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Tape is far from dead

Tape storage is still a key part of IT business strategy and is used widely by most UK businesses according to a survey published by Overland Storage.

The key finding from the survey of 1000 UK businesses conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Overland Storage, was that the vast majority (83 percent) still use tape storage systems to back up and protect their business data.

Even with the adoption of disk-based storage solutions over the past decade, tape clearly remains widely used as a key part of most organizations’ data management and protection strategies:

* The most common use case for tape storage is off-site backup (70 percent), a large proportion (61 percent) continues to rely on tape for on-site backups;

* 43 percent cited archiving as the third most popular use case, while over a third (34 percent) have turned to tape based solutions to ensure compliance with data retention regulations;

* 28 percent of respondents still utilise tape for near-line storage.

Disk storage solutions have, however, made significant inroads over the years. Like-for-like onsite disk storage capacities have surpassed those of tape, with the average enterprise managing 101TB of disk storage compared to 67TB of tape storage. Despite this, the majority (54 percent) of enterprises expect to invest in tape storage systems in the coming five years, with almost a quarter (24 percent) expecting to purchase a tape system within the next 12 months.

When it came to data backup best practices and the frequency of moving data to tape, ostensibly to free up disk storage, less than a third (31 percent) confirmed it was done on a weekly basis. Although the majority (52 percent) moved data across to tape within a month of it being created, a surprisingly large 10 percent admitted to doing this only on an annual basis. Almost a quarter (24 percent) of those surveyed lacked automated data movement tools and had to move data to tape manually.

Archiving frequency best practice trends were slightly better. Just under half (45 percent) archived old data on a weekly or better basis, rising to over three-quarters (76 percent) who did so on a monthly basis. When asked ‘will archiving to the cloud kill off tape’ a very small minority (8 percent) agreed.

www.overlandstorage.com

•Date: 21st July 2011 • Region: UK •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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