Is Tape Storage Still Relevant?

Tape storage seems to be an outdated solution, particularly since nowadays we have more effective options like cloud backup and hard drives with large capacity. We may be tempted to dismiss tape as a way to restore data, but it is important to keep in mind that some organizations are still relying on it. Indeed, tape storage is still a viable choice in many cases, in spite of the fact that it has been surpassed in popularity by online storage. Here we will discuss why tape storage is still being used.

Why is tape storage still in use?

Tape storage has been around since the 1950s when the first modern computers made their appearance. Tape rolls were able to hold the equivalent of one megabyte, but they have evolved over time and the versions that are still in use have a capacity that goes up to a terabyte. Although tape storage doesn’t seem like a practical solution these days, the truth is that it offers some advantages that have helped it to survive as a storage option. Tapes can reduce data to a smaller size than hard drives, which makes them a cost effective choice for companies that have large amounts of data to store. Tapes are cheaper than other backup options available.

In addition, they are designed to be a long lasting solution that can store data for decades. Tape storage solutions still have a purposes and can be useful for small and medium businesses. While they are no longer the main backup technology used by companies, tapes can still play a part in the storage process by serving as an additional backup. For many businesses, there is a need to keep secure backups off-site and tape cartridges are easy to transport outside the company’s premises. The data stored on tape cartridges is less likely to be corrupted. Furthermore, they represent a good alternative for small companies that need a solution that is not too expensive and that doesn’t require a large workforce.

If your business doesn’t have a large IT department, you can opt for tape technology since you can simply get a QuikStation and use it as a library. It is possible to argue that cloud storage offers pretty much the same benefits of tape technology, but it is important to keep in mind that according to some regulations, data has to remain in its country of origin. This is something that not all cloud storage providers can offer so businesses need to look for a suitable alternative and tape storage provides it.

The Pros and cons of tape storage

Tape storage is not completely out of fashion and it offers many advantages including durability and affordability. Furthermore, tape cartridges are capable of storing as much data as HDDs. However, it can’t be denied that tape technology is not the most modern and efficient solution to backup your data. One of the main issues with it us that transferring files from tapes can take a long time. In terms of speed, cloud services and hard disk drives are a better solution without any question. That being said, once you have the equipment to record and run the data, the cassettes are cheaper than other options. This fact alone has helped tape storage to survive, even if it is a fast solution to restore an entire system.


It is likely that tape storage is on its way out, but at the moment it is still a relevant option thanks to its durability and the fact that it helps business to comply with local data regulations. As soon as more cloud storage services start offering ways to ensure that data can be kept in its country of origin to comply with local laws, tape storage is likely to fade away.

One Response

  1. King April 13, 2019

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