Amazingly many big company's still use tape drives, I have many clients myself that feel that using the old tape method is the best way to go when backing up their data. . . But for me, I simply feel that tape drives have had their day and it's now time to make room for Flash Drives and external HDDs.
Now if you work in a massive company with a massive funding pot then your probably have a more advanced backup procedure with high end backup storage servers, but even then you will need some kind of media device where you can store your files off site.
This is what was great about tape drives, you could easily store data on them and also erase then for another use without endless formating. Compact Disks (CD) are a great way to backup but have limited space, the same with DVDs you can only store so much on them. But the same goes for tapes, they can reach around 20GB but the larger they are the longer it takes to erase and rewind. . .
Tapes also decay, if you wanted to use tape drives to keep a history of data over a long period of time then think again, you may get many years but in the end they will decay and will be useless.
It's time to move on and use the next generation technology. . .
Flash drives are becoming more and more popular and also external HDD drives are becoming more advanced, bigger and cheaper!
Though let's talk more about flash drives, what advantage do they have over your standard tape drive. Firstly, they are way faster, so quick that they put your top of the range HDD drive to shame. Flash drives work like your average USB memory stick, they can now come in many sizes roughly around 32gb being the largest size.
Though there is two different versions, once works like RAM in your PC, this version is the fastest and works well but has a downfall of when power is cut off from the device (Like DDR RAM) it loses its memory.
But one version which many are using is the one that works like your average USB memory stick, its fast, it saves the data after being detached and is also very portable and hard to destroy!
Next backup media is the external HDD drives, they are much bigger then a small USB flash drive but can store way much more data and are more suited towards backing up file servers which store thousands of gigs worth of data. Not only that but external hard disks are becoming cheaper every single day. It's possible to get hold of a 350GB drive for 50GBP (Great British Pound) which is dirt cheap considering how much your data is worth.
The only problem with external drives is that its still a hard disk which can be corrupted if handle incorrectly, you still have to take care and buy the right drive as some get hotter then others. Other then that its probably the best and cheapest way of backing up your important data.
Tape drives for me are out, they are old and easy to break and if left in the wrong place can cause your data to be corrupted.
Hope this article helps you better understand which are the latest and best backup medias in the market.
My name is Gary Levy, owner of Computer Backup Software Solutions and has been working with data protection software for over 10 years in the information technology field