Magnetic tape vs. disk-based backup. For larger organizations that use disk-to-disk backups, tape can augment the primary backup target by providing longer and more durable data storage than what a disk array can provide by itself. Customers may improve their backup process by combining the two, since disk and tape have their own strengths and weaknesses: Disks are not usually portable, while tapes are easily movable. Tapes and disks are generally reliable, but a single disk error can render an entire series of backups useless because many disk-based backup applications perform block-level incremental backups. Many disk-based products perform backups continuously throughout the day, while tape is backed up less frequently. Tape backup security best practices It's important to protect your tape backup system. There are several ways to make data on tape more secure: Encrypt the data. Ship tapes off site as soon as they have been written, to limit opportunities for them to be stolen. Use a reputable service for off-site tape storage. Control physical access to the tape drives. Technical challenges with tape backup There are hurdles to clear when using tape for backup: tape rotation logistics; ensuring adequate bandwidth between the data source and the tape drives; scheduling tape drive maintenance; capacity planning; and completing backups within a backup window.