Here’s a link to a new article over at Enterprise Storage Forum titled “The Changing Role of Tape” for those of you who still use or care to admit to using magnetic tape as part of your data protection (backup, BC, DR) and data preservation (e.g. archiving and compliance) strategies.
Disk based solutions continue to grow in adoption for data protection, however tape still remains relevant taking on different roles, similar to how disk drives are taking on different roles as FLASH and RAM based SSD continue to evolve and grow in terms of customer deployment adoption. Consequently, despite the continued hype that tape is dead, the reality is that tape still remains on of if not the most energy effieinctyt or green storage mediums of in-active, off-line data in a given footprint and cost basis.
Tape is still being used in many environments particularly more so in larger environments with a focus shifting towards supporting ultra-dense large full backups that have been copied from disk to disk based backups as well as for archives.
Disk based data protection particularly with virtual tape libraries (VTLs) that combine data footprint reduction techniques such as compression, de-dupe, replication and migration to tape capabilities continue to gain in popularity as a convenient way to migrate from tape based backups to disk based backup preserving investment in existing people skills, policies, procedures and software.