Larger capacity tapes have also introduced a new challenge when it comes to off-site storage. Incremental backups take up much less space than full backups; if partially filled tapes are sent off site daily, data cannot be appended. In some cases, this has caused large capacity media users to complain about poor utilization and high cost.
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To address the last part of your question, an eventual technology refresh is unavoidable in a field as dynamic as IT and looking at new solutions might not be a bad idea regardless. However, when it comes to selecting media capacity, your choice should be influenced by:
- The type of data to be backed up
- How your backup software uses tapes (interleaving, single stream, etc.)
- Media vaulting frequency
- Tape subsystem footprint constraints (high density tapes use less floor space per GB)
Read Dorian Cougias' answer to this question.
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