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back to article Tape makers strap on skis, glide down slope to oblivion

Figures from number-crunchers at Santa Clara Consulting Group show a tape market with no bottom in sight - yet. Increasingly, storage standard Linear Tape-Open (LTO) is the tape market. The group's quarterly tape industry tracker shows global backup tape cartridge sales amounted to $169.10m (£106m) in the second quarter of this …

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Holmes

Ah the memories!

My first "IT" job was working as a tape monkey in a server room, or rather a dozen server rooms scattered around campus.

Hauling those flight cases full of DATs and DLTs was muscle-building stuff.

Restores were great, as you could pretty much guarantee the offsite storage guys would bring you the wrong box of tapes. If by some miracle you got the tapes you needed, they'd be unreadable...

Simpler times...

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Pint

Re: Ah the memories!

DATs and DLTs? When I were a lad, or rather a data processing trainee, we had proper tape decks with big 9-track tape reels and write permit rings. Those were the days! My first useful job was converting tape-based batch update systems to direct access i.e. exchangeable disc stores. More than 40 years later I've been converting our talking newspaper from compact cassettes to USB flash drives.

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Anonymous Coward

Not surprised

While individual tape prices are low and capital value invested in tape hardware remains high wheres the incentive to swop to expensive disks that will spend most of their life sitting on a shelf offsite.

And, personal niggle, while RDX devices still don't behave properly with a certain software backup solution (S. B. E?) - though that may be the other way around - there's little personal incentive to change.

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Re: Not surprised

Ha. LTO tapes are £35 to £40. I could do with the price dropping a bit, still way too expensive for what it is! I only buy JUST what is needed, and have no stock of tapes whatsoever.

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Re: Not surprised

Shop around then. I can buy Fuij LTO4 tapes with barcode labels preapplied for less than £20 each including VAT and delivery.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not surprised

sorry to hear about your budget, but RDX would make your wallet sigh.

Tape 1.5 Tb for £40, RDX 160Gb for £80

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Anonymous Coward

Tape hasn't kept up with capacity

Let me ask these questions:

1) What is the capacity of the largest single tape cartridge available?

2) What is the price of that capacity?

3) How does that capacity compare to the average system's disk capacity?

When it's not hard to have HOME systems that would require more than one tape to back up fully, let along professional systems, does that not seem like a reason that tape might be going out of fashion?

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Re: Tape hasn't kept up with capacity

1.) LTO5 is 1500GB native. StorageTek's T10000C is 5000GB.

2.) LTO5around £55/tape retail; didn't look up the T10000C's price.

3.) no idea. I don't know that there is a useful definition of an average system.

For archive, especially for regulatory compliance, tape provides relatively inexpensive long term storage. It's not sexy and it's been supplanted by disk solutions for speed of backup and recovery, but tape has its place. For now, anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tape hasn't kept up with capacity

For my personal needs, 1.5T is about 3.5T too small. You also conveniently skipped over the cost of the drives. Most of the drives at that level are thousands of dollars - I can buy a lot of disk for that. You have to be backing with a significant rotation of tapes to amortize the drive cost down below disk.

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Re: Tape hasn't kept up with capacity

Completely agreed; tape has no financial advantage for personal use. Accordingly, the personal market for tape is basically non-existent. Businesses, on the other hand, comprise nearly 100% of the tape market and there remain great benefit for tape for business. Archive is still less expensive on tape than disk in many cases, even when you add the thousands of pounds/dollars the tape drives cost.

Back to your question about average systems, there are many small and medium businesses that have less than 5TB of data that need archived or backed up. There are others that have PBs of data to protect. There's no useful definition of "average".

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