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Vol. 5 No. 4 June 2006

Storage architects dare to go tapeless

REMOVING TAPE from the offsite data protection equation is no longer a brazenly reckless act. Some storage professionals are finding that when all is said and done, sending backups offsite electronically is not only easier, more secure and reliable, but just as cost-effective as shipping physical tapes. Sure, users say, tape still has a lower cost-per-gigabyte than disk, but when you add up the number of tapes you'll need in a daily tape-rotation scheme, plus replacement costs for worn or used tapes, tape's cost-per-gigabyte advantage loses ground. Tape's high price tag was one reason Steve Weatherford, IT director at Revenue Science, Bellevue, WA, got rid of it two years ago. Revenue Science analyzes customers' Web site traffic for ways to improve ad revenue and, in doing so, collects several hundred gigabytes of new Web log data daily. For security reasons, the data is kept for only 90 days. "Tape was really expensive because of the turnover of our data," says Weatherford. "Plus, if we had to delete the data for security ...

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