Tape Ain't Dead Yet, Notes Maxell Survey

"Tape is King." So says Maxell, which recently canvassed over 4,000 IT professionals about their current and planned backup architectures. The decline of tape in an age where many companies are dedicating entire departments to the digital transition is a key concern for the largely-tape based company. Not surprisingly, survey results concluded that "tape backup is the preferred method of data protection, and by a wide margin, most see no reason to change."

DLT, SDLT, DDS/DAT and LTO were named as preferred formats. Maxell acknowledged that despite users' "overwhelming satisfaction" with current tape backup methods, a third of respondents said they were considering an upgrade of their tape backup hardware to another format. The "greater capacity and performance" of other formats was the main draw though, as Maxell notes, "most of those considering another tape format indicated they were happy with the reliability and cost of their current tape system."

The survey also claims that a "slight majority" of tape users use between one and 20 tapes per month and the remainder of respondents use 20 or more. For small backup tasks and transporting data, nearly two-thirds of those polled are using CDs, but almost half of these users say they are looking at upgrading to DVD for these applications.

"Demand for tape products will continue due to the increasing needs for reliable, cost-effective backup," said Bob Abraham of Freeman Reports. "Tape storage also meets the need for a secure method to transport media to an offsite location.