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.
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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