Network Attached Storage An Alternative To Tape Back Up

Network Attached Storage An Alternative To Tape Back Up

Network Attached Storage – An Alternative To Tape Back-up
Businesses have been using tape to​ back up their data since the​ early days of​ computing .​
Tape has its limitations, but it​ was much cheaper than the​ alternatives, so its use continued .​

Today, the​ situation is​ changing .​
the​ price of​ disk storage has come down dramatically and​ the​ performance, longevity and​ use characteristics of​ disk are far superior to​ tape .​
as​ a​ result, many businesses are looking to​ move away from tape for​ their backup and​ disaster recovery needs.
The key requirements of​ an​ ideal backup scheme are:
• It must be economical .​
Large amounts of​ data need to​ be accommodated (due to​ the​ need to​ keep multiple versions of​ the​ data), but in​ many cases the​ data will never be accessed .​
Its contribution to​ the​ company’s bottom line only comes if​ the​ data is​ needed, otherwise, it​ is​ an​ unnecessary expense.
• It must be reliable over the​ long term .​
Some data must be stored for​ long periods of​ time, perhaps decades in​ some situations, to​ meet regulatory and​ business needs .​
if​ that data is​ ever needed it​ must be readable and​ accessible .​
When tape sits unused for​ a​ long period, it​ gets brittle and​ is​ prone to​ breaking and​ data loss.
• It must be quick and​ easy to​ set up and​ operate .​
Back-up windows are getting tighter as​ the​ hours of​ operation increase and​ the​ amount of​ data continues to​ grow .​
as​ a​ result, the​ speed of​ the​ backup is​ critically important .​
if​ the​ backup process can be automated, human errors and​ costs are reduced.
• Restoring data, either individual files or​ a​ whole system, must be quick, easy and​ reliable .​
Today, it​ can take a​ long time to​ retrieve tapes from their offsite storage .​
Data on tape is​ stored sequentially so access to​ specific records can be cumbersome .​
Reading the​ tapes can be problematic if​ the​ tape is​ old, brittle or​ distorted .​
All this uses precious IT resources that would be better spent elsewhere .​
Disk storage has none of​ these issues.
The NAS Approach
With prices in​ the​ $2 per GB range, Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems are rapidly becoming the​ ideal, cost-effective back-up solution.
• Disk-to-Disk data transfer speeds far exceed those of​ writing to​ tape, so more data can be backed up in​ less time .​

• Disk storage has greater longevity than tape, so the​ data is​ going to​ be there and​ accessible when you need it.
• Random access to​ data on disk saves time when trying to​ restore specific files.
• NAS devices are independent, complete systems that connect directly to​ your network so they don’t impact your other systems.
• Tape rotation schemes are possible with disk-based systems and​ sophisticated ones can eliminate duplicate files for​ more compact storage.
• for​ smaller amounts of​ data, removable disk drives mounted in​ hot-swap enclosures can provide a​ competitive alternative for​ offsite data storage.
• Locating a​ NAS system in​ another office and​ backing it​ up over the​ network provides a​ fast, automated remote backup .​
In the​ event of​ a​ disaster, the​ backup system is​ immediately ready to​ step in​ for​ rapid recovery and​ business continuity.
Many businesses are implementing a​ staged approach, where an​ onsite NAS provides fast backups and​ restores for​ servers and​ workstations .​
Then, to​ prepare for​ a​ disaster that destroys or​ prevents access to​ the​ primary place of​ business, the​ data is​ automatically replicated to​ a​ second NAS at​ another location .​
for​ rapidly changing and​ highly important data, the​ on-site and​ off-site systems can be set up to​ mirror each other, so that little or​ no data is​ lost if​ disaster should strike.
There are other reasons for​ deploying a​ NAS system .​
By accomplishing multiple goals, the​ NAS can be even easier to​ justify .​
Examples include:
• Additional end user storage .​
Centralized storage is​ easier to​ back up than data stored on many end user systems.
• Ideal for​ central repositories for​ workgroup or​ departmental data that must be shared .​
• Regulation compliance, such as​ email retention requirements for​ HIPAA or​ Sarbannes-Oxley.
Even if​ you decide not to​ abandon tape backup entirely, you can use a​ NAS as​ a​ rapid staging server to​ gather the​ data from other systems quickly during your backup window .​
Then let the​ NAS feed the​ data to​ the​ tape unit without worrying about time constraints .​
This is​ referred to​ as​ disk-to-disk-to-tape backup.
Network Attached Storage systems are quickly becoming the​ preferred data sharing, management and​ backup solution for​ enterprise applications and​ database environments.

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