How Tape Storage Will Change in 2011
It has become trendy to write off tape as a dying technology. However, it may not be on its last legs, but those old legs may be rejuvenated this year thanks to new interface technologies.
To start, tape will start to look more like active storage. The development of active interfaces that make tape look like disk storage, with directories and files, will increase its usefulness to users. They can find, access and view files stored on tape as they would files on their hard drives. Data center administrators benefit from the technology, too, allowing them to free up disk space. Archival data can be sent to tape rather than eat up hard drive storage.
The technology also speeds up access to tape files and removes one of biggest knocks to the technology: you can’t search it. In the past, typically a tape had to be restored before you could search for anything on it. That could take hours. New interface technologies reduce search times to minutes. Those improved search times polish tape’s other benefits–its affordability and environmental positives.
Rapid access to data stored on tape, as well as available encryption options, makes it more attractive for purposes such as meeting electronic discovery requirements and storage of medical records. A concern about archiving data that might be corralled in an e-discovery order is that the data can’t be recovered and searched fast enough to comply with the order. Rapid access technology removes that concern.
Rapid access can be a trip to the Fountain of Youth for the granddad of storage mediums and prove that epitaphs for tape and tape stroage have been premature.