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HP StoreEver LTO-6 Ultrium 6250 Half Height SAS External Tape Drive 2.5TB Native/ 6.25TB Compressed Part# EH970A
Tandberg Data RDX QuikStor 160GB USB 3.0 External Docking Station - Removable Disk Storage Part # 8668-RDX


In recent years there has been much debate about Disk vs Tape based backups, opinions about the future of Tape backups vary greatly, but there can be little doubt that as disk becomes more affordable, the role for tape will continue to change over time.

Traditionally, one of the major advantages Tape has over Disk is it’s portability for offsite backups – as there are fewer moving parts in a tape cartridge, they are generally more robust and therefore safer to transport, and have a longer shelf life.

RDX technology has emerged in recent years to challenge Tape’s advantage in this area; a ruggedized Disk based backup System that operates in much the same way as tape, RDX cartridges can be dropped from 1 meter onto a concrete floor without damage, and have a shelf life of 30+ Years (as demonstrated by international Ecma standards)

Quick Comparision Table


Read / Write Speeds Faster Sequential read / write, Good for large sequential Backups Faster random access times, quicker to retrieve individual files from backups

Cost Cost of Drives substantially higher, Cost of Tapes substantially lower Cost of Drives substantially lower, Cost of Tapes substantially higher

Max Capacity 12TB per tape Native on LTO-8 5TB Cartridge

Backwards / Forwards Compatibility Reads back 2, writes back 1 (LTO 6 can write to LTO5 Tapes, Read LTO4 and LTO5 Tapes) No forwards compatibility (LTO5 can’t read / write LTO 6 Tapes) RDX Drives can read all cartridge sizes

How to Determine the Apropriate Solution

To decide whether LTO or RDX drives are right for you, you should consider the following:

  • Total Amount of Data to be backed up
  • Number of Tapes / Cartridges on rotation
  • Restore Points Required
  • Data Retention / Archiving Requirements

In General, RDX is most suitable for clients who want to backup smaller datasets and don't need to archive lots of data for an extended period.  LTO is a better option for clients with large datasets to backup, and / or who want to archive data for extended periods.  Basically for a smaller data set, say 100GB daily backup / 400GB weekly with 6 tapes / cartridges in rotation the RDX solution will provide a lower cost solution.  However let's say you're backing up 400GB daily / 1.3TB weekly with 12 tapes / cartridges, then the LTO Tape Solution is going to provide a lower cost solution. 

Feel free to contact a BackupWorks Account Rep for a free consultation and determine what best fits your needs. Call us at 866 801 2944

Some LTO Tape Options to Consider:


Some RDX Options to Consider:

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