What’s your take on tape storage?

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Storage in 2010
Tape storage
For a while now, everyone has been talking about how Tapedrive has been finally nixed by digital storage like NAS and SAN, but tape is still being used by enterprises, whether due to compliance or cost issues. Are you using tape as your storage/backup solution or a mixture of different media? Do you plan on continuing to support this form of backup, and why? Your insight is much appreciated.

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Tape will never die due to compliance issues. It is being replaced as near-line backup due to performance and capacity. Nowadays you will see backups being executed to disk first and then tapes (D-D-T). Now with technologies like dedupe and VTL, tapes are coming from 2nd step to 4 step for archival purposes. But Tape will never die.

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  • Denny Cherry
    I agree, as long as you need to get the data offsite and keep it forever tape will always be around.
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  • Meandyou
    We use tape for backups. We use virtual tape for in house storage and cartridge tape for off site. In a perfect world off site data would be duplicated to disk at one or more recovery sites. But we cannot afford that. Instead, we dump to tape and store it in a vault.
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  • CalvinZ
    We have a recent post on our hp.com storage blog titled "Six reasons why tape is still alive and kicking!" - there are some vendors who don't do tape and have been trying to kill it for years. While there's certainly been a lot of movement toward disk-based backup, tape is here to stay.
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  • ToddN2000
    We currently use tape for back-up purposes. Most of our archived reports are stored to optical media. I believe that optical media is more secure for long term storage. I have heard of more tapes breaking or having media failures than an optical disk. Just my 2 cents
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  • Dee101
    I think a lot of enterprises will be using tape for the foreseeable future -- cost of updating the current backups and replacing the archive infrastructure requires having a reasonably solid standard to count on for a period of time and the variety of disk standards is still evolving too quickly. By dislosure, I switched my archives to disk quite a while ago. As a smaller setup, with some experience in tape disintegration causing issues, I wanted to be prepared to continue to evolve on disk. I know environmental controls and storage are better in larger setups, so am including this as a consideration for SMB.
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  • petkoa
    Well, I don't like tape, period. We use disks for "low-latency restore backups" and optical storage for long-term "irrevocable" backups, and, in some cases backup to a remote site via network (rsync, otherwise it can take forever). Tapes are both slow and overwritable, if (may be when?) we got hacked.
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] week ago I asked in the Open IT Forum about your thoughts on tape storage. And you’ve [...]
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  • KHugg
    Tape backup has compelling advantages. It is fairly inexpensive to buy and operate. But inevitably, everything that has some advantages also has certain disadvantages, such is the case with tape backup. Tapes are notoriously failure-prone and vulnerable to environmental (heat, sunlight, humidity, liquids, dust) as well as human mishandling can all corrupt backups. Also, like all magnetic backup media, tapes can be damaged by electromagnetic fields. Read more at tape backup vs. disk backup.
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  • MelanieYarbrough
    [...] meant to compile what the enterprise IT community thinks about certain timely topics in IT, from tape storage to the shifting focus of endpoint security. Search through the Open IT Forum tag to get what [...]
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