Tape for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Virtual Tape Libraries (VTLs) are a great asset when used to complement and improve existing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity efforts. VTLs can be integrated with traditional backup and restore operations as well as provide additional capabilities and performance. The currency of the data in a remote VTL is often measured in mere seconds to minutes versus a day or more for physical tapes that have to be shipped to a recovery facility.

Quick Terms
RAS Reliability, Availability and Serviceability
RPO Recovery Point Objective
RTO Recovery Time Objective
VTL Virtual Tape Library

When located in a facility that is remote from the productions site, VTLs can help to reduce or eliminate manual tape handling, the transportation of physical media and the consequences of data theft or loss. By having a VTL located remotely, recovery operations can be executed much earlier than would otherwise be possible, thus improving your Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

For IT environments that are considering or have already implemented Advanced Recovery options, remote VTLs should be considered as part of the comprehensive recovery plan.

From an operational standpoint, VTLs that support Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery should coexist with existing backup software and processes. In most cases, the addition of a remote VTL should extend the capabilities of the existing backup software and procedures instead of forcing a radical replacement of either hardware or process.

A Virtual Tape Library with the necessary capabilities and connectivity can support remote tape vaulting or even tape "mirroring," facilitate Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery and vastly improve the existing RTO and RPO. VTLs can also improve performance, assist with the consolidation of IT resources and provide a single point of control for "offsite" data. VTLs are a critical component of an overall Business Continuity plan and provide significant benefits for Disaster Recovery while leveraging existing staff, competencies, process and procedures.

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