When comparing different types of data storage devices, you’ll certainly read and hear about all of the great things that each product has to offer. But what about the downside to each type of media storage? Optical drives, tape media, and disk storage, all have their own set of pros and cons that you’ll need to evaluate before making a decision about which type data backup strategy to implement.
1. The lifespan of the data:
In most sales copy, you’ll read about how much storage space a particular type of media offers, but rarely will you read about how long that data will last. Most people just assume that once stored, their data will be safe forever. The data stored on optical drives, tape media, and disk storage each has a shelf life depending on the media type, the brand of the storage device, and how it’s cared for.
- Optical disks: Between x and x years.
- Tape media: Between x and x years.
- Disk storage: Between x and x years.
Just because one type of media has a shorter lifespan than another doesn’t mean you shouldn’t choose it. It is, however, critical to know the life expectancy so that you can implement a foolproof process for recopying the data at regular intervals. It’s more important to choose a data storage type that fits with your business processes than the one that will last the longest.
2. Potential for data failure:
The whole point of backing up data is to have it available should the unthinkable occur. But what if it’s not there when you need it? Optical drives, tape media, and disk storage all have their own acceptable and expected rates of failure. According to some statistics, disk storage has an approximate mean time before Failure (MTBF) rating of 600,000 to 1,000,000 hours while tape media has an MTBF of about 400,000 to 500,000 hour.
Again, just because one type of data storage has a greater rate of failure than another doesn’t mean it’s not the right option for your business. After all, a failure every 1,000,000 or a failure every 600,000 is still a failure. The logical approach is to ensure that there is a system in place to catch and repair failures. It’s more important to inquire about a specific product’s failure backup strategy than make a decision based on failure rate alone.
3. The length of time to restore data:
When data is lost, recovering systems and data to their pre-disaster state doesn’t just happen instantly. Optical drives, tape media, and disk storage each require different processes and require different lengths of time to recover data. It’s essential to calculate the cost of downtime for your business. How much money will you lose for each hour your systems are down? How much downtime can you afford?
You won’t want to choose your data storage device on this factor alone, but it should be a big part of your consideration. While disk storage can have everything back up and running fairly quickly, it can’t store nearly as many data as tape media. You may need to combine multiple types of data storage devices for different types of data.
It’s important to seek out an unbiased opinion on these issues when choosing your data storage solution. When you begin doing your own research on any one of these subjects, you’ll find that each of these issues tends to spark heated debates among proponents in different industries. Not surprisingly, the data figures vary widely depending on who publishes them.
In order to obtain the most objective information about the right type of data storage solution for your particular business, a value added reseller is a smart option. These are educated resellers that offer a wide variety of media types and brands along with free one on one consultation. This way, you’ll not only get a logical, unbiased consultation but a data backup strategy that is completely customized for your business.