Adding Cloud to a Tiered Backup Strategy

The traditional way of doing backup to a single medium changed when backup-to-disk became a possibility about a decade ago with the availability of deduplication technology enabled disk-based backup appliances. Prior to that, all backups went to tape. Tape was the undisputed queen of backups. But its position was dislodged by low-cost SATA disks, which although lacked the portability of tape, offered fast performance, RAID protection, Read-verification and were able to pack more backups per gigabyte with deduplication and compression techniques. Deduped backups could also be replicated to a second appliance to a remote location for Disaster Recovery. This was known as Tape Vaulting because virtual tapes now traveled over wire, instead of being transported in trucks, reducing risk of data loss through damaged or stolen tapes.


Disk-based backups helped IT meet their ever shrinking backup windows and significantly reduced their RTOs (Recovery Time Objectives). Storage based snapshots were used for immediate backups to primary storage and instantaneous restores. Recent backups (e.g. last 4 weeks) were stored on a disk-based backups appliance, deduped and compressed.

Today we have another backup tier available for further protection and backup resilience. The Cloud. A third copy is moved to cloud storage for geographical resilience. Tape can also be used if required for compliance reasons or for long term archival locally or at DR site.

This is great news for IT, because it can now have more protection with multiple copies (up to four), faster response on restores (from snapshots and restores from disk) and protection across geographies in case of site or country level disaster at much lower costs (with Cloud) and still use tape for compliance purposes.

About the author: 

Jaime is Marketing Manager at ISIT. He has worked in IT for over 25 years in various technical and non-technical roles in companies based in the US and the UAE. He has been a key contributor to ISIT since the company’s inception in 2007 in Sales, Business Development and Marketing. He is an avid follower of technology trends and enjoys talking about technology in a way that is easy for a non-technical person to comprehend.

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