Digital Transformation

Tape ‘has more advantages’ than other data storage options

Tape could be the solution to companies’ big data problems.

In order to get to grips with big data, companies need to focus on their data management storage policies so they can organise the kind of relevant information that will help drive their business decisions.

Simon Campbell, founder of, explained that the volume of data and its growth is well documented.

"In 2011, the world created a staggering 1.8 zettabytes of data. It is estimated that by 2020, the world will generate at least 50 times that amount of information. That will put enormous strain on organisations," he said.

With the sheer volume of data being produced making it difficult for firms to wade through the excess, it is easy to see why tape-based solutions are being employed by many companies.

According to IT Knowledge Exchange, tape has plenty of advantages over other data storage options, such as its relatively lower cost and physical density. It has also boasts higher rates of reliability over, for example, enterprise disk, based on permanent bit errors.

The news source cited research from Spectra Logic calculating that a collection of 100 disk drives will contain a hard error once every 315 hours of use, or once every 13 days. LTO tape drives, on the other hand, go for an average of 22,000 hours (or 900 days) without such errors.

This is because disk drives have a higher bit density and take longer to undergo drive rebuilds, which means every time a drive requires a rebuild there is data waiting to be stored, creating a backlog.

Physically, tape has another advantage over disk or flash because it has a far larger recording surface, which is useful because the bit area on tape is up to 300 times bigger than that of disk or flash, the IT forum pointed out.

Tape therefore has the potential to deliver increases in areal bit density that other data storage methods do not, because they seem to have reached their limitations in terms of space and density.