Data Storage: Tape Data Storage Remains an Enterprise IT Workhorse After 60 Years
It's no secret that explosive data growth and shrinking IT budgets are putting pressure on companies to find creative storage solutions to meet their organizational demands. Despite vocal naysayers from the spinning-disk school, tape storagewhich turns 60 years of age in 2012continues to hold its own, by and large, throughout enterprise IT. This, of course, is due to its significant cost advantages, reliability and continued improvement in capacity, speed and ease of use. While many organizations are already familiar with tape's traditional usesbackup, disaster recovery and compliancemost probably don't realize that modern applications now enable tape to be used as an active file archive and as low-cost network-attached storage for latency-tolerant data. For access to large quantities of stored data, tape's role in big data, cloud, high-performance computing and IT operations is expanding dramatically. These markets take advantage of the integration of tape's historical benefits (cost effectiveness and media longevity) and updates (data-integrity verification and file-system interfaces) to use tape to protect large data sets. A recent ExecEvent Tape Summit in San Francisco, organized by storage analyst Greg Duplessie, highlighted these points, as did a webinar produced by the LTO Program May 15. Here's a list of data points, as presented by both organizations, that are aimed at setting the record straight against the unfounded claims of tape's obsolescence that have long been spread by disk-storage advocates.
Fact No. 1: Costs Less Overall
Linear Tape-Open-5 (LTO-5), a tape format used mostly for large workloads, costs up to 15 times less than Serial ATA (SATA) disks for long-term storage of large volumes of data. Total cost of ownership for physical tape systems is approximately two to five times less than Virtual Tape Libraries (VTL) with de-duplication for backup operations.