Tandberg: Tape Opportunity Exists in SMBs

Paul Mah

More small and medium-sized businesses will start buying into tape drives if Tandberg Data can have its way. As reported by Channel Insider, the veteran data-protection vendor has a new entry-level tape backup solution, the DAT320, with a storage capacity of 72GB to 320GB, and the RDX QuikStor, an LTO tape drive positioned for mid-range customers. Consuming just 6.1 watts for normal operation, Tandberg says that the DAT320 offers the lowest power consumption for a tape drive in the industry.


Of course, the launch of these new tape backup products for SMBs last month is really part of a new strategy to engage channel partners to push products from Tandberg to businesses. However, its move to target the SMB market belies the company's belief of the opportunities that exist there.


Indeed, Simon Anderson, business unit manager for tape automation at Tandberg noted that the decline in tape sales in recent years is the result of a dip in server sales, as well as the continued popularity of virtualization. Anderson does see a silver lining of opportunity in the current market, however. According to him, the proliferation of virtualization means that existing servers tend to be heavily utilized, and the storage capacity of a single tape drive is likely to prove inadequate in such circumstances.


This logic starts to make sense when you consider that most virtual machine are likely to weigh in at anywhere between 10 to 30 GBs. This stacks up quickly when you peg an average of at least 20 virtual machines to most medium-sized corporations. Even assuming the use of a properly configured SAN, it makes sense to perform regular backups of these virtual machines for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes.


Coupled with the unrelenting storage requirements, it is clear that tape drives remains very much in the game when it comes to proven and robust backup of critical data. While the advantages will vary between companies, I drew up a quick list of some advantages afforded by tape backup.


  • Software support of tape drive technology is mature and proven.
  • No requirement for an Internet connection - the ability to back up and restore is not dependent on the state of the local Internet connectivity.
  • Still the lowest-cost storage media on the market.


I would like to further explore how tape drives can be harnessed for maximum efficiency in small and medium-sized businesses. Feel free to drop me an e-mail or add a comment below if your SMB uses tape drives, or you have some tips to share.

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