Did someone forget to tell Dell that Tape is dead?

November 2, 2008 – 12:30 pm

Storage I/O trends

Did someone forget to send a memo to Dell that magnetic tape is dead, or, perhaps pre-occupied with other activities? Maybe no body at Dell read the “virtual” or “fictional” memo that tape is dead?

Ok, enough with the cynicism and joking around, tape is not dead (See recent Computerworld and Dell story) and Dell is one of several vendors including IBM who still find time to talk about tape as part of a solution to different customer and environment needs.

Sure, tape might be in or heading into its golden years or what can also be called the plateau of productivity (for customers) or profitability (for some vendors), tape does not get the marketing dollars and media coverage as its been around as a technology for a long time and their are cooler and niftier (techno term) things to discuss including disk based backup and data protection, CDP, VTLs, de-dupe debates, clusters, grids and clouds, FCoE vs. iSCSI, NAS, SAS, virtualization, OSD and pretty much anything except tape.

However, the reality is that many organizations, particular larger organizations still use and rely on tape based data protection for backup/BC/DR as well as archive for compliance and non-compliance data retention or data preservation activities, in some cases complimenting and co-existing with disk based solutions.

Disk to disk (D2D) based backups and data protection certainly continue to gain adoption and deployments in both large and small environments, however, the shift to disk based data protection, or, clinging to tape with a death grip does not have to be, nor should it be an all or nothing value proposition, that is, they can and do co-exist for different uses and purposes leveraging the various economics and benefits of the technologies to address various tasks and requirements.

New and emerging technologies certainly need to be discussed, dissected, developed and deployed as they are the future for maintaining and sustaining business growth via IT service delivery in economical and reliable fashion, that is, apply what technologies makes economic and business sense at a given point in time to minimize risk while maximizing useful benefits to your business.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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