IBM Tape Backup vs Backup to Disk

According to the latest article from Infostor, tape storage products like IBM tape are making a comeback. With growing usage rates, expanding capacity, and high marks for reliability, tape appears to be an advantageous choice for those looking for affordable backup.

Infostor recently listed ten areas where tape backup can be more advantageous than backup to disk. We’ve reported five of those reasons below:

  1. Tape has a lower total cost of ownership. David Reine, from the Clipper Group, found that tape storage is up to 15 times more cost efficient than new SATA drives for long term archiving. Whether you need just a few IBM tape drives or an entire library, the total cost of ownership can be reduced even lower if the tapes are purchased on the used market.
  2. Tape actually is more reliable. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) says that, while data failures can occur on both disk and tape, tape has a reliability level of more than 99.999%. That means that backing up to your IBM Tape library might actually be more reliable than backing up to SATA drives. In fact, the NERSC states that tape is up to 4 orders of magnitude more reliable than SATA drives.
  3. Tape has a smaller carbon footprint. With lower requirements for power and cooling, tape storage requires less energy to maintain that disk drives for archiving. An IBM tape library, for example, can take up significantly less space in your data center than the same amount of archived data on disk drives.
  4. Tape density is increasing faster than disk density. Tape density continues to grow at a rapid rate. Density is increasing at speeds of 50% per year, while disk densities are increasing more slowly, at speeds of less than 20%.
  5. Tape is continuing to grow for backup, archiving, and compliance needs. Tape is expected to grow about 45% though 2015, according to the IDC. The IDC says the size of the tape storage market is around 2.2 billion dollars and has additional opportunity to grow and expand.

Do you agree with Infostor? Are there instances where tape storage is better than disk?

Let us know your thoughts on the Reliant Technology Facebook page when you read the full article from Infostor.


Need to deploy a new enterprise backup or archiving solution? Reliant Technology can help you find a hardware solution that fits your needs and your budget. Talk to a dedicated Reliant Storage Specialist today.