Tape Library: Why Tape?

Submitted by gpmidi on Tue, 12/11/2018 - 14:44

While discussing my new tape library a friend asked "why tape?" 

The answer is pretty simple: 

  • LTO-6 is $7.58/TiB
  • 8TB HDs are $24.83/TiB

At the end if the day I can get tape for 1/3 the price of hard drives. While the upfront cost of tape is higher ($4500 for tape vs $1500 for disk), it becomes worth it pretty quick to me. 

The whole 'tape changing' LOE becomes less of an issue too when looking at bigger libraries. Granted they take up a TON of floor space, have a higher initial LOE, and have a higher initial LOE, having all of your tape in one place is probably worth while. We'll see if this is true over the next few weeks ;)

One thing to note: It seems like one of the Scalar libraries I got (one rather than both) will be around the same cost as I paid for my 45-slot IBM TS3200. To put it another way, for $5,000 I can either get 45 slots or somewhere between 300 and 756 slots. Bit of a difference ;)

Edit: It's also worth noting that the electrical power required to keep hard drives and their computers running is a LOT higher than tape. In fact tape uses nothing at all and libraries very little unless they're doing something.