There has been quite a bit of misinformation out there surrounding LTO technology, mainly by proponents of digital-only data storage fans. However, the truth is that organizations seeking to secure massive amounts of data should deeply consider the use of tape.
According to Mark Peters, an industry analyst with the Enterprise Storage Groups, “Despite the constant flow of ‘tape is dead’ jibes and assertions from non-tape vendors, the technology has refused to die.”
This is why…
1. Tape Is Cost Effective
Digital-only data storage systems tend to be extremely expensive. This is because they rely on electricity/power 24 hours per day. On the other hand, tape can store huge amounts of data and be stored offline for 30 years or more.
2. Tape is Reliable
Disk-only solutions are a definite risk to organizations. Google is the perfect example of an organization that understands this fact. In one instance, the company completely lost 40,000 e-mail accounts stored on disk. Luckily, tape backups were available and the accounts were restored in a timely manner.
The truth of the matter is that disks can be hacked, infected with worms and viruses, and in some cases completely wiped. Without tape backups of data, organizations take an unnecessary risk.
3. Tape Capacity is Massive
The latest version of LTO magnetic tape (the LTO-6 released in 2012) can hold up to 2.5 TB of data. This allows for the storage of huge amounts of room for everything from images, to client data and transactions, to Internet histories, social conversations, and more. In 2013, far fewer tapes are needed because of their immense capacities.
4. Tape is Easily Stored
LTO tape is known for its durability and stability when stored. Not only can tape be stored for 30 years and more, its sturdiness and reliability helps organizations meet industry regulations for data retention.
5. Tape Works Well with Disk
The beauty of tape is that it is the perfect complement to disk. As mentioned prior, disk-only solutions can be a risky proposition in today’s world. Tape is disk’s best friend in the case of an emergency, as regular system backups to tape can save the day.
One of the biggest objections of tape foes has been the difficulty of filtering through archived data. Thanks to LTO-5 and LTO-6, this is no longer an objection. The Linear Tape File System works like a giant disk, allowing users to view all content in the same manner as they would files on a USB flash drive.
The truth of the matter is that tape is an excellent investment today – and will be for years to come!