5 Reasons You Should Say Goodbye to

Your Tape Backup Solution

Tape solutions have been a reliable storage system for a long time, but it’s time to say goodbye. As technology advances, tape has become less popular and less innovation has occurred in the tape space, making way for a new, modern storage solution; say hello to disk systems! 

Disk systems provide cost savings, speed, reliability, and top-notch security. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of modern disk storage over tape backup solutions, as well as the one scenario where it makes sense to choose tape. If you’re looking for immediate help with storage solutions for your customers, you can request a quote with us here, and if you’re interested in learning more about why you should choose disk over tape, read on.

Five reasons to choose disk storage over tape:

  1. Speed. Disk systems are much faster than tape storage solutions; whether it’s the initial  backup process or any restoration of data, disk always delivers on speed. It’s quick and easy to find a file within a disk system, whereas with tape you’ll spend a lot more time seeking your data. For backups, disks grant easy access whereas tapes need to be mounted and switched when they are full. Disks can be read from any point, whereas tapes offer linear storage so they have to be wound to the correct point. Additionally, because there’s no remote access, tape recovery usually requires IT staff to physically find and mount the tape drive and then find the data. This limits how often backups can run with tape, increasing the time it takes to recover after a failure. 
  2. Capacity. Disk storage has more capacity per drive, in addition to having a smaller footprint on the data center floor. As technology continues to advance, newer SSDs will have even greater capacity than existing disk solutions. Further, SSD drives don’t have the power requirements of existing drives, so disk storage will soon surpass the capacity benefits of tape storage. 
  3. Cost. The initial cost of disk storage may be higher than that of tape, but in the long run disk is better on your customers’ wallet because they don’t require the maintenance of tapes and scale easily. The overall maintenance, human effort, risk of losing data, and longer recovery of tape ultimately will cost more, eliminating the benefits of the initial low cost. Part of this is due to the fact that tape storage has become less popular, so there has been less innovation in the tape space. Older, legacy technology is harder to use and even more expensive to support; replacing tapes and their library of moving mechanical parts is costly, whereas disks are more modern and less expensive to maintain.
  4. Reliability and ease of use. The majority of tape systems lack modern technologies, so they’re likely not able to be duplicated, replicated, or groomed for data. Disk storage backup solutions can be automated, whereas tape backup solutions are still, for the most part, a manual process. Disk backups can be replicated to a disaster recovery site, but with tape someone must manually collect and move the tapes offsite. Not to mention that tape is more fragile than disk, as the film cannot be exposed to UV, sunlight, or magnetic fields or else the data will be damaged. 
  5. Security. Disk storage solutions achieve high-level security compared to tape storage. As previously mentioned, backups are easier to execute with disk compared to tape storage, so if a failure occurs you will be able to more easily recover your data from a disk storage system. 

Tape storage for archiving

Now that we’ve covered the ways in which disk has tape storage beat, we do want to acknowledge the one scenario where tape storage makes sense: archiving. 

Because the initial cost of tape is cheaper than disk, it’s a great option for companies that retain a significant amount of data they don’t need to access regularly. For example, organizations that have compliance requirements that involve archiving data for long periods of time, such as hospitals, universities, and pharmaceutical companies could benefit from using tape for archive data. 

Disk storage with ChannelWorks

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