Remote-office backup not getting much easier

Our monthly survey shows that backing up remote and branch offices is still a tough nut to crack for some companies. But newer tools -- like data dedupe -- are helping to ensure that remote data is protected.

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: Storage magazine: How vSphere is easing storage burdens of server virtualization

The last time we asked Storage magazine readers about backing up remote offices, 53% of respondents said they did...

it at each individual remote site. That might not be the best way to protect corporate data, but it's still the most popular, with 50% still not centralizing remote-office backup. To be fair, nearly two-thirds (63%) of those doing site-by-site backups have centralizing the process on their to-do lists. The other half -- those who back up to a central site -- use a variety of means, the most popular of which is pumping backup data through a WAN optimization device (30%). Data deduplication, which wasn't even a choice a couple of years ago, is now used by 27% of centralizers. But despite all of the recent technical developments in disk-based backup, a lot of remote sites are still backing up to tape; 55% of those surveyed said their remote offices back up directly to tape, while another 16% said their remote site backups go first to disk and then to tape. Only 7% said they use an online backup service for their remote offices, but 17% of those planning to get a better handle on remote backups said they'll look to the cloud for help.

"The potential exposure of sensitive data due to lost or misplaced tapes is a huge issue with using tape backups for remote sites." -- Survey respondent

BIO: Rich Castagna ( is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.

This was last published in January 2010

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