At the exclusive industry and media event at the Tape Summit, the organisers revealed more of the results of a survey, the Tape Audit Europe, to give a snapshot of tape storage usage. Initial results indicate that the average European enterprise backs up around 90TB of data with 38% of these companies using tape as their main medium.
The rise of Big Data analytics is set to have a massive effect on the amount of storage required. The secret of good analytical information is having a rich store to draw from and this will drive companies to retain more data. IDC asserts that the worlds digital information is doubling every two years and that by 2020 storage needs will have increased by 50 times on 2011 levels.
Much of this data will be archived and the question is which technology is best for long-term retention. Already 53.4% of enterprises surveyed retain their tape data for over three years and more companies are likely to increase storage retention with the adoption of Big Data software.
There has been a rise in use of disk arrays to replace tape for disaster recovery backups. This is partially due to disk vendors emphasizing perceived speed advantages of disk and the falling cost of hard drives. However, according to the European Tape Audit Survey, 29.2% of companies still expect to commit over 50% of their data to tape in five years.
What is not lost to those committed long term to tape technology is the fact that tape-only costs are still significantly less than disk. Even a cent difference (per GB) may not seem much, but at current prices this means a saving of $1,000 for the average backup size. In addition, raw tape speed is actually much faster than disk, according to Tape Summit panel moderator, George Crump, Senior Analyst at Storage Switzerland in his Breaking the Four Myths of Tape vs Disk Backup article. Alongside that current tapes have an estimated life of 30 years which is far longer, and more reliable, than storage on mechanical hard disks which are expected to last for between three and five years at best.
Tape has moved accordingly and is rapidly becoming a trusted archival medium. It also takes up far less space and can be easily transported for off-site storage.
The Tape Summit 2012 brings together vendors and selected media delegates for a complete analysis of the current state of the $2.3+ billion annual tape storage market. Participants share details of new technology that is positioning tape to enjoy a healthy future and growth in many markets.
The Tape Summit at SNW Europe included representatives of tape industry vendors from: Active Archive Alliance, BDT, HP, IBM, Quantum, SpectraLogic and Tandberg Data.