In today’s world of AI, self-driving cars, and big data analytics, still using tape doesn’t make much sense. Not only is tape unpredictable in terms of restoring data when you need it most, it can also work out to be fairly labor intensive and costly.


Although the cost of a single tape may look cheap, once you add in the associated costs, such as an automated tape library, floor space, power, cooling, and staff management, the costs soon start to rack up.


It feels like forever that IT has been moaning about tape backups, but the truth is they couldn’t afford to take the risk of not using tape. For me, using the cloud for backup and restore is the obvious solution to eliminate the hassle of managing tapes. And from a security perspective, cloud providers typically operate using a level of security that most on-premises data centers can only dream about. For even higher levels of security and privacy, data can also be encrypted before it’s sent across to the cloud provider.


To illustrate the point, here’s a summary extracted from a real-life customer example of a company operating in the insurance industry.


For years, the company backed up its data to tape and paid a third party to transport the tapes off site once a week. As the company’s data grew, this strategy became less effective and more cost prohibitive. If a tape backup failed, there was often not enough time to restart and complete the backup before the next business day. Running tape backups during business hours was not an option, because the traffic could affect performance for clients.


The IT person in charge of backups was already spending 7 hours a week—almost 20% of his time—managing backups on site. The company concluded that they needed to make a change, so they began looking into the possibility of integrating cloud into their data protection strategy. Public cloud was the least expensive option for backups, but data security initially seemed risky because the company’s backups had to be encrypted, so that no third party could have access to the private encryption keys, which could be used to decrypt the data. Some cloud backup vendors offered encryption, but they wouldn’t let the company manage the keys themselves—which for them was real deal breaker.


The company chose NetApp® AltaVault™, a cloud-integrated storage appliance, to mitigate the security and compliance risks of storing data in the public cloud. With AltaVault, they have the strong encryption required to meet their high standards for safeguarding customer information, and they can manage the keys locally and rotate them. Also, because AltaVault can send data to AWS, Azure, and Google, among many other cloud providers, the company was not locked into any specific cloud provider’s model.


Finally, the icing on the cake was that the solution not only helped the company serve its customers better, it also reduced their backup management time by a massive 93%.



Find out more about how AltaVault cloud-integrated storage can help your business. Also, why not take advantage of the FREE 90-day trial to try it out for yourself?


By the way, we just released a new version, AltaVault 4.4, which features even faster performance, multifactor authentication, and increased security, plus support for Azure Archive Blob Storage tier. To find out more, read the blog New AltaVault Software Improves Performance and Data Security for Backup to Cloud.

Martin Warren

Martin Warren is EMEA Cloud Solutions Manager at NetApp. Based in the UK, Martin has many years of experience working in data protection, data storage, virtualization, cloud, big data and networks. In his current role, Martin is responsible for NetApp’s EMEA cloud strategy and solutions with a focus on driving business growth and aligning NetApp’s cloud offering with customer and partner demand.

Martin is a specialist in private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, including the aspects of data storage and data management. He provides advice to businesses on the advantages and impact of different cloud and data storage solutions, helping them to meet their goals. In addition, Martin is a subject matter expert on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Prior to joining NetApp, Martin held positions at Symantec, Sun and StorageTek. He also worked at IT service delivery and consultancy companies Misys and 4Front Services, advising businesses on adopting IT services specifically from a blended approach.