700 Percent Improvement in Tape Technology? Why, Yes.

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Dear Ms. Meade:
I don’t see how you can talk about tape without pain. I’ve been dealing with tape for ten years, ever since we got a big library installed, and I have had nothing but problems. Tape without pain? Hah.
Signed,
You’ve Got to be Kidding

Dear Mr. Kidding,
Did you know that Model T’s were hard to start? Is that the problem you have with your car today?

For that matter, do you find that your ten-year-old computer runs too slowly and just doesn’t have enough memory?

Complaining about antique technology, such a a ten-year-old library, does seem rather silly—so you might want to update your data center and get some current tape and library technology.  The advances over that last decade in tape and its automation are substantial. For example, did you know that with LTO, technological advances have improved tape reliability* by more than 700% over the past decade?

I didn’t think you knew that. Most people don’t.

Tape has not done a very good job at advertising its own wonderfulness. (Yes, I know that I am anthropomorphizing magnetic media.) Tape and reliability are now no longer contradictory terms.  This is particularly true when you add the intelligence of automation to tape backup. For example, Spectra libraries track media health and other media secrets, giving you the inside edge on tape use and usability.

Some wonderful things have happened in the last ten years, including the widespread use of blogs and other types of social — and magnetic — media. You might want to catch up on the latest in technology.

* Beech, Debbie. “Best Practices for backup and long-term data retention” Sylvatica Whitepaper. The evolving role of disk and tape in the data center.  June 2009