Is Tape backup Dead?

Are we witnessing the death of the common Backup Tape, a symbol of both good intentions and significant frustration? The traditional magnetic media, loved by many has suffered in recent years with a number of significant shortcomings exacerbated by data volumes – will it be missed or is it a fond but timely farewell?


It is no secret that companies around cloud-picturethe globe are openly struggling to cope with the growing amount of corporate information being generated every day. This growth (also termed Big Data) is causing all sizes of business to face a daunting truth – without their data they have no business, and yet the ‘traditional’ tape backup methods, apart from being cumbersome, time consuming and unreliable simply aren’t up to the task at hand.


In addition, IT departments are under a constant and growing pressure to meet evolving regulation, provide effective disaster recovery procedures and meet the challenge of unprecedented data growth.  At the same time they are often expected to save or limit costs.


“That’s why it’s so critical to have a modern and dependable solution in place to safeguard valuable business information,” says Continent 8’s Global Head of Product Stephen Trimble.  “Unprecedented data growth is challenging organisations of all sizes, placing pressure on their backup and recovery initiatives.”


Late last year Continent 8 launched its Cloud Backup solution with seven key advantages:


  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Improved reliability and speed of recovery
  • More secure method of file transfer
  • Reduced operating and administrative costs
  • Smarter use of IT resources
  • Stronger compliance safeguards
  • Eliminates the shortcomings of tape backup


“This is a revolutionary solution – secure, cost-effective and reliable,” explains Stephen “It eliminates the shortcomings of tape backup which are often expensive, vulnerable to obsolescence and can be damaged or stolen when being transported off-site.  This is a complete backup and recovery solution for protecting physical and virtual environments – regardless of their location.


“It does not require any software agents to be installed, and works by reaching out over the network to backup operating systems, file systems and applications.  It uses industry-standard programming interfaces to talk to all standard enterprise systems and applications, this makes it easier to install and support than any other backup and recovery solution.” Stephen lists the benefits of ‘agentless backup’ as offering:


  • Significant time and savings
  • Simple licencing
  • One piece of software to install, manage and diagnose
  • WAN/LAN/CPU resource conservation
  • Robust, hardcoded security
  • Less intrusive and rapidly scalable
  • Backup consistency – improved recoverability



Head of Product, Stephen Trimble

“Cloud Backup is built from the ground up with security in mind – in fact; the 256Bit AES encryption is FIPS certified – meaning it is strong enough for use by the US military. As all your data is secure you can transmit from any device anywhere and is ideal for customers hosted in one or more of our 10 global data centres, all of which have direct, high bandwidth connectivity to the fully resilient storage vaults across Continent 8’s global network,” says Stephen.


“It allows a company to quickly recover lost files, documents and critical data, protecting it from potential business disruption and long-term damage that lost data can cause.  A backup solution is meaningless without a rapid and reliable method of recovering and restoring data.”


“Alongside the highest level of data security the software is capable of identifying any data which is duplicated elsewhere on your network, and only needs to store one copy. Not only that, but once it’s done the data is also compressed – before anything is transmitted. It’s all about maximising efficiency and dealing with large amounts of data as fast as possible.”


Over the last 15 years, Isle of Man-based Continent 8 has established itself as the leading provider of co-location, managed hosting and network solutions to many of the world’s largest e-businesses.  Multi-jurisdictional and multi-cultural, the privately owned company stretches across three continents.  Data centre locations include the Isle of Man, Guernsey, London, Dublin, Montreal, New Jersey, Singapore, Paris, Malta and Gibraltar.


A clear USP for the global provider is that all these datacentres are diversely connected creating a global ‘backbone’.  Cloud Backup seamlessly integrates with this global network, thereby offering a complete solution to any customer at any of Continent 8’s locations and, emphasises Stephen, reduces the cost of backing up data remotely.


“Customers will have immediate, 24×7 access to restore any of their data, and could reduce their backup and recovery times by 85% or more.  The built-in scalability of Cloud Backup makes it easy to evolve as a business data environment grows and changes.”


In bringing the product to market, Continent 8 is delighted to have joined forces with a number of the Island’s IT service providers, who are busy integrating Cloud backup as part of their own portfolio. The solution is actively being used by Argon Technologies, IT Works and TechCentre to deliver services across a range of industries.


Stephen concluded, “Audio cassette tapes were replaced by disc, in various forms in the early 2000’s. In fact, in 2011 the term “cassette tape” was removed from the Oxford English Dictionary. It has certainly taken a while for the equivalent to mature for corporate data, yet its here and a much like a CD, once you’ve tried it – you won’t go back. All in all, this is a new way of thinking about back-up.”


Published in Money Media, May 2014

Posted in Press Articles