A Brief History Of Data Backup & Recovery

Data Backup & Recovery

Data Recovery and Backup has come a long way from media-vaulted backup and manual recovery methods to the fast, secure, continuous and monitored backup and data restoration through a cloud-based architecture. A variety of methods and options are available in the marketplace to cater to any business need.

Data backup software started off with tapes being stored in a machine and kept in a physical vault, typically away from the main operational site of the business, and this process did not change much for decades. Nearly as old as computing itself, on-site backup solutions have been tried over the years and found to be trustworthy. Whether it be unstructured files, databases that need backing up, applications, or anything in between: there will always be a backup solution that can get the job done.

The backed-up files were stored in optical discs and drives and were put in a vault. To keep it safe, on-site backup used to have an off-site component, which mostly consisted of the files being backed up and moving it elsewhere.

Over the past two decades, however, this form of off-site backup called vaulting meant either moving media or creating a storage unit at a remote site along with the Wide Area Network and tunnelling the backup data over what were always low bandwidth WAN links after the backup was completed. This limited the time frame in which the backup window could occur. It also limited the bandwidth available for business users, and storage costs were sky high in an era where storage was still massively expensive to anyone other than multinational enterprises and corporations. With the evolution of online backup, a solution provider can back up data to an off-site hosted platform, eliminating the need for the physical transport of data.


This same evolution has amalgamated backup with cloud computing, taking the previous generation’s technology into this generation, making it better. Over the course of the past decade, bandwidth, as well as internet speeds, have increased, and it has become possible for third-party services to handle online, off-site backup. Hardware has become simultaneously abstracted through virtualization. This combination of commoditized hardware and increased bandwidth, coupled with the natural evolution of continuity software for business, has enabled disaster recovery solutions and off-site backup to offer continuous data protection with the same level of redundancy that was used to be the purview of expensive systems such as those from the former Tandem company.

However, it must be noted that neither on-site or off-site backup are enough in the event of a data disaster, and this is the main reason why cloud-based off-site backup is increasingly becoming popular. In the chance that a disaster does strike, the data on off-site or on-site backup drives will not be enough to fully recover. Replacement computer systems will be needed to restore the data as well as the networks that connect the systems.

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