By Lenin Srinivasan of Vembu Technologies
May 04, 2010

Ed.: We have added the search history graph in our blog website here.

RIP “ Floppy Drive, Will the Tape Drive soon follow?

Finally the day has come where people are no longer in need of Floppy Disks nor do they even care about its existence.  Floppy Drives enjoyed nearly three decades as a popular and ubiquitous form of data storage and data transfer medium from the mid 1970′s to the late 1990′s.

Yes, we all at one point of time used Floppy Drives and praised it usability when there was no alternate solution at that time which was cost effective and reliable. Now they have been largely superseded by USB Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, DVDs and Memory Cards.

Many companies realized its fall and dropped Floppy drives from their products with Apple leading the way in 1998, Dell following in 2003, HP in 2009, and the latest being Sony that bid farewell to 3.5 inch Floppy Disk .

Now, I see a similar pattern with Tape Drives. Well, Tape Drives were once regarded as a long term data storage medium primarily for archiving purposes as it is relatively inexpensive and afforded a reliable way to store data for the long term.

But, is Tape sufficient for today’s data protection and archival needs where restoration of data during a crisis has to be be done in near real time? Businesses require effective and reliable Data Backup and Disaster Recovery mechanisms that can guarantee data recovery in near real time to assure business continuity in the event of a major data disaster.

Listed below are some of the major disadvantages of Tape based backup solution according to CRC Data Protection:

1) Time Consuming
2) Vulnerable to damage, theft or loss
3) Unprotected
4) Inefficient in managing and administering large data backup sets
5) Platform Dependant
6) High Recovery Failure rates as high as 20 to 50 percent, making it an unreliable form of data backup.

One more important thing to note here is the trend that both Floppy Drive and Tape Drive share amongst themselves.

Do you see that trend there? The above insight was captured from Google Insights and it has the innate ability to capture the rise and fall of a product in the market.

In today’s market dynamics, the total cost of ownership for tape based backup or archiving is much more than using Disk Drives. On top of that backup and restore from/to tape drives can consume a huge amount of time. Tape Drives, unlike completely automated disk based online backups or on-premise backups, requires lots of human intervention to periodically put in the new tape and replace & label the old one, and if not properly done, might end up in serious data loss.

The above post was written by Lenin Srinivasan of Vembu Technologies. Vembu Technologies is a backup software vendor whose product, StoreGrid, powers the online backup services of a large number of service providers across the globe. Besides remote backup, StoreGrid is also used for on premise backups of workstations and servers at various companies & universities.

Vembu Home is the only FREE consumer backup solution for free local backups and optional Amazon Cloud backups.


Related News:

The Floppy is Dead: Time to Move Memories to the Cloud

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