15pc of back-ups still go to tape – research

While half of businesses are now using cloud back-up services, around 15% still use a combination of disk and tape, according to research from Databarracks.

Cloud and online back-ups have continued to increase in popularity, climbing from 23% in 2008 to 51% in 2021. Just 4% still use tape as their only back-up medium, unchanged since 2012. Combined disk and tape use has declined from a peak of 29% in 2012, to 15%

Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks, said: “Reports of tape’s death seem to have been greatly exaggerated. It still remains relatively popular. There are several reasons for this.

“Storage prices have reduced to make cloud backup viable for the majority of the market, but the lowest-cost method of storage is still tape. For organisations with vast data volumes – in industries such as life sciences or broadcast media – it meets that need.

“Tape is also difficult and slow to eliminate completely due to the years of historic backups you need to keep. Smaller businesses often make a clean break and switch to a new method however, larger firms and those with compliance requirements need to keep tape drives and tapes for several years. This puts some companies off moving due to the cost and manpower required to manage two backup methods while older retentions expire.”

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