You know full well that the only smart, sensible, intelligent thing to do is to back up your data.
...but should you adopt the traditional tape method or backup onto disk?
The gospel of disk has been preached for so long now that disk seems to be the inevitable choice for backup technology. But observers throughout the tech world say there still are plenty of reasons to backup to tape, CD or other such media. And there's no reason these media can't co-exist peacefully with disk solutions.
Maybe a small business is backing up data 'just-in-case,' keeping files locked in a vault on the off chance they might be needed down the road. Or a business might mirror a whole system every night in order to restore data and applications virtually immediately in case of disaster.
Two Different Needs, Two Different Solutions
Tape is still the way to go for deep archiving for lots of data. It's cheap, easy to handle, and it can be stored safely in a vault off premises.
Backing up to hard disk, on the other hand, fulfills a different need. The fundamental question is: What are your restore or recovery objectives?
If you're trying to pick the right backup solution and your business couldn't survive a day or two without quick access to data you need to ask, how quickly can this solution get my critical data back up and running if I suffer a failure?
With disk storage the answer is, pretty quick. Unlike tape, which typically stores data in a linear fashion, meaning you have to start at the beginning and run through it until you find what you're looking for. Disk storage is more like a mirror, reflecting every aspect of your system at once.
All a tape does is store data, whereas the best disk-based software can take a complete image of your OS, your settings and your applications.
You don't have to search for media, you don't have to search for applications. It is all right there.
Welcome, then, to the same old balancing act. The pundits may have promised that disk storage would solve all your problems, but nothing's ever that simple — especially technology. Tape and disk both have their respective virtues, and depending on your needs it is entirely possible that you'll ultimately find that some combination of both is your best bet.