Highly Reliable Systems: Removable Disk Backup & Recovery


Largest Removable Hard Drive Replaces Tape for Backup

By Darren McBride

4 Bay RAIDFrame Plus NAS with RAID 10 Mirroring between RAIDPacs provides up to 48TB of backup

With the release in Oct 2012 of a 4 bay Network Attached RAIDFrame Plus, another nail will be put in the coffin of tape.  RAIDFrames use the largest removable hard drive on the market called a RAIDPac.   When we started the website tapesucks.com back in 2004 we actually thought tape would die more quickly.

According to the Santa Clara Consulting Group’s recently released “Backup Tape Tracker Report” tape sales were at $169.1 million for the second quarter of 2012, a reduction of 10% over the first quarter.  It’s hard to say if that 10% drop is a trend but it’s clear tape volume is dropping off.  The lion’s share of the tape backup market is in LTO tape, which represents 91% of the total sales.  LTO-5 was 41% of the dollars and LTO-4 was 36% of the dollars.  The older formats (LTO 1-3) make up the rest of the market.

DDS/DAT tapes are a minor percentage of the market at $6.6 million with HP having 71% of the market share.  HP also led the DLT-S market.  Sony led the AIT media market, selling about 300,000 tapes. The old QIC tapes are still out there too, selling about $1.57 Million, mostly by Imation. Other tape formats still selling in small volume include 8mm particle (only 10,000 tapes sold) and 8mm metal evaporated (10,000 tapes sold).

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