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94% of SMBs Use or Plan to Use Tape as Part of Hybrid Solution for Backup

The results of an Iron Mountain survey of IT professionals at SMBs show almost all use or plan to use magnetic tape cartridges as part of their strategy to backup data.

As SMBs face growing data management challenges, tape remains a foundational tool for these organizations due to its cost effectiveness, longevity and ease of use.

Titled Perception Versus Reality: The Role of Tape Backup in SMB, the survey asked more than 400 North American IT professionals in March 2013 to assess the role tape backup. With 91% of the survey respondents coming from organizations with fewer than 250 employees, the results offer a glimpse into the IT landscape of today's SMBs. The survey was conducted by Spiceworks, Inc., the network for more than 2.5 million IT professionals.

Key findings from survey point to continued bright future for tape backup in SMBs:
  • One solution doesn't fit all - 94% of survey respondents using or planning to use tape are using it as part of a hybrid solution. The majority of those (67%) are using tape backup in conjunction with shared storage, while 44% are using it in conjunction with DAS or external HDDs. A quarter of respondents are currently using or plan to use cloud-based or online backup services.
  • Tape is a valuable asset - When asked why IT professionals use or plan to use tape as a backup and recovery solution, 43% of respondents cited the cost-effectiveness of the solution, 24% noted the longevity of the technology and 20% commended tape's superior storage capabilities.
  • Tape is a multi-purpose solution - IT professionals using tape backup feel it is either "very effective" or "extremely effective" at addressing organizational challenges in data retention policies (61%), data archiving (60%), data ecovery (58%) and DR (54%).

Additionally, the survey confirms that as the complexity of tape backup and hybrid systems increases, the role of third-party storage vendors becomes increasingly important. Third-party vendors can help organizations manage their overall backup and recovery strategy by providing optimal storage facilities, expertise and sophisticated managed services.

Over one-third of respondents who use tape are either currently using or planning to use a third-party vendor to store and secure their tape backups. The majority of these respondents (70%) state that security is the top concern. This is followed by ease of retrieving backups (54%). Cost comes in as the third most important criteria (51%).

Tape backup continues to be a cornerstone of any organization's data management practices - regardless of industry, geography or size.  These survey results further illustrate that tape is invaluable to many SMB IT professionals and reinforces that tape can be effectively combined with several other storage solutions to meet every organization's unique backup and recovery needs.

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