ComputerWorld Technology Briefing: The Business Value of Tape Storage
Article Abstract: Reliable. Long-lived. Portable. Affordable. Energy-stingy. These and many other attributes of tape storage are virtually assuring a continued market for tape storage, a conclusion reached by IDC and many others. Combined with other storage solutions, tape is an integral part of any data archiving strategy.
Why tape for your storage needs?
You read about it and experience it first-hand all the time. The amount of data produced by organizations and companies of all sizes is expanding every year and the amount of storage required to hold that data is rapidly expanding as well.For many IT managers, tape remains a primary part of their storage strategy to manage this growth in data because tape technology is proven, cost-effective, secure, and energy efficient.
Archiving and Disaster Recovery
Organizations of all sizes should have an archiving strategy for protecting their data for the long term needs of their organization for accounting, tax, legal and regulatory compliance purposes. Tape allows you to easily archive your data in a permanent offsite location because it is so portable, secure and stable. Tape media has an expected 30 year lifespan and is much more durable than disk.
Tape offers a relatively easy, cost-effective solution to restoring your data in the case of a disaster. Organizations of all sizes should have a disaster recovery plan in place to make sure their data and the operations can be restored in the case of an emergency. Always make sure you have common sense backup procedures in place and in use. Keep written procedures, practice your data restores regularly, make sure your employees are properly trained and keep at least 3 copies of data, always storing one copy at a secure off-site location.
Tape is an extremely cost effective technology compared to disk for long-term storage. One recent study from the Clipper Group found that for a mid-sized data center over a five-year period, the cost of disk is about 23 times that of tape. Read more about this study and understand how tape can help you save money in your data center. Clipper Group white paper: Disk and Tape Square Off Again — Tape Remains King of the Hill with LTO-4
Another component of tape’s cost advantages is the much lower amount of energy required for storing data on tape vs. disk. Not surprisingly, tape is far more energy efficient than disk. The initial deployment of a tape library with two LTO-4 drives uses only about 1150 KWH in the first year, less than it takes to make coffee and toast for a year (See Clipper Report). It takes a lot more power to keep those disks spinning. In the same Clipper Group study, SATA Disk technology was found to be 290 times more expensive to power than LTO-4 Tape in the same long-term storage comparison. While disks have the advantage of fast near term back-ups, less expensive tape technology can be a cost effective complement to disk in a Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape environment for long-term data storage.
Due to security breaches, loss of hardware containing personal data, corporate fraud, and the growing consumer demand for the protection of personal data, the federal government has passed a number of laws governing the protection of data. Data loss and disclosures can cost companies millions of dollars in lost sales and lost reputation. Hardware encryption and LTO-4 tape encryption help address the threat of lost or stolen tapes. If sensitive data is encrypted on the tape media, the data cannot be compromised if the tape is lost or stolen.
Encryption is the process of taking clear text data and converting it to data unreadable by anyone not possessing the encrypting key. Encryption is critical for any tapes stored offsite for disaster recovery purposes.
Why Dell for Tape?
- Dell offers a full range of products from internal tape drives for a single DellTM PowerEdgeTM server to modular tape automation libraries capable of storing up to 321TB of data and providing centralized backup for your Storage Area Network.
- Dell also offers cost-effective, reliable, high quality media solutions tested for compatibility with all of the Dell PowerVaultTM tape products.
- Consulting services are available to help assist companies from small – to medium and large corporations not only select the right storage infrastructure to help ensure data availability but also help ensure that it is optimized to meet requirements for backup, recovery and archiving through the following service options
Assessment for storage consolidation
Assessment for backup, recovery and archiving
Assessment for effective data management
Assessment for storage if a virtualized server environment is also being deployed