Portable Storage (Backup) Solutions
Many of the organizations we serve have been in a quandary about backups. They have made investments in older backup technologies that either no longer work, or no longer meet their needs. We have several suggestions for more contemporary backup solutions. We donít necessarily have a ďone size fits allĒ answer, but you might want to click here for some considerations that might lead you to a solution. Please feel free to contact us for a solution designed expressly for you.
USB Hard drives
For smaller organizations who wish to be able to have all their critical data in their hands,
and have a relatively inexpensive solution,
we recommend (under certain, limited circumstances) USB portable hard drives.
With a rotation of two or three of these (at under $150 per 160 GB hard drive),
you can set up a backup scheme that will allow you to have one drive offsite while another backs
up. Because USB drives live outside any given computer, they can back up more than one standalone
computer, or can be brought to any workstation to back up an entire network.
CD and/or DVD Burners
We usually donít recommend CDs or DVDs as a means of backup. CD drives are
relatively unstable compared to other technologies. For small, non-critical backups,
or for data youíll need to archive (take off your network, but which you may need one day in the future),
CDs may work well.
In our experience, CD-R media (blank CDs that only allow you to record to them once) have proven to be more reliable than rewritable CDs.
There are a wide variety of tape backup units available. They vary in capacity, speed,
media types, and cost. At one time, we recommended the least expensive ones,
with the understanding that they would eventually fail. We have changed our recommendations.
When we serve organizations for whom tape makes the most sense as a means of backup, we
typically recommend a DDS
tape drive from Hewlett Packard, IBM, or Seagate for small backups (not backing up a big hard drive). For larger backups,
(typical on servers made after 2004), we are more likely to recommend AIT drives
DDS tapes are physically small tapes which have very high capacity and are extremely fast.
Of all the tape technologies currently available,
we find that 4 mm DAT (Digital Audio Tape) drives from one of the major manufacturers
to be the most reliable. We have installed and maintained over 50 DDS-4 tape drives over the past 4 years, and have had almost no problems to report.
For those organizations that anticipate storing hundreds of gigabytes of critical data (anyone involved
in graphics production, architecture/the building trades, video or audio production, for example), a DLT backup solution (faster, and more enterprise oriented) might be a better consideration.
DLT has the fastest data transfer available for small organizations.
There are other alternatives to those presented here that may be right for you. To find the right backup solution for your needs, contact us for more information.