Backup and recovery processes are among the unsung heroes of data center operations. Though end results may not be readily apparent on an everyday basis, natural and digital disasters have a way of humbling companies that do not take this risk management discipline seriously. As a result, IT administrators are always looking for a way to confidently cross these fundamental tasks off their to-do list and move on to separate innovative, value-adding pursuits.
One way savvy companies are accomplishing this goal is by integrating virtual tape libraries (VTLs) into their storage ecosystems. And when they do, they can expect to these four benefits to follow:
1. Easier administration.
Like so many of us, systems administrators certainly subscribe to the philosophy of working smarter rather than harder (when possible). VTLs lighten the load on IT professionals by presenting hard disk storage as tape that can be recognized by existing backup and restore platforms—and policies—that they already have in place. Instead of reinventing the wheel or fleshing out supplementary strategies, IT teams can create an all-inclusive system to capitalize on existing data management infrastructure.
2. Faster operation.
Time is of the essence in the arena of data backup and recovery. Not only will IT staff want to save themselves a few man hours where possible, it's important to acknowledge that business success demands speedy responses to any unexpected downtime. VTLs cater to these needs by empowering IT teams with rapid restore capabilities. Instead of relying on data transfer speeds, the virtualized model leverages the speed of disk.
3. Error elimination.
Speed is of limited value without accuracy. Getting backup processes squared away efficiently and promoting faster restore speeds does a company no good if the data sets are incomplete or in conflict with the originals. VTLs nullify the streaming issues that can create discrepancies for traditional tape. What's more, the advanced technology allows administrators to confidently automate a greater proportion of backup and restore processes to take human error out of the equation. No tape mounts, no forgetting to put tapes in the drive, no writing over the same tape each night: These are the common errors of tape systems.
4. Value appreciation.
The final advantage of VTL incorporation is really a product of the previous three. When companies can extend the life and functionality of their current backup and restore systems while consolidating their overall storage footprint, cost savings are sure to follow. Companies can also assign a dollar value to the disaster avoidance and business sustainability traits embedded in a well-run VTL strategy.
There's one other benefit: Price. While VTLs used to be an expensive luxury, today they're an affordable, reliable, and increasingly popular option.