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Small business doesn’t mean small storage needs. The amount of data businesses create is growing year by year, and by choosing the wrong backup strategy you’re putting that data at risk – and your business with it. No matter how small your company, you need to plan properly when it comes to storage.
This not only means thinking about the immediate future – is your data safe? – but also about the mid-term. What happens when your business grows? That’s why it’s vital to choose the right storage approach for your business: make the right decisions now and you won’t face costly bills in the future. The worst thing you can do is rely on tools designed for home, such as backing up to a single, cheap, external USB drive. Nor should you trust individuals to back up their own systems: human nature means that, far more often than not, this won’t happen.
Because most local backups will involve simply copying a set of files from one directory or drive to another, there's also a problem with unnecessary duplication of data. That means longer than necessary backup times, larger than necessary backup folders and ultimately the need to buy more storage.
Finally, you aren’t factoring in the worst-case scenario: the drive failing and taking your business critical data with it. Home user solutions are, quite simply, a false economy and business critical data demands business level storage and backup. Thankfully there are hardware solutions to fit every working environment and every budget, that will make it easy for you to copy your data to a physical device, be that tape or disk-based, and store it safely offsite and access it from anywhere. When considering your small business backup strategy, even where low cost is the key requirement, it's far better to factor in the value of reliability, security and automation. That way you’ll be able to sleep easily at night too.
Tape Storage vs NAS Drives
Benefits of NAS for Small Businesses:
Network attached storage (NAS) products can help small businesses centralize and back up all their files to one location, so that they have the freedom to access those files from anywhere, anytime. Here is what NAS allows SMBs to do:
Add capacity in an affordable way
Store and access files from any PC or Mac computer using your existing network, eliminating the need for multiple hard drives
Share capacity with other parties (suppliers, customers)
Offer full-proof (RAID) central back up, which can be automated, for extra data protection
Share a USB printer across your network
Automatically and continuously backup your data to give you peace of mind that all of our files are safe and secure
Benefits of Tape Storage:
Despite the persistence of the "death" of tape backup, it remains a strong, cost-effective method of ensuring that your company's critical data is safe, accessible and secure. Tape-based backup benefits include:
Tape storage can cost as little as several hundredths of a cent per megabyte, compared with 2 cents to 3 cents per megabyte for disk storage. The cost ratio for a terabyte stored long-term on SATA disk versus LTO-4 tape is about 23:1.
A small company can acquire a technician-certified used tape library for under $2,000. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind – knowing your company’s data is secure and safe.
Today’s tape storage capacities benefit businesses from SMB size to the largest entity. A company can store as little as 100 GB of data on an LTO-1 drive tape, up to 1600 GB (1.6 TB) of data on an LTO-4 drive.
Vaulting tape backups at an off-site location guard against on-site data corruption from viruses, fire, natural disasters, accidental deletions, and other data-loss issues.
Tape consumes a fraction of the power of disk - supplier and analyst claims range between 20 and 100 times more energy efficient – a cost ratio of about 290:1