Ask Ms. Meade E. Ahmogle, Duchess of Data Backup

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Dear Ms. Meade:

I can’t believe you are still pushing tape. It’s so old school. Disk is totally the only way to go.


Disk-O Dude



Dear Disk-O Dude:

It does appear that you have accepted some of the hype around disk, which itself is, as you put it, old-school. Why, did you know that disk and tape are essentially classmates, both matriculating from laboratories between 1951 and 1956 for use in storing computer-based data?


I absolutely concur that disk is useful—it has such an important role to play in tiered storage. In fact, in some cases, it is “totally the way to go.” But then, tape is useful, too. So you may want to totally consider it for appropriate use in your data protection strategy. After all, it turns out that 68% of disk-only data centers have seen the error of their ways and are bringing tape BACK into the data center. The reasons are simple: tape is affordable, has a proven shelf life, and uses much less in terms of space and power.


I suggest that you use disk and tape for the tasks they are each best-suited to. For example, disk is extremely useful for rapid retrieval of a few files, and for shorter-term storage. Tape is extremely useful for long-term storage—in fact, the only proven media with a lifespan of at least 30 years.


If you chose to continue with your disk-only journey, I do hope you keep me posted. I am most looking forward to finding out how you are paying for disk and its on-going energy consumption over the years…. Perhaps you play the lotto?