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LTO NEWS BYTES - June 2009


Nearly 90% of your data needs tape


Tape continues to play an integral role within the storage environment as improvement in capabilities and reliability helps maintain its place as a viable means of storage. Despite recent battles over whether tape or disk is the right solution for all storage needs, data managers are increasingly realizing that a "one-size-fits-all" solution no longer holds true – data that needs to be accessed on a regular basis should be managed differently than that for archiving, long-term storage or disaster recovery.

Consider this: a UC Santa Cruz study found that 90 percent of data stored to NAS was never accessed again, underscoring the need to use a cost-effective means to store data and reduce energy costs.

What does this mean? Disk can be an appropriate medium for quickly accessing that 10% of data that needs to be readily available, and tape can be the effective solution for the remaining 90% of the data. Moreover, a blend of disk and tape – where near-term data is stored on disk, then backed up on a regular basis to tape – could deliver a more cost-effective solution to reduce power expenditures and physical space while protecting data offline from intentional or unintentional corruption.


We’ve all seen the headlines proclaiming the passing of tape, but most storage managers know that “these rumors have been greatly exaggerated,” to take a line from Mark Twain. A recent survey found that 60 percent of storage managers with disk-only backup environments plan to add tape back into their storage solution.

Changing requirements for storage has resulted in the cohesive operations of disk and tape – and the same survey found that nearly two-thirds of storage managers implement a combined tape/disk solution. They know tape is an ideal tool for long-term storage and will help reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). They also realize the value in tape for offline data protection in a remote location to protect against viruses and disasters.

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