In recent years, new innovations in storage technologies have brought forth an array of backup, recovery, and archiving options. In addition to tape vaulting, organizations can now choose from an array of options, such as flash storage, cloud, and hybrid cloud (among others). With the various options available, many organizations have made the transition to newer backup solutions.
Will the 21st Century Bring About Tape’s Demise?
While it is true that on-line backup solutions have been gaining momentum, tape is not ready to give up the fight just yet. In fact, statistics from the LTO Program have shown that 59% of organizations still use tape as their primary form of direct backup. Additionally, it is estimated that 280 million tape cartridges have been shipped since the creation of first tapes.
With so many options, why do organizations decide to stick with tape?
Linear Tape-Open: Seasoned but Not Outdated
LTO is a magnetic tape technology developed in the 1990s and currently in its 7th generation. A veteran in the industry, the LTO tape can be used for both backing up and archiving data. It has long been used primarily as a “cold” storage (long-term data storage) solution. In its latest iteration, it can hold up to six terabytes per cartridge.
Tape’s Advantage: Driving Factors
- Cost efficient: In addition to a lower cost per gigabyte/terabyte, LTOs do not require power to save stored information, reducing energy costs. Furthermore, retrieval from vaulting companies isn’t typically tied to the storage size of the retrieval, just the number of tapes, typically resulting in lower, more predictable costs versus cloud retrievals.
- Durability: When kept in a stable environment tapes have a shelf life of up to 30 years.
- Portability: Having data stored on a tape means it can be transported between locations safely and securely.
- Scalability: Data can be scaled to the volume needed for backup.
- Encryption: Easily secures the data while not in use, protecting it from theft or misuse.
- New Generations: Released every couple years with updates and new features allowing tape storage to stay up to par with the competition.
- Compatibility: LTO drives are backwards compatible up to two generations for reading data and one generation for writing.
- Off-line protection: Unlike cloud and other online storage solutions, tapes store data off-line, safe from the risk of corruption, deletion, infection and hacks.
Tape Vaulting: The Role of Information Solutions Companies
Choosing a reputable information management company to store tapes with can further safeguard your critical data and simplify the storage process. Your tapes are stored off-site in climate-controlled vaults with fire suppression and 24/7 security monitoring. These companies will also send couriers on site to affix with barcodes, scan, and securely transport the tapes to the storage location. The tapes are stored using the barcodes to ensure accurate tracking and access. Most reputable vaulting companies even allow you to manage your inventory, pick-ups, and deliveries online.
Final Thoughts: Low-Cost, Secure, Efficient
Tape vaulting is a backup solution that has withstood the test of time. It will continue to be the go-to for many businesses and organizations who require a reliable, cost-effective solution. Although the best storage solution for an organization will be dictated by its unique needs, having a completely off-site, offline backup maximizes security without sacrificing efficiency.Share