I am amazed when I hear some vendors aggressively promote that tape is dead. It seems that hyping the demise of tape is in vogue these days and the reality is quite different. Even so, there is no stopping them from sharing their message with anyone who will listen. If you ask large enterprises, many of them are looking at alternatives to tape, but telling them that tape is completely dead and that they should rip out all tape hardware is ludicrous. Ironically, this is the approach of some deduplication vendors. Jon Toigo states this succinctly in his blog.
The problem with tape is that it has become the whipping boy in many IT shops.
Courtesy: Drunken Data
The simple reality is that tape has been an important component of data protection for years and is likely to maintain a role far into the future. The reader should remember that in today’s highly regulated environments, companies often face strict requirements about data retention. For example, medical institutions can face some of the most stringent requirements:
HIPAA’s Privacy Rule, in effect since 2003 or 2004 depending on the size of the organization, requires confidentiality of patient records on paper and sets retention periods for some kinds of medical information, regardless of media. These retention requirements can stretch from birth to 21 years of age for pediatric records, or beyond the lifetime of the patient for other medical records.
Courtesy: Directory M
With this in mind, let’s look at the evolution of tape: