Every year, the amount of data that humanity generates is growing exponentially. The number of companies using tape-based solutions will grow along with the data. Companies that need to archive large amounts of data use tapes to perform regular backups.
Tapes are usually employed when there is a need to store rarely used but critical data. These data backups are regularly upgraded and converted to more advanced cartridge types to increase capacity, reliability, and speed.
Advantages of Backup Tape
High Storage Capacity
The high capacity of magnetic tapes is considered one of the main advantages. When 1GB hard drives appeared on the market in the mid-nineties, the tape cartridges already held twelve times as much information.
Nowadays, the situation is the same. Today’s tapes contain almost one kilometer with a width of 12.6 millimeters. It can hold up to 30TB of compressed data. Meanwhile, hard drives for the enterprise segment have only recently approached the 22TB mark.
The cost of magnetic tape storage is much lower than any other drive. Hence, a tape backup solution is the best solution when there is a need for expensive storage with a large capacity.
Moreover, major IT companies today continue to develop technologies that extend the capabilities of magnetic tapes. For example, in 2017, engineers at IBM unveiled a recording method that will save 330 TB of uncompressed data in a palm-sized LTO cartridge.
Errors on magnetic tape are known to occur less frequently than on HDDs. The life span of tape is more than any other device popular today. If stored properly, the cartridges can last about 30 years. Hence, it is considered to be long-term storage.
Magnetic tape storage has indeed proven itself to be a reliable and cost-effective solution for long-term data storage, especially for organizations that deal with massive amounts of data. Its lower susceptibility to errors compared to HDDs, coupled with an impressive 30-year lifespan when stored under proper conditions, make it an ideal choice for archiving and backup purposes.
Furthermore, tape storage systems have continued to evolve in terms of both capacity and performance, ensuring they remain relevant in today’s ever-growing digital landscape. While they may not be suitable for every scenario, particularly where rapid data access is required, magnetic tapes offer a dependable and robust option for organizations seeking a long-lasting and secure method of preserving their critical information.
The main reason for the common use of magnetic tape is that many of its shortcomings have been corrected. Previously, the drive involved only sequential access to data, so it took 50-60 seconds to find and read information. By comparison, the hard drive had 5-10 milliseconds.
Modern technology has leveled the impact of this drawback. The new cartridges support the LTFS file system. It indexes the tape’s contents, which speeds up the data reading, creating the illusion of random access.
Due to the many advantages of tapes, people entrust their valuable data to them. Nevertheless, regardless of their durability and long life, data loss can still occur.
Common Reasons for Data Loss on Tape Backup Solutions
Data Corruption. Data corruption is a consequence of various problems, including accidental formatting or manufacturer defects. This type of file inaccessibility does not stay unnoticed for a long time. Warning signs are identified soon after something goes wrong.
Physical Damage. Water, fire, or mishandling can cause data loss from physical damage. Another advantage of using tape is that data can still be recovered from a significantly damaged tape.
Software Incompatibility. Tapes are relatively old technology, so it is essential to treat them carefully. Therefore, when choosing a file system for your tape backup system, you must be very careful and consider all the factors and possible outcomes.
Regardless of the data loss scenario, the tape restoration process should be handled by professionals.
By requesting help from experienced engineers, you have a higher chance of recovering your valuable data. PITS Global Data Recovery Services is ready to help businesses and individuals with their tape data repair.
Tape Backup Drive Data Recovery with PITS
PITS Global Data Recovery Services offers secure and reliable backup tape recovery services in the United States. We aim to provide our clients with a smooth process and positive experience.
Our engineers are highly specialized in backup tape drive data recovery and achieve the highest success case when working with this media. They regularly attend qualification courses and obtain certificates to guarantee the recovery of your files regardless of data loss scenarios.
PITS does not stay in one place and regularly develops its recovery methods. In addition, we constantly are updating our facilities and tools. This way, we perform the recovery at the highest level possible.
Advantages of Our Tape Data Recovery Services:
By starting the recovery process with a risk-free evaluation, we estimate the reason for data loss and the level of damage. With the results of our evaluation, engineers estimate the most suitable data recovery strategy for the device. By the end of the assessment, we will provide our clients with a service quote, including the timing turnaround and price.
We also offer flexible recovery options so customers can choose the recovery service suitable for their needs and deadlines. Emergency service is one of the options for time-sensitive cases. In a situation like this, the valuable data is recovered within 8-48 hours.
After the recovery process is finished, we schedule a verification session. This way, a client can connect and check the recovered data.
After all the restored files are approved, they are sent to the customer and fully deleted from our servers for data protection.
Start your data recovery with our technicians today by filling out the request help form below. You can also call our customer service line, and our experts will help with your data storage in any way they can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cost-effective: Tape storage is generally more cost-effective compared to other storage mediums, such as hard drives or solid-state drives (SSDs). Tapes have a low cost per gigabyte of storage, making them an attractive option for long-term data retention.
High capacity: Modern tape cartridges can store an enormous amount of data, with capacities ranging from hundreds of gigabytes to multiple terabytes. This high storage capacity is advantageous for organizations that need to store large volumes of data, such as backups or archives.
Long-term durability: Tape cartridges are designed to be durable and resistant to environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and dust. They have a longer shelf life compared to other storage media, making tape backup a reliable choice for long-term data retention.
Data integrity: Tape backup systems employ error detection and correction techniques to ensure data integrity during storage and retrieval. The risk of data corruption or loss due to media errors is significantly reduced, providing peace of mind for critical data.
Offline storage: Tapes can be easily disconnected from the network, providing an “offline” storage option that protects against cyber threats like ransomware. By keeping tapes offline when not in use, organizations can maintain an additional layer of security for their data.
Scalability: Tape backup systems can scale efficiently by adding more tape cartridges or drives as needed. This scalability makes it easier to accommodate growing data storage requirements without significant infrastructure changes.
Energy efficiency: Tape backup consumes less power compared to disk-based storage solutions, making it an environmentally friendly option. Lower power consumption translates into reduced operational costs and a smaller carbon footprint.
Backup data: Tape backup is widely used to create periodic backups of critical data. It provides a reliable and cost-effective solution for organizations to store multiple backup copies offsite.
Archival data: Data that needs to be retained for regulatory compliance, legal purposes, or long-term archival can be efficiently stored on tape. The high capacity and durability of tapes make them ideal for this purpose.
Big data and large datasets: Organizations dealing with massive datasets, such as scientific research, media, or financial institutions, can leverage tape backup to store and manage their data efficiently.
While tape backup is versatile, it may not be suitable for applications requiring frequent and rapid data access. In such cases, disk-based or cloud storage solutions may be more appropriate.
Slower access times: Compared to disk-based storage, accessing data from tape may take longer due to the sequential nature of tape drives. Random access or retrieval of specific files can be slower, making tape less suitable for applications that require frequent data access.
Physical handling: Unlike cloud or disk-based storage, tape backup involves physically handling and storing tape cartridges. This aspect requires careful management, including labeling, cataloging, and proper storage conditions to ensure data integrity and quick retrieval.
Initial setup and infrastructure: Setting up a tape backup infrastructure may require initial investment in tape drives, libraries, and backup software. Organizations need to consider the cost and effort associated with implementing and maintaining the tape backup system.
Maintenance and compatibility: Regular maintenance, periodic tape drive cleaning, and firmware updates are necessary to ensure optimal performance and compatibility with newer tape formats. Additionally, ensuring backward compatibility with older tapes can be a challenge as technology evolves.
Tape backup offers a high level of data protection. Tapes can be encrypted to ensure that the data stored on them remains secure, even if the tapes are lost or stolen. Encryption adds an extra layer of protection, making it extremely difficult for unauthorized individuals to access the data without the encryption key.
Yes, tape backup can be used alongside other backup solutions as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy. Many organizations employ a hybrid approach, using disk-based or cloud backup for frequent backups and quick data recovery, while utilizing tape backup for long-term retention and archival purposes.