The Advantages of Tape Automation

Simon Anderson, Product Marketing Manager, Tape Products, Tandberg Data

Data is the life blood of every organization and it needs to be protected and managed properly. Greater than 90% of businesses that suffer a complete data loss go out of business with in 12 months. In recent years, businesses have become even more aware of the need to back up and archive their data as part of their overall business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

Over the last decade the role of tape within the data centre has changed from backup to primarily archiving, and as such, tape remains a critical weapon in the fight against data loss. What would you do if the unexpected or unknown occurred: fire, flood, theft, earthquake, virus, etc. Tape storage forms the last line of defense within the data protection plans of many organizations.

Tape is tried and tested and it is ideally suited for archiving, offering the highest density and lowest cost (<$0.02/GB) of any medium on the market today. Tape offers a 30-year archival life, and supports WORM and encryption, allowing data to be safely and securely stored off-site.

Tape automation significantly reduces the risk of data loss by automating the daily task of swapping tapes. Tape automation products can automatically span large data files across multiple cartridges and can easily be upgraded to increase capacity and performance as and when you need it. Additionally tape automation products use barcode to track the movement of data. The use of barcodes greatly simplifies restore tasks and allows organizations to meet compliance requirements.

Archiving unused data from disk to tape significantly reduces data centre costs. Archiving data from disk to tape offers several benefits; it reduces the amount of data stored on the disk systems and in-turn this reduces backup and restore times. Backup and restore operations are very system intensive tasks, not only do these tasks require significant amounts of power and cooling but they also incur wear and tear on the disk systems. Eventually this wear and tear will result in a disk failure with the potential for data loss. It’s also extremely important to note that disk performance is significantly impacted after disk capacity reaches 80% utilization.

In summary reducing backup and restore times can increase the performance, reliability and life-span of the IT systems. The use of tape and tape automation products allow organizations to implement simple effective data life cycle management, providing them with the ability to manage data growth more efficiently whilst saving them time, energy and money.

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