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Why Manufacturers Still Bet On Tape Storage

by on March 5, 2012

Supposed data storage pundits have been penning tape’s eulogy for several years now, predicting that each new market development would lead to the storage media’s demise. These shortsighted assertions could be debunked in a variety of ways, but perhaps the clearest method is to follow the money. While some will claim that tape is on the downside of greatness, recent sales figures from Oracle tell a much different story.

According to the latest release from the tech giant, Oracle has shipped over 1 exabyte of media for its StorageTek T10000C Tape Drives. Considering it’s only been on the market for nine months, the latest generation of StorageTek has displayed the fastest ramping capacity of any product in the company’s hallmark line of tapes.

“Oracle’s StorageTek T10000C Tape Drives together with our StorageTek SL3000 and SK8500 libraries deliver unmatched capacity and performance that’s clearly resonating with customers,” explained company spokesman James Cates.

For anyone surprised by this continued display of success, just consider the typical factors that shape a corporation’s media management strategy:

Capacity

Data is the life blood of any business, and if you don’t store it you can’t leverage it. As the advent of Big Data expands the volume and complexity of information companies handle, IT managers must know that their infrastructure is up to the task. Luckily, tape manufacturers continue to come out with innovative offerings that compress more content inside smaller perimeters.

Cost

Like it or not, IT departments are often the first to feel a company’s budgetary squeeze. However, a comprehensive tape and vault management strategy should be an easy sell to superiors. Tape continues to be the media of choice for low-cost, low-maintenance storage. These advantages also scale over time with most tape drives staying in service for decades.

Compliance

From customer insurance records to internal financial reporting, data compliance is one of the top priorities communicated from top-level managers to IT personnel. Leaked or damaged data can lead to regulatory sanctions and a loss in brand reputation faster than ever before. Thankfully, the durability of tape drives helps take the anxiety out of long-term data protection, and the variety of complementary tape management software products on the market can make data auditing a painless procedure.

Giving customers not only what they want, but what they need, is a surefire recipe for success. And if the latest numbers from tape’s largest manufacturer are any indicator, those demands aren’t going away any time soon.

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