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New developments in tape technologies and applications will help breathe new life into this venerable, and still very useful, storage medium.
You may think tape has gone away -- and maybe some disk-backup vendors wish it was so -- but tape is actually thriving these days with steady advancements in bread-and-butter specifications like capacity and speed, plus new technologies that will expand tape into new applications.
The fundamental use cases and value propositions for magnetic tape haven’t changed much over the past five decades. Tape remains the primary media for backup and recovery (B/R), offsite archive and, by extension, disaster recovery (DR). Despite the occasional claim to the contrary, tape still offers the cheapest method for storing data for long periods of time. Even spin-down disk drives can’t match tape’s low total cost of storage. Of course, tape can’t match the data access time of even the slowest disk, so IT organizations still need to use both in the same environment.
This was first published in February 2012