I've Changed my mind about
More recently I have found myself breaking through my "I
hate tape" mentality in large part because of the way
LTO technology has revolutionized tape backup
and the fact that tape is doing a good job of
carving out a new niche in today's disk-centric world.
It was this combination of variables that resulted in tape
leaving a bad impression with many in small and mid-sized enterprises. However
the introduction of the LTO format, and most recently LTO-5, has addressed many
of the negative connotations that people historically made when they thought of
In the last decade the maturation and stabilization of the
tape market has addressed many of the concerns that led some users to dislike
tape. The "I hate tape"
and "I want tape out of here"
attitudes that I sometimes encounter are residual emotional backlashes to
previous negative experiences with tape -- some of which were the result of
improperly implemented archive and backup configurations and tape formats being
used in settings where they really did not belong.
I have come to understand that many of
the problems that people perceive tape to have either no longer exist; can be
mitigated with proper data management techniques; or, can be overcome with the
use of reliable tape libraries such as those provided by
Overland Storage. So, not only is it
premature for anyone to assume that tape is unreliable or impractical for use in
today's world, it might be that tape's best days lie yet ahead.
- Faster retrieval times.
With the introduction of LTO-5, tape-based backup and archive now operates
at speeds of 140 MB/sec or 504 GB/hour uncompressed, which means that unless
you need the near-instantaneous recoveries that disk provides tape can now
give you a lot of data back in a very short time.
- Better access methods.
The recent introduction of LTO-5 also includes a hidden jewel: tape
partitioning. This feature is one which allows the tape cartridge to look
like a hard drive, CD, DVD or memory stick to the operating system, and
allows you to "drag & drop" data to and from the tape. In effect,
an LTO5 tape can look like a huge portable hard drive.
- Lower cost of ownership.
LTO is an open and standardized format that allows multiple manufacturers to
provide tape drives, tape libraries and data cartridges. This competitive
environment encourages vendors to produce high quality products at
competitive prices, ultimately providing a lower overall cost of ownership
for end users.
- More tools in the data protection toolbox.
With complete data protection solutions that include a disk-based front-end
for instantaneous access to short-term data and a tape-based back-end for
high-capacity storage of long-term data, and improved data management
software that accommodates these disk-to-tape solutions, tape really shines
by doing what it does best ... affordably storing large amounts of data.