud backup vendors suggest that such data may be transferred back to tape and shipped back to the enterprise for storage in their tape storage systems. This reduces costs and enables the enterprise to use the relatively expensive cloud stores more meaningfully. Those who wish to have a tape backup of all data being transmitted to the cloud backup vendor’s storage repositories can also request for a tape of the backup periodically for additional backup security. A few cloud backup vendors integrate tape backup systems into their backup technology and permit simultaneous backup into the cloud and tape from a single agent interface.
The integration of the tape and the cloud into seamless whole advantages enterprises that wish to express their storage needs in terms of policies rather than in terms of devices used. While the disk supports concurrent users and non sequential modes of access, the tape proves ideal for sequential storage, quick restore and archival of information no longer being actively used. The tape also proves a boon if and when there is an Internet outage that is not immediately resolvable or there are large volumes of data to be transferred from one source to another.