Many people are under the impression that we have moved past using tape storage and it seems more like an outdated solution. It goes without saying that losing crucial data can be more costly than implementing a robust data protection plan. In this digital era, people are more inclined towards using hard drives and cloud backup with large storage capacities. The newer generation might not have even heard about tape media drives & cartridge. But, this is not true!

Organizations are still using tape storage such as HP LTO-4 Ultrium Cartridges in California, to store data or create backups. It is a viable option, and in multiple cases, it is far more popular than online storage methods. With such popularity in recent times, let’s discuss why this storage mode/method is still relevant today!


Tape storage was created when the first modern computers were found, back in 1950s. Back then, tape rolls could easily hold one megabyte of data on a tape storage. In recent times, tape storage has evolved significantly. Keeping up with the revolution of the likes of USBs, SSDs, and HDDs, there are tape storage devices that could store up to 1 terabyte of data. Typically, people do not consider it to be a practical solution, but the benefits it offer to individuals and organizations is the primary reason of its existence.

Tape storages are capable of reducing the data before storing. It is believed that it is lower than what a hard drive can do, making tape media drives & cartridge a cost effective option. What’s more is that these are cheaper than other options that are available on the market.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of tape storage.

It is important to understand that tape media drives & cartridge are not out of fashion. Yes, the use cases might have reduced due to more convenient options. But, it is a more affordable and durable option when compared to others. A tape storage device can store equivalent amount of data as that of an HDD. People think that it is not a modern technology and is not efficient as other options. The only downside is that it may take a lot of time to create a backup, transfer, or move files on a tape storage. When we talk about internet speed, cloud services and HDDs are a much better option. However, you will have to pay more to get the most out of these services. One of the primary reasons tape storage is still relevant today is because when it comes to restoring the lost data or an entire system, nothing is faster than tape media drives & cartridge.

The durability and affordability it offers is second to none when we compare tape storage and restore options. Hence in a nutshell, the technology may be overtaken by other options or new findings in near future. But, as of this moment tape storage is still relevant and numerous businesses are benefitting from its offerings.

Wondering if tape is still a viable choice today’s modern data center? According to experts in the data storage industry, tape is expanding its role far beyond supporting active archives, compliance, and data preservation.

The following are six reasons why LTO tape is growing in popularity:

1. High Multi-TB Capacity
Tape continues to grow its capacity to new heights. For example, each LTO-6 tape offers a whopping 6.25 TB of storage space. This makes tape highly cost-efficient and the perfect choice for housing massive data sets.

2. High Speed Transfer Rates
Once upon a time, tape’s transfer rates were very slow. This limited tape primarily to long-term archives of data that wouldn’t be needed unless a data emergency arose. Currently, the LTO-6 offers up to 400 MB/second. Reading and writing data is quick, easy, and effortless.

3. Linear Tape File System (LTFS)
The new and improved LTO tape filing system, known as Linear Tape File System (LTFS), allows for data to be stored and retrieved in a similar fashion as a disk drive. Gone are the days in which data would be extremely hard to locate.

4. Superior Reliability with Lowest Error Rates
Tape is without a doubt one of the most reliable forms of data storage. While disk can be easily corrupted, hacked, and even fail, tape is more secure than ever. It’s offline nature assures organizations that their data will be safe and sound for 30 years and more.

5. Lowest Total Cost of Ownership
Tape is highly cost effective. Not only is disk storage expensive from an equipment standpoint, it is also extremely expensive to maintain. By offloading some data to tape (rather than only relying on disk), organizations are lowering their data storage costs and making them more efficient.

6. Portability and Scalability
The beauty of tape is that it can be easily moved from place to place and tape libraries are easy to scale out. Where disk can be quite fickle when it comes to portability, tape is amazingly easy. Once data is written to a tape, you can be quite certain the data will be safe and sound, even if a tape (or many tapes) are moved from one location to another.

7. Tape is Recyclable
Data tape media recycling when using a reputable vendor is safe, secure, highly auditable and helps you to recoup your initial expense. Most common form of payment is cash but many IT departments for accounting purposes don't like to show income so we offer credit for new IT products and services.

Big Data Supply, Inc. is always buying excess new and used data tape media tape cartridges. All brands and all formats. Turn your excess inventory of new and used data tapes and we’ll give you cash or credit. The old practice of paying to shred your out of archive data tape media are a thing of the past. Not only is it expensive to shred your unwanted tape it's terrible for the environment and it's not a very auditable process. We offer full chain-of-custody, VolSer and serial number reporting and certificates of data destruction.

Have questions about tape? We’d love to help you out. Please e-mail or call us, and we’ll make sure you find the very best data storage solution to fit your needs.

George Crump of Information Week reports that tape isn’t dying off anytime soon -- in fact, he predicts it will gain importance in data centers in the coming years.

“Thanks to the increased importance of economics, as well as the popularization of three tape technologies, 2013 was a very successful year for tape technology,” says Crump.

In our assessment he couldn’t be more correct. The economic factor comes down to the fact that storing massive amount so of data on tape (offline) is far less expensive than storing it on disk (online).

Even with the Cloud becoming more and more prominent in the data storage world, there is a place for tape. Earlier in 2013, Crump outlined the three roles for tape with regard to the cloud:

1. Cloud seeding.
2. Cloud recovery.
3. Cloud deep archive.

The truth of the matter is that the cloud can be susceptible to error and even failure. Backing up all data to tape assures any organization full data recovery if there are problems with the cloud.

Crump also cites “standardization” as a reason for tape’s present and future success. He points to LTO media’s importance in the majority of data centers that use tape. “The first technology that made tape more attractive in 2013 was the linear tape file system,” says Crump.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the linear tape file system (LTFS), it allows for you to easily save and recover data -- just as you would with a hard drive. Prior to the institution of LTFS, information retrieval was time consuming -- not to mention frustrating.

In our minds, one of the most important things about tape is that it can be recycled and reused. Not only does recycling keep e-waste out of landfills, it provides a great opportunity for growing organizations to purchase tape and other equipment for far less money.

Recycling also helps organizations recoup a portion of technology investments. Big Data Supply’s tape buyback program is a perfect example. We buy used tape, completely eradicate all data on all tapes, and make them available for purchase.

Want to learn more about tape? We would be happy to answer your questions and help point you in the right direction. Give us a call or drops us an e-mail!

Contact us today: [email protected] | Toll Free 800-905-7329 | Local 949-679-6633

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