Why Tape Storage Should Be Part of Your Data Storage Strategy

In recent years, Cloud storage has been championed as the most efficient method of storing vital company data. But does that mean more traditional options have become irrelevant? In fact, no, and one of the oldest – Tape Storage – remains so effective it still has a place on an efficient Data Storage Strategy.

Drawing up an overall strategy is hugely important, not only in keeping key data safe and accessible but to ensure full compliance with data retention regulations. But while the Cloud remains a winner in storing information that needs to be accessed regularly and retained in the short-term (1-3 years), and minimizing the impact of downtime, there is still a need for a reliable data storage option in the long-term.

Tape storage satisfies that need but still offers economic and practical advantages as a reliable option for long-term data preservation of large volumes of data. In fact, current LTO tape drives can store as much as 6 Terabytes – that’s around 1,500 90-minute movies.

Tape Storage Still Favoured By Some
Tape is still used by a variety of major industries where loss of data could have catastrophic social and economic consequences. The most obvious is the high-powered computing industry, which needs to store vast amounts of critical data and have fast, simple access to it.

Healthcare organizations also have to store huge quantities of sensitive medical data, not least x-rays and scans whose high resolutions are growing higher as technology develops.

Equally, the media and entertainment sector archives a huge amount of film footage, keeping in to hand to be used at relevant times. Think special reports on global events like the deaths of Princess Diana, Michael Jackson and Fidel Castro.

5 Advantages That Means Tape Storage Is Still Relevant

  • Flexibility – tapes come in more than just one form – block, file and object storage environment – so can be integrated into a variety of storage solutions and IT environments. In fact, because tape is widely supported and maximizes its long-term compatibility, it helps circumvent the issues created by Big Data, complex IT infrastructures and resource limitations.
  • Huge Data Storage in a Small Space – Modern tape storage is capable of storing huge amounts of data but they have become smaller in size. This means that minimal floor space is used up, resulting in lower storage costs and a lower environmental impact. And tape capacity is increasing at 33% annually, effectively doubling storage every 2 to 3 years, meaning it can deal with whatever data growth comes up.
  • Excellent Data Integrity – One fault that tapes had in the past was its inferior data integrity rates when compared to alternative storage options. However, this has greatly improved in recent years, with very high data integrity over a long period of time ensuring organizations meet security and data retention regulatory time periods.
  • Competitive Cost Per Capacity – While flash and Cloud storage are cost-effective, costs increase over the long-term, especially when the data being stored increases year on year. But since the data stored on tape is ‘cold’ data, dead information that does not grow incrementally, tape storage is the most cost-effective choice for preserving important data over long periods.
  • Greater Security – Since the data stored on tape is maintained off-line, the information held there is safe from hackers; so it’s excellent for storing large amounts of sensitive data. Equally, tape offers the best protection against natural disasters, especially when stored off-site.

The Cloud clearly is a cost-effective method for small businesses to store, backup and archive their data, especially over short periods. But with large organizations having to divide their data into the ‘warm’ and ‘cold’ to satisfy both data retention and data access demands, tape is still a hugely relevant storage method that maintains a critical place in a Data Storage Strategy.

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At Kefron we see complexity and make it simple. Our business exists to improve how you manage your information, be it Document Management Services or digitisation of your information. We can make a real difference to your business. This is what drives us.

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