For decades, physical tape libraries have been the go-to solution for large companies that need to back up data for long periods, often to ensure regulatory compliance.
On the surface, it’s easy to see why. Tape storage offers much lower up-front costs per gigabyte compared to disk, flash or cloud alternatives. However, the complexity of maintaining and managing tape backups, as well as the downstream costs of recovering data when it is needed, can far outweigh the low initial cost of tape storage.
Tape is generally expected to remain intact for up to 30 years, but this lifespan can be significantly shortened if tapes are stored in environments with high levels of humidity. And if tapes come into contact with magnetised materials the data stored on them can be corrupted. Equally, exposure to sunlight, fingerprint marks and dust can also render data unusable.
Most organisations store their tapes offsite for added protection, but this naturally means that recovering data from them can be very time-consuming and expensive.
During the pandemic, the shortcomings of physical tape have become all too clear – with many organisations struggling to rotate their physical media due to restricted access to data centre locations.
To avoid the drawbacks of physical tape storage, more businesses are moving to virtual tape libraries and enjoying the benefits of dramatically faster restore cycles, lower latency, simpler system management and improved performance. This includes many of the estimated 150,000 organisations worldwide that depend on IBM i running on IBM Power Systems to manage their mission-critical applications.
Drawing on three decades of experience in both IBM OS/400 and enterprise data protection, Northdoor can help you deploy a tightly integrated virtual tape library. By switching, your organisation can accelerate the backup of IBM i systems and data, making it easier to protect data on a more frequent cycle, for a Recovery Point Objective (RPO) that more closely tracks your changing business. And thanks both to disk-based storage and to network speeds of up to 40TB/hour, a virtual tape library also dramatically enhances your ability to meet SLAs for Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
The virtual tape library solution from Northdoor provides comprehensive de-duplication and compression features, helping to keep costs low even for large data volumes. And if you have already made the move to virtual tape by deploying IBM ProtecTIER, the Northdoor solution offers a proven migration path for IBM i users as the IBM solution moves out of support.
Businesses that reap all the rewards of virtual tape storage typically work with dedicated business partners to make the move. With decades of experience helping some of the world’s most successful companies build cost-effective, compliant and robust storage environments, Northdoor can help your business take a smarter, more reliable approach to long-term data storage.
To learn more about how Northdoor can help your business modernise backup and retention for IBM i with a virtual tape library, contact us today for a free assessment of your needs