Leap Year - Time to Talk Tape!?

On this 29th of February, there's the opportunity to do special-indeed, by definition, rare-things: if it's your birthday you actually get to blow out candles and of course there's the tradition that on this day it is OK for ladies to propose marriage to men. And today I celebrate by talking about tape! A few hours from now I'll participate in a webinar with Quantum (the details and registration can be found here if you're interested). Of course it will be available for replay afterwards if you're reading this blog after the event - I'm told it will even be available on days other than February 29th however! And I'll bet there will be backups and archives of it....

The reason for this quick blog is twofold. First - and with no disrespect to any in the burgeoning world of flash storage! - it'll make a pleasant change to discuss something other than solid-state storage, if only for a while. And second, tape should be spoken about more often than February 29th! I say this tongue-in-cheek of course as there's a pretty darned healthy business out there and many a flash or HDD or software start-up would give their right arm for just a tiny percentage of the revenue; and furthermore - even now - zillions of users (well, a lot anyhow) still rely on tape in some form or fashion. But it gets relegated to an industry-discussion-afterthought too often....yes, I worked in that side of the business for many years and so I experienced the frustration of easy disdain; but the fact remains that many users' contemporary views about tape are based on old and often incorrect perceptions: especially around reliability and ease of use. And today's massive data retention requirements, and increasingly 'big data' (sic....no capitals, I'm being literal) mitigate in favor of the good old inexpensive tape drive being a logical part of the storage equation for many IT shops. Maybe, like February 29th, it's coming around again?

You can read Mark's other blog entries at The Business of Storage.

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure