Choosing Backup Hardware and Media

Any device that can store data can be used to back it up, but that is like saying that anything with wheels can take you on a cross-country trip. Trying to fit a gigabyte worth of data on a big stack of 1.4MB floppy disks is an exercise in frustration, and using a $5,000 automated tape device to save a single copy of an email is a waste of resources.

Many people use what hardware they already have for their backup operations. Many consumer-grade workstations have a floppy drive and possibly a CD-RW drive, but they typically do not have the abundant free disk space necessary for performing and storing multiple full backups.

In this section, you learn about some of the most common backup hardware available and how to evaluate its appropriateness for your backup needs. With large storage devices becoming increasingly affordable (160GB IDE drives can be had for around $100) and prices falling on DVD recorders, decisions about backup hardware for the small business and home users have become more interesting.

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