Tapes Fail

Human error: “Our remote office backups often fail due to neglected or erroneous tape swapping.”

System inefficiency: “Our backups frequently exceed the tape’s capacity, causing the backup to fail, or requiring someone to swap out the tape hours after the backup started.”

System inefficiency: “We frequently need to restore data, requiring us to locate and load the proper backup tapes, and then later remember to re-load that night’s tape.”

Human error: “We have data, servers, desktop workstations, or laptops that are not being backed-up.”

Tape error: “We have had critical backups fail due to tape media errors.”

What experts say:

Storage Magazine (storagemagazine.techtarget.com) surveyed its readers . . . to determine how often unreliable tapes were at the heart of a backup snafu. When asked to describe the tape failure situation in their shops, nearly a third of the respondents (31.2%) said it was either a significant problem that often disrupts backups or a problem that sometimes disrupts backups.”

According to Microsoft, 42% of attempted recoveries from tape backups in the past year have failed. In addition, Ben Matheson, group product manager for Microsoft Data Protection Manager, told me, “More than 50 percent of customers we’ve surveyed said their current backup solutions do not fill their needs.”

“Restoring from tape fails 50% of the time in distributed organizations and mid-sized companies.” – Baroudi Bloor (www.hurwitz.com) (now Hurwitz and Associates)

“Over 34% of companies do not test their backups and of those that tested, 77% found their tape backups failed to restore.” – Storage Magazine (storagemagazine.techtarget.com)

A survey by the Yankee Group and Sunbelt Software found that 40% of IT managers had been unable to recover data from a tape when they needed it.

According to The Gartner Group (www.gartner.com), 71% of all tape restores fail. Strategic Research (www.sresearch.com) claims 54%.

For a comparison of online versus tape backup features, see our comparison chart ».