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Analyzing the Economic Value of LTO Tape for Long-term Data Retention

When it comes to the long-term economic value of tape, LTO solutions offer the opportunity for an organization to reduce their cost of ownership, improve operational expenses, and improve user-productivity. ESG analyzed eight cost categories (hardware, software, media, infrastructure, maintenance charges, staff costs, data migration costs, and data access costs) to determine the economic value of LTO tape.

Through their research and analysis, ESG found that in a typical large-scale data retention usage scenario, LTO solutions can yield nearly $13.5M in estimated cost savings over a ten-year time horizon. That’s a 577% return on investment over 10 years! Additionally, ESG discovered that in the given situation the annual total cost of ownership (TCO) for an LTO tape solution generates a significant 85% savings compared to a present mode of operation representative of all-disk storage. This doesn’t even include the incremental benefits through improvements in user productivity as a direct result of shorter retrieval times with tape technology!

By integrating tape with a disk and cloud storage environment, companies can extend efficiency while providing customers with flexibility. Given the cost savings, tape’s economic value is very compelling and difficult to argue against.

As evidenced in ESG research, IT organizations are broadly utilizing tape solutions in their data protection processes. ESG believes these decisions are made based on a combination of the functionality of modern tape (i.e., its speed and reliability characteristics) and its compelling economics compared with disk-based alternatives and even disk/cloud hybrid approaches. While many data stores may benefit from retention architectures that take advantage of multiple technology platforms and the incremental performance offered by disk solutions in the right use cases, for organizations with large data stores that must be maintained over extended time horizons, tape’s economics are hard to argue against.

ESG’s research and financial modeling conducted for LTO-based solutions shows that dramatic savings in hardware, media, staff, and maintenance costs can be achieved by leveraging tape over disk.

For IT organizations looking to increase their efficiency in the realm of capital expenditure, while boosting their ability to be an exceptional service bureau for the organization by freeing up highly skilled administrators to focus on other endeavors, LTO tape solutions warrant close consideration.

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