The Economist recently detailed how tape (a 60-year-old technology) offers a solution to a modern problem. The problem being -- storing large amounts of data for less money and with ultimate efficiency. LTO Tape to the rescue!
According to the article, tape is currently the oldest computer storage medium that is still in use. The very first use of tape was on the UNIVAC computer in 1951. While tape saw a decrease in popularity by 14 percent in 2012, statistics show that its currently on the rise.
The reason? Alberto Pace of CERN (a customer of ours) suggests there are four main reasons:
1. Due to the latest advancements in tape, data can be retrieved quickly -- even faster than some hard disks.
2. Tape is reliable. Tape can be stored for 30 years and more and still be utilized. And if it snaps, it is possible to splice it back together. Offline storage also keeps tape from being corrupted or hacked.
3. No power needed to preserve data. Tape can be stored off-line, whereas disk relies on power for anything to occur. If the power goes off and a disk ceases to operate, data isn’t available. Plus, as mentioned above, disk can be compromised by hackers.
4. Tape is cheaper - plain and simple. You get more bang for your buck with tape, not to mention it lasts longer than disk.
While tape offers multiple benefits, it must be mentioned that it isn’t the end-all for the majority or organizations. “It forms a crucial part of storage hierarchy,” says Evangelos Eleftheriou of IBM.
There is “hot data” that must be made available for immediate access. This data can be stored within flash memory. “Lukewarm data” is data that is accessed frequently, but not instantly. Disk is commonly used in this case. And finally, there is “cold data” or data that is rarely accessed. This is where tape comes into play.
Finding the perfect balance within you data storage environment is the key to your success. A growing number of individuals and organizations are waking up to the true benefit of tape for long-term storage.
Regardless of what you may have thought: Tape is alive and well going into 2014!
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