Computer Security

This article describes some of the advantages for large organizations of magnetic tape backup media.

Magnetic Tape Technology

Tape backup has been declared dead many times but it still remains the media of choice for many organizations for several reasons:

  • Modern tape cassettes have tremendous capacity - up to 200 Gigabytes
  • High-capacity tape cassettes maintain a cost-effective edge over other backup media, including hard-disk drives and optical technologies such as DVD
  • The compact form factor of tape cassettes, as compared to hard-disks, make them easier to handle and store
  • Tape backups can be automated using robotic technology

According to an article by Ian Austen in the June 5th, 2003 edition of the New York Times, researchers are making efforts to improve tape backup technology. According to the article, research is concentrated in three areas:

  • Improvements to tape drives themselves
  • Improvements to tape coatings allowing an increase in the density of data storage
  • Improvements to the tape base resulting in tapes which are thinner, and tapes with straighter edges, permitting more data tracks closer to the edges and higher capacity



Bruce Miller, 2006, 2014