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LTO suggests tape not dead

26 March 2008

In a high-profile survey undertaken by HP, IBM Corporation and Quantum Corporation, the three technology companies behind the Linear Tape-Open (LTO) Program, the results point to the death of tape for backup and archiving as having been greatly exaggerated.

The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2007 and canvassed the views of more than 200 network administrators and mid-level tech specialists at mid-size to large companies throughout the United States, and it’s not unreasonable to suggest that those results would map onto other territories.

All in all, over two thirds of surveyed businesses said they were looking to add tape storage back into their overall network infrastructure and, of those respondents, over 80% plan to add tape storage solutions within the next 12 months.

“The integration of tape storage into a tiered information infrastructure is highly strategic for customers, due to its low cost of ownership, low energy consumption and portability for data protection,” said Cindy Grossman, vice president of tape storage systems, IBM. “LTO tape technology is a perfect choice for enterprise and mid-sized customer with its proven reliability, high capacity, high performance and ability to address data security with built-in encryption and data retention requirements for the evolving data centre.”

According to the survey, 58% of the respondents use a combination of disk and tape for long-term archiving, 24% use tape exclusively, and 18% employ a disk-only approach. In this group, 68% of the current disk-only users plan to start using tape for long-term archiving, and over half (58%) plan to add tape for short-term data protection.

“The survey findings suggest that disk-only users may be experiencing a bit of buyer’s remorse,” said David Geddes, senior vice president at Fleishman-Hillard Research, who oversaw the study. “We found that a wide majority of companies that employ purely disk-based approaches are looking to quickly include tape in their backup and archiving strategies.”

LTO tape technology delivers the backup and archiving features needed by today’s storage administrators, including high capacity, blazing performance, 256-bit drive-level encryption for data security and WORM cartridge support to address data retention needs. With low energy consumption, tape technology can also provide organisations with a green alternative for the data centre. Studies have shown that tape-based backup and archiving solutions can deliver substantial TCO benefits and energy savings.

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