Despite many predictions After its demise since the turn of the century, tape storage remains the technology that keeps on delivering, even in the age of the cloud.
As a storage medium, tape may seem like it’s been around since the days of the dinosaurs, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to be consigned to the history books just yet. In fact, most tape-related issues have to do with perception rather than reality.
For one thing, if properly maintained, tape drives can store the necessary data for 30 years or more. As a result, tape backups continue to be used for long-term retention of critical data by providing archival stability.
With current legal requirements legislating certain types of data to be stored for certain periods of time, sometimes up to a decade or more, the need for such archival stability, at a cost-effective price, has become more crucial than ever. .
Add to this the unstoppable growth of data in a digitized world, and the fact that data is considered the lifeblood of businesses globally, and it’s clear that data must be always-on, always-fast, automated, protected and available on demand.
It should also be remembered that as data volumes continue to increase, so does the impact on total cost of ownership. Businesses will no doubt feel the cost impact of having to pay for additional drives, rack space, and data center usage.
the cost factor
Despite being considered an “older” storage technology, tape’s greatest strength has always been cost, along with its abundant potential for capacity growth. There’s no question that, compared to flash memory or disk, a tape backup system can be a cost-effective place to store large capacities as the volume of data continues to grow.
The same goes for the cloud. Many companies with large data archives, those that may still need to quickly recover data for specific use cases, have turned to public cloud storage as a way to minimize overall costs. The problem is that public cloud egress and storage costs add up on a monthly basis, especially as a company’s data volumes continue to grow.
Long recognized as a leading provider of storage tape solutions, HPE suggests that the use of its StoreEver range As an active archive it can help companies realize significant financial benefits compared to the cloud, such as:
- Reduced capital expenditures related to tape media and hardware, thanks to higher, longer-term storage density that does not incur the higher costs typical of all-disk solutions.
- Reduced operating expenses, as high tape density can help reduce rack and footprint requirements, leading to lower power, cooling, management and administration costs.
tape vs cloud
When it comes to head-to-head cost comparisons between tape storage and public cloud storage, the recent ESG economic validation report ran through various scenarios comparing the two.
For each scenario, ESG assumed that data is created and stored 24/7, and that no data is deleted over the 10-year period, while the annual growth rate of data is set at 10%.
Using these numbers, the report indicates that HPE StoreEver’s 10-year TCO is 86% lower compared to a similar public cloud service. ESG also examined the combined cloud storage spend and egress costs for an organization with an initial 5 PB of data retained over a 10-year period, compared to the estimated costs with HPE StoreEver LTO tape.
According to the report, annual spending for a public cloud service was estimated to grow to around $1.36 million by year 10, with $766,000 for public cloud storage and $592,000 for costs of exit.
Comparatively, if the company decided to purchase additional HPE StoreEver and LTO-7 tape drives to accommodate annual data growth, cumulative storage costs would be just $145,000 over the 10-year period, 89% less than total costs for Public Storage and egress.
A key factor here is the fact that HPE StoreEver is deployed on-premises, meaning no egress costs are incurred, leading to significant long-term savings compared to public cloud.
Sustainability and reliability
Of course, while cost and capacity are vital, an increasing number of companies also have environmental and sustainability goals. It’s worth noting that idle tapes require minimal power or cooling to be safe and secure. Therefore, they are a greener alternative to a spinning disk that is used for critical but infrequently accessed data.
Indeed, a recent study of brad Johns Consulting, Data Cent Reductionre Energy consumption and carbon emissions with modern tape storage made an interesting prediction. The study suggests that moving 10 PB of “cold data”, which grows 35% annually, from disk to tape storage, can achieve an 87% reduction in carbon emissions and an 86% reduction in cost Total ownership for 10 years.
An additional advantage with using tape is that it is an offline solution, automatically providing air-gapped protection against cyber threats such as ransomware. Plus, it’s reliable, competitively priced and widely available and, at least in HPE’s case, comes with world-class levels of support and assistance from Tarsus DistributionHPE winner of the Distributor of the Year award for South Africa for the last three years.
Ultimately, tape’s ability to continually innovate, deliver compelling cost-of-ownership advantages, and offer a unique barrier against cybersecurity threats, makes it an essential technology in most enterprise storage environments.
Furthermore, when one looks at the growing urgency of climate action, it is likely that tape’s ability to store petabytes and exabytes of infrequently accessed data, with minimal environmental impact, will continue to grow in popularity, despite of the two-decade-long predictions about its demise. .
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