Tape data backup and recovery quiz

Think you know everything about tape data backup and recovery? Take our quiz and test your knowledge.

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Even though storage experts have been predicting the demise of tape storage for years, tape data backup is alive and well in many organizations. Tape is frequently used for data backup and recovery, and it's also increasingly being used for long-term data archiving.

According to Storage magazine's October 2010 Purchasing Intentions survey, even though one-third of respondents plan to reduce their reliance on tape this year, 22% will increase tape usage. Although tape data backup is declining, LTO-5 tape is showing some signs of possibly breathing a little life into the technology. For those who plan to buy new tape libraries, 20% said those libraries will contain LTO-5 drives -- a pretty high number considering LTO-5 is still relatively new.

In our quiz on tape data backup, learn about the most important tape storage terms, what they mean, and why they're important. Take our quiz, and if you haven't done as well as you've hoped, check out our special section on tape backup and tape libraries


1. When data is sent to tape, it needs to flow at the same speed the tape is running. If there is a mismatch between speeds, the tape drive will try to accommodate it. For example, if a backup server is sending data slower than the tape drive processor writes it, the drive will periodically stop and wait for data to catch up. Once the drive determines there is enough data to start writing again, it will rewind to the exact place where the last write took place, reset the tape heads and continue. This term is the repeated back and forth motion a tape drive makes when there's  an interruption in the data stream.

What is it?

2. This is a complicated tape data backup strategy that's good for archiving data for an extended period of time in an economical manner. The strategy, which is based on a mathematical puzzle invented by the French mathematician Edouard Lucas, uses a cycle of exponential retention periods instead of a large number of tapes.  

What is it?

3. This is a backup and archiving strategy where data is initially to copied to disk and then is periodically copied again to a tape storage system.  

What is it?

4. This type of backup can be conducted through a SAN or with a tape device directly attached to the storage subsystem. Some of the advantages of this type of backup include shorter backup and recovery times and less disruption to other systems and applications.

What is it?

5. This is a hardware device that contains multiple tape drives for reading and writing data, access ports for entering and removing tapes and a robotic device for mounting and dismounting the tape cartridges without human intervention.

What is it?

6. This type of tape has a capacity of 3.2 TB, and has data transfer speed of up to 280 MBps (both assuming a 2:1 compression).

What is it?

7. This is a type of backup that copies all files that have changed since the last backup.

What is it?

8. This is the process of moving data that is no longer actively used to a separate data storage device for long-term retention.

What is it?

9. This is an open-format tape storage technology developed by Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Quantum Corp. 

What is it?

This was first published in April 2011

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