Data Storage: Tape Data Storage Remains an Enterprise IT Workhorse After 60 Years

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-05-18 Print this article Print
Fact No. 1: Costs Less Overall

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.
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 storage—which turns 60 years of age in 2012—continues 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 uses—backup, disaster recovery and compliance—most 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.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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