SMBs select tape for its cost-effectiveness, longevity and ease of use

BOSTON – September 04, 2013 — / — The results of an Iron Mountain(R) Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) survey of IT professionals at small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) show almost all use or plan to use magnetic tape cartridges as part of their strategy to backup data.

As SMBs face growing data management challenges, tape remains a foundational tool for these organizations due to its cost effectiveness, longevity and ease of use.

Titled “Perception Versus Reality: The Role of Tape Backup in SMB,” the survey asked more than 400 North American IT professionals in March 2013 to assess the role tape backup. With 91 percent of the survey respondents coming from organizations with fewer than 250 employees, the results offer a unique glimpse into the IT landscape of today’s small and mid-size business. The survey was conducted by Spiceworks, the network for more than 2.5 million IT professionals.

Key findings from the survey point to a continued bright future for tape backup in the SMB market:

One solution doesn’t fit all — Ninety-four percent of survey respondents using or planning to use tape are using it as part of a hybrid solution. The majority of those (67 percent) are using tape backup in conjunction with shared storage, while 44 percent are using it in conjunction with direct-attached storage or external hard drives. A quarter of respondents are currently using or plan to use cloud-based or online backup services.

Tape is a valuable asset — When asked why IT professionals use or plan to use tape as a backup and recovery solution, 43 percent of respondents cited the cost-effectiveness of the solution, 24 percent noted the longevity of the technology and 20 percent commended tape’s superior storage capabilities.

Tape is a multi-purpose solution — IT professionals using tape backup feel it is either “very effective” or “extremely effective” at addressing organizational challenges in data retention policies (61 percent), data archiving (60 percent), data recovery (58 percent) and disaster recovery (54 percent).

Additionally, the survey confirms that as the complexity of tape backup and hybrid systems increases, the role of third-party storage vendors becomes increasingly important. Third-party vendors can help organizations manage their overall backup and recovery strategy by providing optimal storage facilities, expertise and sophisticated managed services. Over one-third of respondents who use tape are either currently using or planning to use a third-party vendor to store and secure their tape backups. The majority of these respondents (70 percent) state that security is the top concern. This is followed by ease of retrieving backups (54 percent). Cost comes in as the third most important criteria (51 percent).

“Tape backup continues to be a cornerstone of any organization’s data management practices — regardless of industry, geography or size,” said Jay Livens, director of product and solution marketing, Iron Mountain. “These survey results further illustrate that tape is invaluable to many SMB IT professionals and reinforces that tape can be effectively combined with several other storage solutions to meet every organization’s unique data backup and recovery needs.”

To successfully leverage tape in your organization, Iron Mountain recommends adhering to the following guidelines:

Determine priorities — Do you need a cost-effective solution? Do you need to frequently access records? Do you need a scalable solution? By prioritizing your organization’s needs, you’ll better be able to determine the appropriate solution, or combination of solutions.

You can have it all — IT professionals should feel empowered to combine several storage solutions to solve their organization’s challenges, and should be prepared to adjust their storage strategy over time.

Keep an open mind — Tape technology is constantly evolving. For instance, Linear Tape File System (LTFS) offers a wide range of advanced features, including proactive diagnostic capabilities, data integrity checking, native hardware encryption and more.

Turn to experts for help — Don’t try to do it all yourself. Third-party vendors can serve as a valuable resource for data storage and management — particularly if security is a priority for your organization.

To download the full study, visit

For more information on Iron Mountain’s data backup and recovery solutions, please visit:

About Iron Mountain Incorporated
Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) is a leading provider of storage and information management services. The company’s real estate network of over 64 million square feet across more than 1,000 facilities in 35 countries allows it to serve customers around the world. And its solutions for records management, data backup and recovery, document management, and secure shredding help organizations to lower storage costs, comply with regulations, recover from disaster, and better use their information . Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain stores and protects billions of information assets, including business documents, backup tapes, electronic files and medical data. Visit for more information.

CONTACT: For Media:
Iron Mountain
Laura Sudnik
Weber Shandwick
Katie Carbone

SOURCE: Iron Mountain Incorporated


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