The role of magnetic tape storage is changing

How do you see the role of magnetic tape storage evolving in the future?

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Driven by data growth, high energy costs of disk-based storage and perhaps aided by the lack of interest in getting real about information lifecycle management, I see tape storage as becoming integral in the production environment as a mass repository for less frequently accessed data.

Unfortunately, future magnetic tape storage acquisitions will probably not be much motivated by the obvious value of the technology in the area of data protection and disaster recovery. The disk array vendors and the dedupe peddlers have done considerable damage to the reputation of tape in that role, enlisting “trusted” analysts to carry their water.

The good news, however, is that tape can and will do an end run around the stigma that has been foisted on it. Libraries and related products will sell briskly as a low-cost fix to the data deluge and as an archive platform. Once there, the multi-functionality of the technology will see its continued use for the backup of about the same 70% to 80% of data that is entrusted to tape-based protection today.

This was first published in March 2012

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