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Business continuity – Tape vs Cloud backup

Business continuity – Tape vs Cloud backup

What solution is best for my business?

Tape backups can be a useful if you are working for a small company that needs a simple internal Business Continuity solution. As long as you can commit to swapping the tapes on a regular basis, then depending on the rate of change this could be an acceptable solution.

business-continuity-solutionsWhen it comes to larger companies, the Cloud is clearly the best option in terms of cost and efficiency. It avoids swapping tapes, storing the tapes offsite, and reducing internal maintenance costs. Through the Cloud, a business can also avoid consistently purchasing new equipment and tapes to meet with the growing company demands, they can simply upgrade their storage instantly, reducing operational issues and capital expenditure.


It may surprise you, but the cost of continuously buying tapes so you can swap them outweighs the cost of purchasing a backup server and software. Tapes may seem like a cheaper option initially, as depending on the size you can pick one up for around £20-35, but all these tapes add up, especially if you need more than one for each backup. This doesn’t include the cost of storing the tapes securely off-site. You also need to budget for transportation costs, when moving them to their secure location.

With a Cloud, you would pay for the backup solution on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. Where you also have the option of applying real time replication. With Cloud Business Continuity, you do not have to pay for tape storage or internal management as it is managed and stored by the Cloud provider.


When retrieving data from a tape, you’ll first need to travel to the offsite storage location to find the correct backup, and potentially a few additional tapes, depending on how you backup your system. Following this, you’ll need to insert the tape into the server and find the correct file and restore it. This process in itself could take a while and your business is losing money.

Retrieving a file from a Cloud backup is much simpler. You have to access the backup server and download the restored file from the date it was last saved. If you have a managed service through a Cloud provider, you don’t have to do anything, they’ll locate the file and restore it for you.

Overall, particularly for a large business, the Cloud is the safest and most efficient way to handle your backups.