Your data backup has only one purpose—Recovery at the time of need. How quickly and how easily you can recover your data will be the benchmark for your evaluation of the quality of service being provided by your backup service. So, let us look at a few data recovery options that are available and popularly used by organizations in similar recovery situations.
Though tape backup is getting more and more sophisticated, it is a fact that the best time to recovery cannot be obtained from tape backups. If the data backed up into tape is voluminous, your recovery time is going to painfully be drawn out. You will have to pop out and pop in a number of tapes till you are done. It involves manual labor and detailed attention to the process of recovery. Moreover, if you are attempting disaster recovery, the process can be spread over days or even weeks. You will have to fire up the server, install the operating system, configure the settings, load the proprietary software that makes tape recovery possible and then transfer the data from your tape to your server. In short, you will have to rebuild the entire environment if a disaster destroys your server. If the situation is not so bad and you have to recover only a few files and folders, you will have to load up the correct tape, sequentially access the files and folders till you reach the file or folder you want to recover. Time to recovery is not going to be optimum.
The cloud is a disk-to-cloud or a disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup system. Voluminous data can be copied on to a disk and shipped to the data center for seeding into a server. Thereafter, incremental backups can update the cloud backup and recovery system with little or no human intervention. Recovery of information can be done from a local backup disk or server backup that is created simultaneously when the cloud back up is being seeded and incrementally updated. Cloud-to-disk backups can also be requested and a disk or disks containing the complete database can be shipped back by the cloud vendor for seeding the local server with the data. Bare metal restores of information on similar or dissimilar hardware can also be done if new data centers have to be opened at a remote location or new branch of the company from the cloud backup. Additionally, the recovery process can be made instantaneous by connecting employee computing machines to the cloud backup repository and continuing with the business while the local servers are fired up and made operational. Time to recovery will be minimal.