Why Do Companies Still Use Tape Drives?

With the recent rise in cloud computing, many businesses are moving away from physical data storage. However, data tapes still offer some significant advantages over other options when used for data archiving.

Why Do Companies Still Use Tape Drives?

Digital data tapes offer several advantages over cloud storage and other long-term backup options.

At Secure Data Recovery Services, we regularly handle tape conversions for businesses of all sizes. We also offer an expansive set of tape data recovery services. In our experience, data tape cartridges offer a reliable and secure option for long-term storage when handled and stored properly.

Companies still use data tape drives for several key reasons:

  • Security - Tape formats such as LTO-Ultrium offer encryption features, which allow for easier compliance with various laws and information security standards. Additionally, many businesses need to maintain physical control of data, and data tapes have a major advantage over cloud services in this respect.

  • Portability - Tapes are physical, small and manageable. Cloud-based systems are not physically portable, and tapes are fairly easy to store as compared to hard drives, servers and other physical media.

  • Durability - A well-maintained set of data tape drives allows for dependable long-term storage. Many digital tapes can retain data for 30 years or more without regular maintenance. Hard drives, solid-state drives and other devices become less reliable during long periods of storage.

  • Conversion Costs - Some businesses cannot afford a major infrastructure overhaul and avoid converting from tapes to another type of archival system. Full conversions require a tremendous amount of work and major policy changes.

Data tape libraries require an enormous investment, but they often pay off for enterprise-level companies with serious archival needs. Given the relatively low cost of common tape formats like LTO-6 and S-DLT, data tapes still play an important role in physical storage.

Deciding Whether to Use Data Tape Drives

While data tape drives offer several application-specific benefits, many businesses see more long-term benefits from cloud storage. Cloud systems are relatively inexpensive and flexible, particularly when compared to some older tape formats.

You should carefully evaluate potential costs when building your disaster recovery plan. Remember that you will occasionally need to upgrade your tapes to new formats for efficient, cost-effective storage. Many media manufacturers offer backwards-compatible tape drives, which can significantly improve your return on investment.

Secure Data Recovery Services provides industry-leading media migration, tape conversion and data recovery services through an expansive network of offices. We can help your business convert from a tape-based backup to a cloud-based or hard-drive based system while controlling costs. With SSAE 18 Type II security certification we provide a secure option for tape conversion, data recovery and other media services. Call our customer service team today for more information.