The importance of backups can never be stressed enough. Disk drives fail, or files get corrupt. We’ve even had some customers have their systems stolen lately. Without backups, all the data is lost.
In the past, the choice of backup devices often was limited, and the cost rather high. With today’s evolving technology, however, the cost has dropped dramatically, and there is a much wider range of choices.
Tape drive remain a good choice for many. Huge amounts of data can be stored on relatively small, and inexpensive, media. They are still relatively slow, but if your backup is running in the middle of the night, this usually is not an issue.
Increasingly, though, other media types are a viable option. If you have a small system, then a thumb drive may be an option. The capacity of these has grown enough that they are becoming an option for some people.
Most business need to back up more data than thumb drives current capacity, however. Most drives are less than 50 GB. In this case, external disk drives, or a network backup device, would be a better choice. They are faster than tape drives, but still small enough to be portable.
Portability is important for your backups, as backups should be stored off site, at least periodically. It does not do any good to backup every day, if you have a fire and your computer and backup are both lost. If, for example, you keep your end-of-week backup off site, then the most you would lose in this case is a few days.