Why don't storage customers use tape tiers?

Posted on June 18, 2010

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 -- In this article, Henry Newman, CTO of Instrumental and a regular contributor to sister site Enterprise Storage Forum, examines the obstacles to implementing a tiered tape strategy and sheds some light on why enterprise tape storage is a declining market despite being the most reliable enterprise storage media, many times better than disk drives.

"We have all heard for years about tiered data storage for disk arrays. Tier 1 is usually enterprise disk, which was once Fibre Channel but more and more is becoming SAS. Tier 2 is typically enterprise SATA, while tier 3 might be consumer-grade drives. And the last year or two has seen the rise of a tier 0 for flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs).

"From a reliability perspective, LTO is far better than disk, but with the amount of data soaring and bit error rates remaining stagnant, failures are going to become more common for both disk and tape. So why don't people use both types of tape to combine data reliability and cost savings, just like disk users do?

"I had to think long and hard for reasons why sites would not use both tape types, and I came up with two reasons: library support for enterprise tape drives, and a lack of standards for enterprise tape."

Read the full story at Enterprise Storage Forum:
Why Enterprise Tape Can't Get No Respect

Related articles:
Tape market down 25%
Lab Review: Data deduplication for real tape
HP ships LTO-5 tape drives, libraries, media


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