Why a tape backup system is still a good storage option

Last updated:September 2016

Editor's note

Contrary to what disk vendors may tell you, tape backup technology is not outdated. Tape libraries just recently made headlines as the data backup method of choice for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A tape backup system is still a data protection staple, and recent innovations have made it more of an asset, and even brought some defectors back into the fold.

One of tape's major strengths has always been cost. When compared to flash or disk, there's no competition concerning price. But the prevalence of tape in storage is also dependent on the technology's reliability, resilience and evolution.

Tape storage technology has kept up with ever-changing backup requirements. Data is growing exponentially, and increased capacities have made tape a dependable option for tackling big data. When it comes to moving large amounts of data, transporting tape is faster and less expensive than transporting data over a network.

Previously, accessibility led some organizations to use tape primarily for cold storage, since it may have taken more time to retrieve archived data. However, with the linear tape file system (LTFS), data on a tape can be organized and indexed for quicker access. Likewise, active archiving products can help facilitate data collection.

While some users find the cloud to be an adequate replacement, the technology is not going anywhere just yet. Some observers believe the advent of cloud storage has only emphasized the importance of having a reliable tape backup system on hand.

Explore the links below to review the latest news and expert advice on tape backup systems. When you're done, make sure to test what you have learned with our tape backup quiz.

1Tape backup advancements

Along with reliability, tape's evolving nature has kept it a storage staple. Explore how vendors are keeping tape backup fresh as data continues to grow.

2Tape and other technologies

Tape backup systems are resilient and reliable, but that doesn't mean they need to do the job alone. Learn which other technologies can be used alongside tape backups to take them that extra mile.

3Essential definitions

Whether you're learning something new or just getting a refresher, here are some of the key terms surrounding tape backup.

4Test your knowledge

You've read the guide, now see what you have retained with our tape backup system quiz.