Mark III Systems Blog

Is Tape Dead?

As those of us in Texas begin to recover from the historic cold weather and sustained power outages this past week, I'm reminded of why tape continues to be a key player in the data protection strategy for many organizations...

Having an offsite copy of your data is critical to being able to execute a disaster recovery plan if your data center(s) become unavailable. Also, power redundancy in your data center is always important.  And not just for maintaining uptimes.  There is so much that can go wrong during a power outage, and electrical damage to servers can result in loss of data.  Tape backups help eliminate those risks.

For larger, geographically distributed organizations, it is usually easy enough to setup replication over a WAN.  For many smaller companies, though, there are all kinds of reasons this could be challenging to implement.  Limited budget, limited network bandwidth, etc.  Cloud can sometimes be a good fit in these cases, but costs are often still a big concern.

For the record, tape is definitely not perfect.  It's also definitely not going away in the foreseeable future.  Factor in the ever-increasing density of LTO media storage, and it's hard to ignore its economical and practical benefits.