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WEB HOSTING ARTICLES

Back up Your Backups
By: Jonathan Caputo
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    2006-06-14

    Table of Contents:
  • Back up Your Backups
  • RAID, Shmade
  • Tape, Shmape
  • Other Types of Not So Obvious Backups

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    Back up Your Backups - Tape, Shmape


    (Page 3 of 4 )

    Tape backups are considered to be one of the very first ways created to back up data. This mechanism is still used today. Usually tape backups consist of an automated process which can be run incrementally each time data is altered, or nightly, or weekly, or at some kind of regular interval.

    There are three big problems with relying upon this solution. First, tape backups are prone to hogging system resources while they're doing their thing. Second, most tape backups are only as good as the software than runs them, and often they have difficulty backing up certain files/directories. Finally, restoring from a tape backup is extremely painful and time consuming. One other thing to consider is sometimes the tape, over time and depending upon temperature conditions, can become corrupted so even if all your data is backed up onto tape, you may still not have a complete backup.

    Many hosting companies to this day will still offer tape backups as an affordable alternative solution to a RAID configuration. Or they may even combine tape backups with CD/DVD backups, where they will archive your tape data onto CD/DVDs each day/week/month or whatever you are willing to pay for. Naturally CD/DVD backups are still only as good as the tape backup, since the data would be pulled from the tape first and then burned onto a CD/DVD, but even with CD/DVDS there can be scratches, they can get lost you get the idea.

    Ultimately this kind of backup procedure is better than nothing, but should only be considered as a stand alone solution if you simply cannot afford anything else. Still, the other question you should be asking yourself is if you actually can afford to lose all of your data. Not many people or businesses are able to afford such a disaster.

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