Q

DLTs vs. CDs: Pros and cons

What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital linear tapes (DLTs) vs. CDs? Pierre Dorian explores the capacity, performance and cost issues surrounding each technology.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital linear tapes (DLT) vs. CDs? Why would I select one over the other, and in which cases would this happen?

It is difficult to fairly compare both technologies, as they have very different specifications and usages. For example, DLT media offers far greater capacity than any optical media. SDLT tapes will hold 160 GB of uncompressed data compared to less than 1 GB for CDs and under 9 GB for the highest capacity DVDs. Therefore, for large data storage capacity requirements, tape technology is clearly the right choice.

Performance is also very different when comparing both technologies. SDLT tape drives can accommodate native data transfer rates of approximately 16 megabytes per second (MBps) in comparison to a write speed of about 5 MBps for high-capacity DVDs.

It might be argued that CD/DVD technology can produce read-only, unalterable copies of data for compliance requirements. However, many DLT tape solution vendors now offer Write Once Read Many (WORM) capabilities with their DLT tape subsystems.

The one advantage left for CD/DVD-type technology is its low cost, which makes it a popular solution for organizations with a small IT footprint and low data storage capacity requirements. Such companies, who often cannot justify the cost of deploying larger automated tape solutions, sometimes find CD/DVD technology an attractive data protection alternative.

This was first published in April 2005

Dig deeper on Remote and offsite data storage

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchSolidStateStorage

SearchVirtualStorage

SearchCloudStorage

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchDataBackup

Close