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Replacing Tape with Cloud Storage

Level 4

We are in the process of researching long term cloud storage in the hopes of reducing costs and overhead associated with tape storage.  We have 2 Netbackup domains and back up to an MSDP pool then duplicate to LTO tapes on a daily basis. The tapes are securely taken offsite by a third party company for long term storage.  We are also kicking around the idea of purchasing appliances for our next hardware refresh at both of our sites with enough storage to replicate images back and forth using AIR.  We started to look at offerings from AWS and Google; both have attractive prices for long term storage but charge a premium to retrieve the data. 

Have any of you recently deploy a cloud solution and got rid of tape altogether? Are you using a hybrid solution?  How are the actual transfer rates? Do you regret or are you happy with the decision to go with cloud storage?  Would you please briefly explain how you deployed the solution? 


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I have moved this post to the NetBackup forum for better visibility.

Level 4

Thank you.

Level 6

We haven't done any cloud storage at this point.  I researched the cloud options a few years ago and found a couple of problems that were just bad enough that I abandoned the idea for then.

  1. A 1Gbit connection to the internet would limit us to about 4TB of data MAX per day, and would affect all other internet traffic performance.  At the time, we were already past the 4TB/day average and would never be able to keep up with the growth in our environment.  Deduplication was not an option with the cloud based offerings at the time, either.
  2. Disaster recovery would be problematic, again due to the internet bottleneck connection. Cloud storage would be fine for an occasional file or directory restore, but in a disaster, that was simply not going to be fast enough.
  3. The cloud storage vendor we had brought in for discussions sounded like a good partner, with lots of big names storing data in their cloud.  Until they closed down a year later.  If we had gone with them, we would then have to figure out how to migrate data to another vendor, again hitting performance issues on THEIR side due to all their customers doing the same thing we were going to do at the same time. 
  4. Once we factored in all the costs for cloud storage (storage, data movement, copying data, etc.) versus tape, tape was actually still cheaper.  Plus it was faster for both backups and restores.

In a limited, targeted usage, such as just using it for file server backups, cloud storage might be a better alternative.  But I don't see it completely replacing tape just yet in larger companies.

Level 4

In our scenario we would have enough local disk space on the media servers to support at least two weeks of retention so most restores would be local.  We are considering the cloud for long term monthly archives which we are required to keep for 7 years, restores from these archives would be infrequent.

Level 6

Besides the good points Ron mentions, there is the secuirty aspect.

Where is the data actually located ? Some data may not leave the country/region

How is the physical secuity where data is located  ?

We are keeping tape as a tape in fire safe is secure in case of a virus attack gets through to the backup servers.



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