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Ecrix tape ad from 2000 - (storage history)
VXA-1 Tape Drive from Ecrix

Storage History - the above ad ran on in 2000.

Tape drives

Tape libraries
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Disk to Disk Backup versus Tape
Virtual Tape: Can You Afford to Ignore It?
How will the hard drive market fare... in a solid state storage world?
tape drives - click to see larger image
Megabyte's thoughts re taped storage...
He could sure stuff a lot in fast.
But retrieval was another matter.
SSD ad - click for more info
Tape drive manufacturers
Disk backup / Tape Libraries


Breece Hill



Cristie Data Products


Dell Computer

Dot Hill

Freecom Technologies








Luminex Software

M5 Data

Mast Storage



Overland Storage

Procom Technology

Promicro Systems




Seagate Technology


Sun Microsystems

Tandberg Data

Tape Laboratories

still can't find it? check the acquired, dead & renamed list
Disk to disk backup
Disk to disk backup
A note about the tape backup market.
Tape Backup dropped out of the Top 20 monthly Storage Searches in April 2007. This resource page lists the major oems still in the market when we discontinued our coverage of tape drives in 2007.

The tape market has been declining in revenue for many years - due to the high cost, longer backup window and worse data restorability than disk backup. However, some small segments at the high end of the tape market may continue due to the high cost of migrating from legacy systems.

You can see how we predicted and then chronicled the long transition away from tape backup in the classic article - a Short History of Disk to Disk Backup.
Why did the tape market fail?

The unreliability of restoring data was a problem. The story below is just one of many which covered the bad user experience with data recovery from tape.

Tape Backup Fails Most Enterprise Customers

TORONTO, Canada - September 20, 2005 - Tape backup is failing most enterprise customers according to an online survey of IT executives, conducted over a 45-day period commissioned by Asigra.

75% of respondents indicated that their companies suffered unrecoverable loss of corporate data they thought was successfully backed up to tape due to unreadable, lost or stolen media. The survey sought to better understand how IT staffs safeguard mission-critical information throughout the enterprise, including remote offices, and how the backup and recovery process for the remote office/branch office - could be improved. Among the survey findings:
  • 63% said they encountered unreadable tapes when they tried to retrieve data with 76% of those cases reporting a direct impact to their business from loss of productivity to punishments for regulatory compliance infractions.
  • 61% said that they back up remote offices to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster, while 17% indicated that there are no formal backup procedures in place at their remote offices.
  • 20% of respondents said their business has experienced data loss due to lost or stolen tape media.
  • Data recovery-focused features that respondents found valuable in ensuring a secure and smoother backup/recovery process included keeping the latest backup version locally on disk (93%) and encryption for data while 'in-flight' and 'at-rest' (85%).
"The results of this survey seem to indicate that there is still a severe problem with lost corporate data at remote sites resulting from issues regarding the reliability and security of traditional tape-based backup systems at remote sites," said W. Curtis Preston, vice president of Data Protection at GlassHouse Technologies. "Remote sites are much better served with a disk-based data protection system that can provide local fast recovery, while automatically replicating backups to a central site for disaster recovery." ...Asigra profile, Disk to disk backup

Editor's comments:-
I'm not surprised by the results. Nor should you be. So why do corporations still do tape backup?

Well market research shows that over 70% are considering moving to disk to disk backup - but that will has its own problems too - which we'll write about in a later article. Let's put this into context. How many of you have been involved in a car crash - including small scrapes while parking?

And did it stop you from ever sitting in a car again? Life's not perfect. Diversity in backup technologies is the only foolproof way to make sure that you can get your data back when you need it. But that costs more than most are willing to pay.

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