Tape vs Disk Storage: Which One Is More Suitable for Backup?

What Is Tape Storage

What Is Disk Storage

Tape vs Disk Storage

  • Cost & Performance
  • Security
  • Ecosystem Benefits
  • Reliability
  • Pros and Cons

Tape vs Disk Storage: Cost and Performance

Tape vs Disk Storage: Security

  • Sharing files with the backup service account is the only account that has access.
  • File storage on a completely different LAN segment.
  • cloud-based storage account.
  • Automatically timed connected file shares before the backup window.

Tape vs Disk Storage: Ecosystem Benefits

  • Various types of disk storage such as spinning disks, standard SSDs, NVME, etc.
  • OS-level permissions and access control are provided with the storage system used.
  • Access cloud-based storage.
  • Easily managed with today’s technology management stack.

Tape vs Disk Storage: Reliability

Tape vs Disk Storage: Pros and Cons

  1. Tape provides mass storage — LTO (Linear Tape Open) is the leading tape backup format. With LTO-8, introduced in 2017, businesses can store up to 30TB of compressed data on a single tape. The LTO program roadmap shows that a future 12th generation LTO will store up to 480TB of compressed data on a single tape. This storage capacity should prove useful for the upcoming zettabyte apocalypse.
  2. Tape costs are very low — Tape is one of the least expensive options for long-term data archiving. Add an offsite tape library and it still outperforms a disk array of the same size. Cloud providers also often use tape as a low-cost storage tier.
  3. The tape lasts longer — According to a report by Bloomberg Businessweek, cassette tapes can last up to 30 years if kept clean and stored at the proper temperature. The disk can’t keep up.
  1. You will spend more time finding data — With the LTFS (Linear Tape File System) feature, the seek time of backup tapes is greatly reduced. LTFS makes it easier to find data, similar to a disk. However, LTFS does not make tape seeks faster than disk.
  2. The tape needs maintenance — To avoid mistakes, this media must be stored in a pristine environment that protects its cartridges from dust and dirt. Tapes also need to be marked, recorded, and tested. This can be tedious and time-consuming.
  3. It’s been a long road to recovery — Storing tapes with offsite tape storage services does increase recovery time. That’s why you should choose to back up and store frequently used business-critical information on the premises or in the cloud.
  1. It has a fast recovery — Finding a specific file on a disk is faster than finding a file on tape. If your disk is internal, you also don’t have to ship it offsite. (FYI: Cloud backups are also disk-based, just on someone else’s disk.)
  2. You will gain efficiency from deduplication — Deduplication allows you to deduplicate data to free up space. This means you can store data faster with less frequent full backups.
  1. It is not convenient — The disk system is always on and on the verge of running hot. That means you have to power and cool them.
  2. Always-on data comes with danger — Newer LTO tapes use WORM (write once, read many) security to prevent accidental overwriting. Once written, they are also physically removed from the network. Conversely, disk systems can be damaged by computer viruses. They can also be accidentally overwritten or reformatted.
  3. Get your head out of the cloud — If you think cloud storage might be the answer, you need to know that the cloud is another form of a disk that usually has higher data retrieval costs. The cloud has great uses, but still lacks the economics and longevity of large-scale, long-term archiving. Steep entry/exit charges are also a factor.

How to Back up Data to Disk Storage

Bottom Line

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