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Vol. 1 No. 5 July 2002

Cutting through the tape maze

Tape has always been the media of choice for file backup and archiving tasks. Its low cost, portability and simplicity of use make it a perennial favorite with storage administrators. Ongoing improvements in tape drive and media performance, capacity and overall reliability have helped tape maintain its dominating position as the medium of choice for most backup operations. Today, whether employed as an offline safe backup, or online archival storage in automated libraries, tape is an intricate part of any overall hierarchical storage management plan. Following is a brief overview of the most popular tape choices for midrange systems and networking segments, and their technologies, performance parameters and costs. We'll then put on rose-colored glasses and peer into tape's future. Major 8mm formats 8mm tape technology employs helical scan recording methodology and is a reliable method for storing large volumes of computer data. With this approach, data is written in short diagonal tracks across the width of the tape. This is ...

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