When implementing a solution and determining between new technologies and older, tried and true technologies, (in this case, cloud vs. computer tapes) you must consider

1. Are the bells and whistles what they say they are?
2. What is the total cost of ownership?

When I was growing up in Southern California my Dad used to get so angry when he was going to buy a car because there were so many new gadgets on the car that he didn’t need that just drove up the price. That’s kind of what’s going on in the information technology (IT) world today. Let me explain.

Some people in IT today are so enamored with the “latest and the greatest” that they fail to take into consideration the total cost of ownership and whether or not all of this technology makes sense for their operation. They figure just because it may be new or newer than older technology that it is somehow better and will cost them less in the long run. This is not true when it comes to the “cloud” vs.ersuscomputer tapes for the storage of some types of data such as disaster recovery, some backup and especially archival data when using a tiered storage approach.

The world is in an era of “data explosion” or “colossal content” and IT personnel are struggling to try and keep up and also to know which is the best and most cost effective way to store all of this data. Recent studies have compared the total cost of ownership ofthe cloud vs. computer tape and the difference isremarkable.Recent studies haveThe studies concluded shown that if you store all of your data in the “cloud” the total cost of ownership of disk storage is 2-15 times greater that storage on tape. There are some real concerns for storage of all of your data in the “cloud” such as loss of irreplaceable data from hackers, viruses, hardware, software and line problems, fires, disgruntled employee sabotage, natural disasters, etc. As “old school” as it may sound, storage of a physical computer tape in a secure offsite storage facility with a reliable vendor would protect your critical data from these above mentioned sources and cost less than storing all your data in the “cloud”.

Here is something that really bothers me – some of my friends in the IT industry are not keeping up with the advances in computer tape technology. The LTO 5 and 6 tapes now have a Llinear Ttape Ffiling Ssystem (LTFS) that improves data access on tape. The LTO 6 tapes now have a capacity of 6.25 TB of data using compression! Using a tiered storage approach and storing archival, disaster recovery and backup data on these tapes would reduce the cost of power, cooling, floor space and administration in tiered infrastructures for data that does not need the access performance of primary disk. Using the “cloud” for Tier 0 Data (highly valuable, mission critical), Tier 1 (revenue generating, high performance with near-zero downtime data), Tier 2 (supports databases) makes sense. However, using the cloud to store some Tier 2 (backup and disaster recovery data) and Tier 3 (long term storage and archive data) is not as cost effective as storing this type of data on tape and it is subject to loss from the above mentioned sources.


Want to learn how much money you can save by using Tape for archive and backup? Download the Cost Savings Calculator For Tiered Storage.

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