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Tape Storage: How It Still Plays a Big Role in Modern Data Storage

26 October 2018

Tape Storage: How It Still Plays a Big Role in Modern Data Storage

With the incredible advancements that have been made in storage technology over the past couple of decades, it’s common to associate digital media storage with an SD card, or hard drive, or even a solid state drive. For consumers these are generally the most standard and common mediums for storing information electronically. For businesses with large data storage needs however, there is a continued use of an old storage type that might surprise many.

Tape storage isn’t really commonly considered in the consumer space; it’s tape! But the reality is that many large organizations with large data needs, still use tape. In fact, for many businesses it remains to be one of the most preferred methods for storing information! How can this be?

There are actually quite a few advantages to be had with tape storage, especially for those with seriously large storage needs;

  • Tape rolls have significantly higher storage in a similar or smaller footprint than SSD’s. Many companies have managed to make tape rolls with up to 300TB of capacity that are half the size of a 60TB SSD. This has a significant impact on storage costs, especially when there are larger amounts of devices to store.
  • Tape has among the lowest costs per GB. Because of the relatively low cost of high capacity tape rolls compared to high capacity hard drives, tape remains one of the most cost effective storage options for large data needs.
  • Tape is more reliable than HDD’s. Tape typically has a lower error rate than HDD’s do, and is also more likely to last longer overall. While HDD’s have motors and controllers that can fail and corrupt data, tape rolls don’t face these vulnerabilities that risk corrupting data. Tape also tends to have a longer shelf life than HDD’s in general.
  • Tape is highly scale-able. Backwards read capability and high storage capacity means that tape is a scale-able storage medium that companies can grow into, rather than out of.

There are several advantages to using tape that modern day HDD’s and SSD’s simply aren’t capable of fulfilling. While this may change some day, there is nothing on the horizon that severely threatens the popularity of tape storage for large data needs.

National Records Centers offers services from physical media and document storage, to 24/7 digital data storage solutions. We provide imaging and scanning services in addition to secure document shredding. Talk to our expert team today to see how we can help your business!