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Tape & Data Cartridge Drives

Tape backup decks are an excellent way to store a huge amount of data on only a few pieces of media. You can back up an entire server's system software installation plus all the content files stored on it with a single tape drive. High capacity media makes this storage format the preferred choice of many system administrators.

What is LTO tape storage technology?

Linear Tape-Open (LTO) technology is an open standard alternative to the vast array of proprietary tape drive formats that various companies have promoted throughout the years. While IBM, Quantum, and HP currently control the LTO Consortium, LTO-4 and LTO-5 deck construction is documented extremely well. This means that a number of vendors supply LTO storage equipment. LTO Ultrium drives are sometimes called super tape devices. They can hold around 12 TB of data in a single cartridge.

Are magnetic tapes still used for backup storage?

Magnetic tape drives are still widely used in the server, SAS, and cloud storage markets. Cloud providers use tape cartridges to store physical archives of all the information that consumers send to their network drives. Web and SAS server administrators prefer tape decks to other technologies because of their huge capacity. Ultrium tapes can store 6-12 TB at a time.

How is data stored on magnetic tape?

There are two primary types of tape drives currently on the market. Linear tape drives arrange individual bytes of data into parallel tracks that run the entire length of the tape itself. Scanning decks write shorter dense tracks across the width of the tape. Ultrium tape drives use more advanced techniques in order to save time when writing data. Backup drives normally don't store file system metadata. Instead, you can back up an entire image of a file structure straight to your tape library without needing to keep track of any of this information. Stored modification dates for SAS files will simply get reconstructed when you restore your file structure from the backups.

What formats can be used when building a tape library?

If you're trying to save SAS information stored on disk drives, then you might want to grow your tape library as a form of insurance. Large capacity external tapes are an excellent way to protect your investment. You can choose from any of the following tape-based solutions:

  • IBM TS1155 at 15 TB
  • IBM TS1140 at 4 TB
  • LTO-4 at 800 GB
  • StorageTek T10000 at 500 GB
  • Quantum Super DLT at 110 GB
What do the different colored shells on rack-mountable tapes mean?

All Ultrium external tapes feature standard color schemes that help technicians identify them. Ultrium WORM data cartridges have two-toned shells. HP LTO-2 tapes feature a maroon design to keep them from getting confused with their light-blue LTO-5 storage devices. Match the colors of each device to the correct deck.