Answer

Cloud data backup vs. tape backup

Is cloud data backup a replacement for tape?

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Nope. It takes too long to move data across a WAN, or to retrieve it once it is there. Moving 10 TB across an OC 192 at nominal rates takes 4 hours (though this is usually the low estimate if you are going any distance); over a T1, you are looking at over a year. 

Home PC users and very small businesses, or potentially LAN-connected workstations in a small branch office, may be able to use such a backup service, but I can’t see the efficacy of such an approach for medium and larger companies.

That said, I could see a cloud model developing around tape NAS. You are dealing with the "world wide wait" to download a file from a website today, so retrieving an infrequently accessed file from a tape NAS platform wouldn’t be any worse.

This was first published in March 2012

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