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Disk backup has no higher risk than tape: CBRE

Disk backup has no higher risk than tape: CBRE

Real estate company sees value in going tape-less and backup up across multiple locations.

Backing up to disk carries no more risk than tape, according to CBRE.

Asia Pacific IT infrastructure and operations regional director, Darren Warner, said the real estate company has been tape-free for two years.

“Tapes involve humans and I don’t want humans to be involved,” he said.

“Humans fail and disks typically don’t, and if a disk fails you can just replace it with a new one.”

Besides the burden of paying for storage tapes, Warner said there was the challenge with people changing rotation of tapes.

Instead of backing up to tapes, CBRE saves data to disk in three geographies, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

Warner said losing all of those locations is akin to a “tape warehouse burning down.”

“People think their tapes are rock solid, but a warehouse storing the tapes can just as easily burn down as a datacentre,” he said.

For that reason, Warner said there is “no higher risk” in backing up on disk, and instead views it as more reliable and affordable in the long run.

“If you went back five years tapes were a lot cheaper, but if you look at where disk is today, it’s very cost effective,” he said.

No need for sovereignty

Warner admits some of his peers have expressed surprise at CBRE’s lack of tape, though over time they become more interested in the approach.

“We’re backing up across multiple locations in various geographies, so the risk of multiple datacentre failures in multiple continents is relatively low,” he said.

“You would have to be extremely unlucky to have three datacentres in those three locations to go down at the same time.”

As for the location of the data, Warner said data sovereignty is “not a major issue” for CBRE as a lot of the company’s data is already public.

“The strength of our data is we’re able to pull a lot of data sources together and digest it, so it’s not necessarily private or customer data,” he said.

Since CBRE aggregates publicly available data, Warner said the company does not have data sovereignty laws governing it.

CBRE is a customer of Veeam Australia.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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