Why is tape data storage still alive and strong?

As more and more companies digitize their critical operations, storage and back up strategies have become hot topics. When so much of your company’s lifeblood is internet-based, having a reliable data storage method can ensure operations are virtually never interrupted, even in the event of a digital emergency. Tape data storage is one of a plethora of methods of digital data management.

What is tape data storage?

As its name indicates, when data is stored via tape, it means that the information is actually physically recorded on a magnetic tape. Tape data storage is a method that has been around since the 1950’s. It has been a very reliable way to store important information as is shown by its decades-long prominence.

Why is tape data storage still a strong option?

Though more recent options for data management have emerged, tape data is still a very successful way to archive and save data. It has advanced tremendously over the years since the first magnetic tapes were used by IBM in 1952. Digital recording on tapes has remained significant, with the technology increasing to hold as much as 15 terabytes of information now. This is much more storage than available on later-invented hard drives. The tapes themselves are also an efficient method as they don’t require any additional energy or power to function – just space to be stored.

Using tape for your data management also means the information can be stored for much longer periods of time. For companies that either want or are legally required to build archives covering long-term data for multiple years, this is actually one of the best methods available. These tapes can have a shelf life of up to 30 years. They also need little to no physical maintenance. It is also much more secure as it’s much more difficult to modify and even be accessed. Tapes are considered an offline tool, and therefore are not targets for the increasing amounts of cyber-attacks threatening many businesses these days. These physical types cannot be infected with malicious viruses, which can further save your company major money in the long run. Just make sure the tape drive readers you have are in good condition to avoid them from being “eaten” by the reader.

A tape data storage management system is one that you can still see used at many companies throughout the world. This especially applies to companies that store large amounts of data. Even Google continues to leverage it. They proved the importance and relevance of tapes a few years ago when Gmail had to restore data to 40,000 accounts. Where did they retrieve the data from? Its archived tapes! It is also one of the most cost-effective options. On average, one gigabyte of data on a tape has a cost of only one cent. Though it typically takes longer to access the data off of a tape than a disk or hard drive, storing the information on it takes almost half the time. It is also scalable as your business grows. There is no finite number of tapes one company can have.

The type of tape back-up and libraries you have can vary. If seeking IT maintenance for your company, it is important you find a dependable group that has experience with supporting a number of different types of tape libraries. Just as the data stored is highly important, so is the team you choose to manage it.

If you are seeking a reliable method of data storage, tape should be one option you highly consider. You’ll also want to request a free data storage consultation to understand all the options with their features and costs.