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Tape still has its place in today's online world

Written on: Apr 21, 2022 9:35:34 AM

Written by: Elizabeth Reed


[Data Management, Quantum, COOLSPIRiT]

There is much discussion these days around data storage and why some technologies are on the decline, while others are being hailed as the future. When it comes to tape, there seems to be a perception that tape storage is no longer relevant – but this could not be further from the truth.

Tape may no longer be visible among consumer-level products, but that does not mean it’s past its sell-by-date.

As one example of its lasting prominence within an increasingly online world, our long-standing tape infrastructure partner, Quantum revealed some staggering figures. As of earlier this year, Quantum now have seven hyperscale and web-scale accounts globally that have collectively deployed more than 35 exabytes of capacity over hundreds of tape systems. Quantum’s Scalar i6H systems make up a significant proportion of this impressive number, which are already deployed in some of the world’s largest data archives. This system comes in rack unit formation rather than a tape library, making for an easy installation and a modular deployment of racks as and when needed – wherever there is free space in the data centre. It is aimed at use cases where infrequently accessed data is required again and served to faster media for more frequent access.

A true physical air-gapped storage solution

For organisations that are not protecting and preserving big data archives, there are still several reasons why tape storage remains a viable option for them. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, tape is still the only form of data storage that can offer a true air-gapped barrier for its stored data - meaning that it is in no way connected to the internet. As such, it is completely isolated from all potential cyber threats. It is important to note that modern disk and cloud backup technologies now offer immutable backups that cannot be edited or erased during a specified period. However, tape is very much an essential last line of defence in a complete layered portfolio of protection against ransomware threats.

An environmentally friendly option

Not only that, but tape is extremely energy-efficient. Once written, tape cartridges can be stored in a robotic library where it doesn’t consume any power at all. This makes tape an ideal choice for organisations who are looking for ways to reduce their energy footprint – a top priority for many organisations given the ramping global efforts to combat climate change.

Huge cost savings per TB

And of course, when budgets get tighter, but data growth keeps ballooning – tape reigns king. The cost savings associated with tape storage still dwarf those of other storage solutions available today, making it ideal for businesses that need to store a large amount of data on a flat budget. These cost savings are only likely to continue growing over time given that LTO, the default tape option among the tape product range, is set to increase from the LTO-9’s already impressive 45TB per tape to 360TB per tape by its 12th generation.

We're here to help

Here at COOLSPIRiT, we have 20+ years of experience in all things tape; from tape handling and storage to tape barcoding. So, if your organisation is looking for a secure, efficient, and cost-effective way to store your data, don’t discount tape storage – it’s still very much alive and kicking. Contact our expert team today to find out more.

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