Research Hub > Azure Backup: Saying Goodbye to Tape
3 min

Azure Backup: Saying Goodbye to Tape

This cloud-based data recovery service solves many of the traditional backup issues.


In a world of automation and set it and forget it IT resources, there is something quaint about physically handling a piece of equipment nightly, especially equipment based on technology that was invented nearly 70 years ago, back in 1951. What equipment am I talking about? Nope, I’m not talking about the phone system or moving it into a cloud-based Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) system (invented in 1876, by the way). Instead, I am talking about your tape backups.

Maybe you weren’t aware, but your system administrators physically move a tape in and out of a tape drive attached to a server, whose primary job is to keep track of which version of data belongs to which tape. They are doing this on a nightly basis. Then the tape is either shipped offsite or removed by a service to preserve disaster recovery protocols. Heaven forbid if a backup drive creates any data traffic latency.

Yes, I have come back to the office the next morning to a 31 percent backup (I prayed that no one deleted something that needed to be restored that day). I have also found (too late) that the backups I thought were complete had some fails due to media degradation. And I’ve experienced the challenge of needing to be in five places at one time and not being able to get to the tape drive in time to set up the new media for the night’s backup job.

There Is Another Way

Is your organization facing these same challenges? Are you confident that you can prevent a disastrous scenario, such as a leader pin being sucked into the tape housing (a key weakness of DLT media). Is part of your IT strategy based on a willingness to accept 70 percent loss of the previous day’s data because of incomplete backups?

I would like to suggest another method for backing up organizational data to a secure offsite location. Azure Backup protects data on both the Windows client side as well as enterprise data center level information, including SQL databases, email solutions, SharePoint sites and shared file servers. This can be an autonomous solution that separates the backup files and stores multiple versions of data without human hands needing to touch it nightly. Suddenly, files and systems can be moved simultaneously instead of having to wait their turn to be funneled through a single backup drive.

So Many Benefits

But wait, there’s more! Have you moved to the cloud for your email, intranet and file stores? Are you still backing them up? Hopefully you are because Office 365 has high availability SLAs, but no file or email restoration capabilities. If you aren’t actively backing up your Exchange Online data, you lose the capability to restore an email or folder that a user accidentally deleted. If your production data is in the cloud, why would you back up to a local tape resource? Azure Storage for Backup is an efficient way to keep your data in the cloud and cover yourself in case of a user-initiated disaster scenario.

Learn more about how CDW can assist you with your backup and storage needs.