back to article Tape so does not suck, insists EMC

Does EMC still think tape sucks? Nah, that is so last year – at least, if the storage giant's tech conference at the beginning of this month is anything to go by. A funny thing happened at EMC World in Las Vegas this year: tape library vendor SpectraLogic exhibited there. Weird. Still, on the face of it, it's no weirder than …


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  1. J.T

    Oracle was also a high level sponsor while advertising the crap out of it's NAS and VM products all over Las Vegas, and the Oracle EMC relationship is very frosty. Just because a company pays to be part of the vendor show doesn't make it "Weird".

    Of course EMC will sell you tape, they are a company that "sells" things and customers get what they want. Tape is not dead, never has been close, and "Tape Sucks" was the marketing of Data Domain prior to the purchase and EMC rode that for a bit to grab the market share the much smaller Data Domain couldn't get.

    I'm not sure what your intent with the article was. Last minute dash to a deadline? Try to get your Stornext stock up? Very little to do with EMC actually, more of a simple comment on tape, but I guess trying to paint EMC as "wrong" gets you enough page hits not to have a failure of a opinion piece. If you get more desperate to get page hits maybe you can change the title to EMC no longer thinks tape sucks, but cups the balls since you've been on this weird 12 year old sex reference kick lately.

  2. VV

    Only sucks if you don't know what its good for.

    Some time ago I saw some electrical damage due to a lightning strike. Impressive I must say. The lightning had arced from a concrete beam through a server rack which contained online disk storage used for archiving data. They wished they had stuck with a tape backup solution. Moral of the story... tape is an offline medium, disk isn't. Once your data is on proper tape and kept in good conditions, it can sit unaltered for many years. With online solutions there is no guarantee that a glitch won't affect the controllers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only sucks if you don't know what its good for.

      Now I am a tape fan, but I do have to say that likely this would have destroyed a tape library and its tapes or even just tapes on a shelf as well.

      1. VV

        Re: Only sucks if you don't know what its good for.

        Sure, but normally any historical data on tape would be stored offsite. In this case the lightning went through the rack because it saw an easier path to ground. A shelf or media safe would offer more protection as they are normally not grounded or "online"

      2. dirkx

        Re: Only sucks if you don't know what its good for.

        Actually - not sure that is quite the case. I had to clean up such a thing in Italy a decade or so ago (these where old style 8mm DAT tapes and normal half inch tapes). Lighting struck, roof gone - and the current went throught the racks. No offiste, the tapes where in the same building/room hit.

        I found that while all electronics, including simple light/power electrics, drives and robots where fried - that most tapes could be read after cleaning, drying and debris removal. Including the tapes which had been inside the rack at the time of the lightning strike. The tapes which could not be read where generally physically damaged - usually caused by water or, in a few cases, by the blast itself. In all fairness - we never tried to resurrect the disks by swapping their boards. So that may have been an option.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only sucks if you don't know what its good for.

      Are you generalizing this based on bad building design. Lightning arc'ing from a concrete beam! COME ON.

      Not that I am disagreeing with you, but you need to find a better hypothetical example.

      Tape is like diapers for data. When it gets long in the tooth... you use it [TAPE] so that you don't lose it. I think I NAILED this one

      1. Gray

        Re: Only sucks if you don't know what its good for.

        Hmmm ... the next time you're wandering past a construction site, see if they're making a concrete pour. See all those dark, ribbed rods of steel being wired together into a grid? That's what we in the former colonies call "rebar" ... reinforcing steel inside the concrete structure ... and it conducts lightning like nobody's business. As for lightning punching through a few inches of concrete to find its next easy path ... that's not so hard, either.

  3. Jim Wilkinson

    Surface area wins

    No surprise using tape for archives is best (for now). Discs can pack the density, but one tape contains a massive surface area. Sort of like 2.5D storage. Holographic discs have been touted and might finally take the crown, but there have been more promises than delivery. Maybe this is changing (see

    1. M Gale

      Re: Surface area wins

      Makes me wonder what happens when someone cracks holographic tape.

  4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Those of use who can do speeling can do maths.

  5. steeplejack

    IT Executives are (very) gullible people.

    This is partly because they don't have the ballache of constantly restoring deleted data. A few years ago some sales people (who I would love to shoot) rang around the managers and somehow told them that tape is bad. Then, another batch of execution-by-firing-squad candidates let it be known that Filesystem Imaging was the future of Backup strategy. Anyone with Acronis shares out there? And all the Managers and Executives nodded wisely.

    Nah - it aint like that at all. 90% of the time you want Files, not from 12 hours ago, but from 4 days ago. If you're lucky. Not there? Bloody user is wrong again - Try 5 days ago, then a week, then a fortnight. And for good measure, you'd better take account of incremental events.

    In case you hadn't realised, I am a non-Executive tape advocate. I don't believe everything Sales people tell me (until I've proved it).

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