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Evaluating backup media for small businesses

I have a small business and need to invest in a backup solution. Requirements are it needs to be easy to use and capable of backing up around 3 GB. Could I use DVDs?

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The portability and capacity of DVD media (approx 4.7 GB) make it a popular choice with organizations having low backup data storage capacity requirements. In addition, a number of backup software products also support DVD as media and some of them offer an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

However, when evaluating a backup solution, one important factor to consider, after acquisition cost and ease of use, is cost of use. Many small businesses tend to rule out automated backup solutions because they feel they are simply too small to spend that kind of money. While it is true that an automated media library (or Jukebox) costs more than a manual, single disk solution, it can save money in the end. The cost of having someone available to insert a disk in the recorder on a daily basis can add up after a while. The risk of forgetting to insert media also increases with that approach.

If the idea of an automated library or jukebox appeals to your organization, it may then become a good idea to compare costs between small DVD and tape autoloaders.

This was first published in September 2004

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