Is Tape Backup Dead?

Tape Backup Storage

Readers not accustomed to the world of backup may be surprised to hear that tape backup is still extremely prevalent, despite the decline of consumer tape-based devices over a decade ago. This article will discuss the uses of tape backup technology, and the alternatives to tape available today.

Why do some businesses still use tape?

Modern businesses can often be found utilizing tape as a backup solution today simply because they always have, and they have already invested in the technology to do so. Tape does have its advantages for businesses who need to backup a very large amount of data and need to store it for very long periods of time, but for most businesses these capabilities are unnecessary and are outweighed by the downsides of tape.

What are the downsides of tape backup?

Tape drives can be very expensive and tapes themselves can be troublesome to store safely. Many businesses store their tape backups on-site or personally take them home after a backup. This can be disastrous in the event of a break in or accident as days or weeks of work could be lost, depending on the frequency of backups. The safest tape storage technique involves off-site safes or secure storage facilities, which can get expensive.

The way in which tape backup works means that it isn’t immediately obvious if a backup is corrupted, as tapes must be checked sequentially to detect corruption. When tapes are found to be corrupted, it is often exactly at the moment you need them. The sequential nature of tape backup is a problem even when tapes aren’t corrupted, as they must be scrolled through to find the desired data when the time comes to restore files. This can be an extremely long and tedious process, especially if there is a large amount of data to scroll through across multiple tapes.

What are the alternatives?

Modern consumers often use desktop external hard disk drives for backup, which is a cheap and work-light way to back up data but can run into problems in the case of drive failure, theft or fire. Many consumers tend to start off using these drives for backup but gradually start using the drives as external storage, leaving their data solely on the external drive. This can be disastrous when the drive eventually fails (usually after about 4 or 5 years, according to this article).

Businesses do not have the luxury of relying on small scale on-site backup as they must regularly back up their data securely, monthly, weekly and in some cases daily or on the hour. This can amount to a large amount of data – far too much for a small desktop HDD. For businesses there is really only one safe backup method: the cloud.

Cloud based backup is becoming the standard among safety-conscious businesses as it is automatic, off-site and fast. Software can be set to backup all company files daily and backup all incremental changes almost as they happen. This can mean that in the event of a disaster data can be restored very quickly, meaning no productivity is lost. Just a few clicks and your business can be back up and running, with all data restored. The speed and reliability of cloud backup is unrivaled and comes at a low cost compared to the price of data loss.

 

For more information on the cloud backup services Sleepless provides, please click here.

If you have any questions regarding cloud backup, please feel free to contact Sleepless using the button below.

 

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Email in the Cloud: No Brainer

Hand holding tray with cloud computing concept

Email is the backbone of any modern businesses and is an integral part of customer acquisition, retention and communication, but many business owners don’t give it a second thought.

Many people regularly use cloud based personal email, such as Gmail or Hotmail, but haven’t considered cloud email for business. Onsite email regularly causes headaches and slowdowns within a business and can even result in lost business in the case of lost emails and server failures. This can lose businesses money, and can cost hours of valuable company time.

The time and energy needed to set up onsite email servers can be costly. The modern need to protect against malware, span and trojans can be an arduous burden, and software licenses can become expensive. There could also be a potentially devastating loss of data were these servers to fail. These problems can all be offset through the use of a hosted cloud based email service.

Outsourcing your confidential emails to an external company can seem scary but is, in fact, the safest, most secure option available. Cloud email is encrypted and off-site, meaning that sensitive company details are kept away from the centralised workspace, ensuring immunity from physical and digital theft.

What can Cloud Email do for my Business?

Aside from security considerations, cloud email can provide businesses with a multitude of added benefits. The ability to access work email from anywhere can greatly boost staff productivity, allowing instant access to the emails you need, wherever and whenever you need them. Importantly, even if a business’ main server is down, their emails are still accessible and functioning. This means that essential work can still be carried out whilst repairs to onsite servers are made. This would not be possible with an onsite email strategy without separate onsite email servers, which would be expensive and would take up more space and power, whilst providing the same functionality.

When cloud email is paired with a virtual server, staff have the ability to take all of their work on the go, allowing them to access all essential work files whilst away from the office. Modern businesses are increasingly decentralising in order to increase efficiency and productivity, and cloud based email and servers are a panacea in this respect.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is Cloud Email Safe?

Yes: Sleepless Cloud Email utilizes military grade encryption, anti-malware and anti-phishing technologies to keep your data safe. All of our email servers are based in Ireland, meaning all of your organization’s sensitive information never leaves the country. This keeps your organization compliant with EU data legislation.

Can I Use Cloud Email at Multiple Sites?

Yes: Cloud email unifies email across sites, allowing staff to access their email from anywhere in the world. The cloud also enables businesses to sync calendars and notes between sites, ensuring greater cohesion.

What are the Costs of Cloud Email?

Cloud email cuts out the technician, meaning that business need only pay one low monthly fee for their email services; no expensive servers, no costly repair bills. Sleepless Cloud-based Email Hosting starts from as little as €2.00 per mailbox monthly.

If you have any questions regarding cloud email, please feel free to contact Sleepless.

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Which is best for your business? Virtual and Onsite servers compared

In an increasingly competitive economy, businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs whilst improving service, and must constantly evaluate current practices for cost-effectiveness. Many small businesses may be unknowingly held back by their physical onsite servers which can cost thousands to run and maintain.

Onsite servers are the traditional way of storing data within a business, and have the benefit of full customisability, low latency and high performance but come with a number of drawbacks. Small businesses must hire an IT technician at least part time, to handle the maintenance, repair and upgrades needed to keep an onsite server running efficiently. This can be a very expensive and arduous process, especially when things go wrong. An initial setup cost running into the thousands must also be invested to purchase and install the server, and to house the server itself in a secure, temperature controlled room.

Virtual servers eliminate many of these problems. When you rent a virtual server from Sleepless, we take care of all maintenance and server housing, leaving you with the peace of mind that your data is safe. There is no startup cost, no need to hire IT technicians and no need for expert knowledge on the part of the business. Our expert team look after your servers even when you’ve left the office.

The technology world is constantly evolving and virtual servers can help businesses evolve with it. We are constantly upgrading our servers to keep on the razor’s edge of modern tech, without costing our customers anything in upgrade fees. This means that you can rest assured that your business is running on the best technology available, allowing for optimum performance and efficiency.

Many modern companies not only strive for internal efficiency but also strive to be environmentally conscious. A study carried out by Globescan has revealed that nearly two thirds of consumers believe they “have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society”[1]. Virtual servers have the added benefit of being the greenest server method available, allowing for less power consumption and greater efficiency in CPU utilisation[2].

Finally, according to a 2013 study, those who used the cloud for their servers were “106% more likely to see a revenue rise in the past year than those who don’t”[3]. This study also reports that those who use cloud computing are more likely to increase prices and margins and products, increase marketing spend, increase employee pay and boost staff numbers. Without cloud computing and virtual servers, these companies would likely not be able to afford such expenditure.

If you have any questions regarding virtual servers, feel free to contact us using the button below.

 

Works Cited
[1] Globescan. “Globescan.” 27 November 2012. Globescan.

[2] AITP – Research and Strategy Advisory Group. “Virtualization and Its Benefits.” 14 October 2008. ymcdn.com.

[3] MYOB. 2013 MYOB Business Monitor: Cloud & web-savvy SMEs continue to enjoy better business . 2013.