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Tape backup and tape library technology tips

Despite all the hype around new technologies like data deduplication, tape is still at the core of many backup operations most businesses. Here's our top tape backup tips.

Despite all the hype around new backup technologies like data deduplication, tape is still at the core of many backup operations in businesses both large and small. According to the Fall 2008 edition of Storage magazine's Purchasing Intentions Survey, 32% of survey respondents said they would increase spending on tape, vs. 29% in the spring of the same year. Eighty-four percent of disk-based backup users said they spin some, or all of their backup data, off to tape. So tape isn't dead yet, even though storage pundits have been predicting it for years.

To help you stay up to date on modern tape systems, we've collected our top 10 tips on tape data backup for you. Whether you want to buy a new tape library, are thinking of moving to LTO-4, want to learn the best way to take care of your tapes, or want to how to set up a tape rotation strategy, we have it on

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The state of tape storage technologies
Unless you wake up one morning and realize you need a solution to back up 50 TB of newly found, never before backed up data, chances are good you have an existing and potentially significant investment in tape technology that you can't necessarily part with that easily. Learn about why tape technology is still very relevant in this article on the state of tape storage today.

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Tape backup and recovery technology tutorial 
Even if they first back up to disk, most users eventually store their backups on tape. Learn about recent changes in tape technology and how to best use tape in a modern backup environment in this tutorial by backup guru W. Curtis Preston.

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How to optimize your backup tape rotation strategy
Tape rotation is an essential part of backing up to tape and creating an effective data backup strategy. Are you confused about how often to rotate your tapes and how to keep track of them? Here's a look at the most common backup tape rotation schemes to help you choose the best tape rotation strategy for your business.

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The pros and cons of host-based vs. appliance-based tape encryption
Whether you're faced with a government regulation, a business partner contractual requirement, or just want to take some basic precautions, tape encryption should be on your radar. Choosing a tape encryption method can be tricky. Here's a look at the pros and cons of host-based vs. appliance-based tape encryption.

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What you need to know about LTO-4 tape
This tip provides an overview of the Linear Tape Open update to LTO-4, detailing its new features and what you need to consider before upgrading to LTO-4. Here's what you need to know about making the change to LTO-4.

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How to get the most out of your data backup tapes: Caring for magnetic media
Magnetic tape cartridges are remarkably resilient media, but they still need to be properly cared for. Although tape life is expressed in years, careless tape handling can cut that to weeks, or even destroy a tape entirely. To get the most of out your tapes, it's important to handle them carefully and store them properly. Learn about caring for your backup tapes in this article.

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Ten things you should ask a vendor before buying a tape library
Purchasing the right tape library can make or break your backup system. Here are 10 things you should ask any potential vendor before you purchase a new tape library.

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Choosing a tape encryption product
As the fear of public relations nightmares over lost tapes are mounting and compliance requirements around safeguarding personal data are becoming more stringent, many organizations -- notably in the financial sector -- have been looking at various solutions to prevent backup and archive data from ending up in the wrong hands. Read this article to help you choose the right tape encryption product.

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The cost of tape vs. disk data backup
Tape has historically been approximately eight or 10 times less expensive than disk storage to acquire and operate. With the recent deployments of high-capacity low-cost drives (such as SATA), the cost benefit ratios are now closer to 4:1 in favor of tape. However, these hard cost calculations ignore the business improvements available by using disk, including regulatory compliance issues, faster time to recovery and other aspects. Learn about the cost of tape vs. disk in this article.

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Optimizing tape backup systems
Tape vendors have recently improved their tape devices' density, enhancing management tools, integrating tape with their disk storage systems, and adding encryption. Learn about recent improvements in tape backup systems.

If you want to learn even more about tape backup and tape libraries, bookmark our special section on tape backup/tape library tips, news and research.

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