Relevant Storage Recycling News

  • Tape's not dead at all!  

  • The Proof: Half of Organizations Still Use Tape

              Posted on June 23, 2011

A survey of IT organizations in North America and Europe found that 57 percent are still using tape-based systems at the core of their backup and disaster recovery strategies.

Additionally, among enterprises, some 52 percent are using physical tape backups for branch offices.

Meanwhile, the survey, conducted by enterprise data protection vendor Sepaton, found that 33 percent of respondents saw a greater than 30 percent growth of data for 2011. That's up from 28 percent of respondents from the same time last year.

The survey polled 581 IT professionals, of which 168 met Sepaton's criteria for enterprises -- that is, they work at companies with at least 1,000 employees and oversee at least 50 TB of data, according to the survey report, which is set to be released on June 29.

"Survey results indicate a growing concern in enterprise data centers about their ability to adequately protect massive data volumes and increasingly complex environments. Large enterprises are increasingly focusing on protecting data in branch locations and in implementing more effective disaster recovery solutions," the report said.

In order to handle burgeoning data requirements, many companies are having to deal with unplanned backup system "sprawl" as they struggle to keep up.

"Seventy percent have had to add a disk-based data protection system to scale their backup performance or capacity in the last twenty-four months ... adding hours of administrative burden to IT staff," the report added.

Among the results of this data sprawl is a growing fear that data is not being well-enough protected. In fact, 69 percent of enterprise IT professionals polled felt their organizations came up short when it came to data protection, and the majority of those identified understaffing as the main reason for the problem.

"As in the 2010 ... survey, in 2011 large enterprises continue to move toward disk-based backup and away from physical tape. Companies are also planning an increased use of 10 Gb Ethernet connectivity to storage and use of onsite snapshots on NAS filers," the report said.


  • Tape more reliable than disk for long term storage


Posted on 02 June 2011 00:46 Tape is inherently a more stable magnetic medium than disk when used to store data for long periods of time.  This is simply "recording physics 101," according to Joe Jurneke of Applied Engineering Science, Inc.  I had heard rumblings of this before, but it was Joe that finally explained it in almost plain English in a post to this thread from hell on LinkedIn.  Here's the core of his argument: By the way, the time dependent change in magnetization of any magnetic recording is exponentially related to a term known as KuV/kt. This relates the "blocking energy" (KuV) which attempts to keep magnetization stable, driven by particle volume (V) and particle anisotropy (Ku) to the destabilizing force (kt) the temperature in degrees kelvin (t) and Boltzmans constant (k).  Modern disk systems have KuV/kt ratios of approximately 45-60. Modern production tape systems have ratios between 80 and 150. As stated earlier, it is exponentially related. The higher the ratio, the longer the magnetization is stable, and the more difficult it is to switch state.....Recording Physics 101.... I had to call him to get more information.  He explained how this came about.  Disk drives have been pushed for greater and greater densities, which caused their vendors to create a much tighter "areal density."  Tape, on the other hand, mainly got longer and fatter to accomodate more data in the same physical space.  (Yes, it increased areal density, too, but nowhere near as much as the disk drive folks did.)  The result is that the tape folks have more room to play, allowing them to use magnetic particles with a bigger particle volume (the V in the equation).  The bigger the particle volume, the more stable the magnetism is, according to the KuV/kt equation.  In addition, tapes are generally stored outside of the drive, which means their temperature is lower than disk drives.  That means they have a lower k volume (degrees kelvin), which is one of the "bad" numbers in the KuV/kt equation.  Having a higher V value and a lower t value is what translates into tape systems having ratios of 80-150, vs disk systems that have ratios of approximately 45-60. While I don't have an exact cite to point to in order to show these exact values, what he's describing makes perfect sense to me.   Add to this the fact that tape drives also have a lower bit error rate than disk.  SATA disk is 1:10^14, FC disk is 1:10^15, LTO is 1:10^16, and IBM 3xx0 and Oracle T10000s are 1:10^17. Add to this the fact that tape drives always do a read after write, where disk drives do not always do this. Sooo... Tape drives: Write data more reliably than disk

  1. Write data more reliably than disk
  2. Read it after they've written it to make sure they did (where disks often don't do that)
  3. Have significantly less "bit rot" or "bit flip" than disk drives over time.


  • A new tool proposed by Recycle Your Media: Data Tape Media Audit and Data Erasure by Volume Serial Number (Volser)