Although all the exposure around disk-based backup
An Intro to Tape Backup Storage
What role should play a tape backup storage in a backup system? To answer that, first we have to talk about the streaming nature of tapes. Tape drives are usually designed to go very fast, and when they are not run at that speed, they do not perform as desired. For example, an LTO-4 tape drive has a native transfer rate of 120 MBps. If you consider that most open-systems environments average 1.5:1 compression, which means that effective throughput of an LTO-4, is 180 MBps, yet very few environments run their tape drives at this speed. When you use a 180 MBps tape drive to write a 30 MBps stream, or even an 80 MBps, it spends a good deal of its time going back and forth (backhitching, as it's called) to keep up with that slower data rate. If it backhitches a lot, we call it shoe-shining, because the actions of the tape wheel imitate that of a person shining his shoes.
Tapes must be encrypted if you send them outside. There are a number of options, such as repeating deduplicated backups, continuous data protection (CDP), and near-CDP, but make it suffice to say that the three rules of encryption are key management, key management, and key management. Losing your keys is losing your data.
Choosing the Right Tape Library
Getting the right tape library takes homework. An expandable, modular tape library supported by sophisticated management features and tied to modern backup software will support your enterprise for years to come. It's worth taking the time and effort to make the right choice.
Caring for Magnetic Media
Careless tape handling can reduce the lifetime of a tape to weeks, or even can destroy a tape completely. To get the most of out your tapes, it's important to handle them carefully and store them properly.
Tape Backup Storage Today
Designing a new backup system is not even a rip-and-replace exercise. Unless you wake up a morning and identify you need a solution to back up 50 TB of newly found data and never backed up before, chances are good you have an existing and potentially considerable investment in tape technology that you can't necessarily meet the expense of that easily.