There has been much discussion of late as to the most effective means for backing up proprietary organizational data. Whether such data includes the e-mail accounts, customer information, patient details, or financial information, it is vital that an organization works to find a data storage and backup solution that meets its unique needs and goals.
Experts in today’s world are increasingly recommending LTO tape backups (in additional to disk backups) for numerous reasons — especially after industry leaders including Google have been quite vocal about their dependence on a mix of disk and tape to secure their intense data collection. The following are six reasons why tape backups are recommended:
1. No Bugs, bugs, bugs! Because of its online nature and composition, disk can be hit with bugs that have the power to wipe out all data. Tape backups are bug-proof and can be easily utilized when/if disk fails.
2. Cost-Effective. Tape is quite less expensive to maintain, especially as tape density is increasing by leaps and bounds yearly. The LTO-5 tape can hold up to 3TB of data, which makes it ideal for continued backups over time.
3. Recyclable. When archived tapes become legacy, they can be turned in to leading tape recycling firm Recycle Your Media (RYM) for cash or credit toward newer LTO tape versions. This both helps the environment and provides value for organizations.
4. Tape’s Future is Sound. According to the LTO consortium, tape will be around for years to come. This is proven by their commitment to constantly increase tape density through future LTO-6 and LTO-7 versions. Additionally, leading firms including IBM, HP, Oracle, Sony, and Quantum are committed to the technology and are overseeing its advancement.
5. Durable. The average tape can last for 50 and more years. Thus, if for any reason a backup needs to be pulled from archive, data can be recalled with ease with a compatible tape drive.
6. Reduced Energy Consumption. According to a recent study by The Clipper Group, it was revealed that LTO-5 tape utilizes less energy per petabyte than disk. Over a 12-year period, it was estimated that energy on a disk only solution alone will run about $4 million, while only a shocking $18,000 for a tape solution.
When considering the value of tape for backups, it is important to fully understand organizational needs and industry regulations/standards. In the case that information needs to be kept secure for years to come and/or litigation may result due to lost data, it is a definite risk to maintain a disk-only storage environment.
This is the raw truth, as discovered by Google after their disk storage system was hit with a bug that nearly wiped out more than 500,000 e-mail accounts. Had it not been for the most recent tape backup performed, the company would have faced serious backlash and customer fallout.
For more information on tape and its relevance in today’s world, you may want to consider reading more about the LTO consortium and the most recent product releases in the tape industry.