Tape backup vs Online backup


Are Tape Backups Cheaper?


Do you know how much tape backups are costing your company? At first glance it may appear cheaper but when you include the manual effort involved online backup is clearly the cheaper solution.


How much does tape backup cost?


If you currently backup your data and use tape backup have you considered how much this is costing? Firstly you have your equipment costs, for effective backup you will require around 15 tapes but this can vary depending on your backup schedule.  These tapes don’t last forever and should be replaced every year.  Next you require a tape drive which can cost upto £3000 plus the cost to maintain it, you will also require software to backup your data to the tapes, this can cost anything upto £500.

For an example we will say that 1 hour a week is spent on backups and the member of staff that performs these backups is paid £15 per hour.


£15 x 52 = £780 per year

As you can see in man hours alone the cost is £780 per year, adding this to the other costs clearly shows that tape backup is the most expensive option.  These calculations don’t even include time spent verifying that the backups are successful!  With online backup the schedule is created and we take care of the rest.

·         We monitor your backups to ensure that they are successful

·         We work with you to perform test restores so that the data is verified

·         Data is stored off site

·         No more forgetting backups

·         Option to have continuous backup 

Consider these expenses:  

  • Employee time spent doing the backup and transporting the tapes off-site. With online data backup, you eliminate this expense entirely.
  • Cost of replacing broken/old tape drives- online data backup absorbs the costs of the storage equipment.  You no longer require backup hardware or software.
  • The exorbitant cost of not being able to restore critical business data when you need it. When you experience your first data loss and are able to completely restore with online data backup, the money you save will pay for online data backup for the next decade.

Considerations when choosing a backup method

When choosing a backup method, consider the following factors:

  • Capacity - does it have scope for growth
  • Start-up and media - cost for equipment, software
  • Maintenance - cost of maintaining equipment
  • Reliability - how reliable is the backup, if it fails are you notified
  • Simplicity - is it easy to setup and maintain
  • Performance - speed of backups and more importantly restores
  • Testing - how will you test the backups, tapes can be very cumbersome
  • Secure - is your data secure?

Cost comparison

Device NameDescriptionCapacityPrice Range
Online Backup (Remote Backup) (Internet Backup) (Offsite Backup) Online Backup is now widely accepted as the industry standard method for protecting critical business and enterprise data. Fully automated and highly reliable secure offsite backups replace unreliable and time consuming conventional tape backups. 2GB - 100TB
From £9.99 / Month
(digital audio tape)
This tape, originally designed for recording high-quality audio, was primarily developed and marketed for use as a backup medium by Hewlett-Packard. They use two different types of data format to store the data: DDS (digital data storage) and DataDAT. .20GB - 160GB£400+
(digital linear tape)
DLT drives are a robust medium. The DLT segments the tape into parallel, horizontal tracks and streams the tape across a stationary head to record the data. They are seen as a reliable, high speed and high capacity solution, ideal for network backup.80GB - 600GB
LTO Ultrium This is a new tape format and provides very fast backup (up to 100GB/hour) with high capacity. Native tape capacity is 100GB, but can store up to 400GB of compressed data AIT - AIT is a mid range backup standard, designed to handle native capacities from 25Gb to 100Gb. The drives are designed to be self cleaning. 100GB - 1.6TB


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