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Best Tape Drives 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2019
Best Tape Drives of 2018
Welcome to my website! If you plan to buy tape drives and looking for some recommendations, you have come to the right place. Here, I will review 3 of the best tape drives of 2018, and we will also discuss the things to consider when looking to purchase one. I hope you will make an informed decision after going through each of them. Check them out and decide which one suits you the best to splurge upon. After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this tape drives win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The rear part fits perfectly! It is mounted really tight and reliable. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
Why did this tape drives come in second place?
Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price.
Why did this tape drives take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
Tape Drives Buyer’s Guide
The T-Finity automated tape library from Spectra Logic is huge. It is a dual robot (active/active) library, which means that both robots can access every tape and drive in the system. That is quite a feat when you consider that it can scale to 40 frames and 50,100 LTO slots. It can hold up to 120 tape drives within one large library. “It can expand to an eight-library complex with 400,800 LTO slots and a capacity of up to 960 tape drives,” explained Jon Hiles, senior product manager – enterprise solutions at Spectra Logic. “That translates into a capacity of up to 3.6EB of compressed data.”
The concept of combining tape and NAS appears to be gaining traction. HP calls it tNAS. This solution permits users and applications to access data on tape-based storage via disk cache without the need to manage media cartridges. Similar to the Dternity example, data is staged to a disk cache and then written to tape as tape drive resources become available. “The bottleneck is typically the disk cache as it has to cope with data in, data out, file stubbing and updates to the archive volume database,” said Chris Powers, vice president of the data center development unit at HP. “A well configured disk cache will allow a maximum throughput of 140 MB/sec per archive volume. An LTO-tape drive supports 160 MB/s native, so it can keep up.”
Alternately, an SSD-based cache can speed this up to 270 MB/s for tape. In this case, the tape drive could become the bottleneck depending on the compression rate. At 2:compression, an LTO-tape drive will support 320 MB/s. Data is written to the cache immediately and can be read at once. Data not in the cache, though, would take around four minutes to be returned as it has to be read off tape first.
Powers said such architectures were far from theoretical. He said one European research hospital was using tNAS for archiving of x-ray files. And a federal court system was using flash and tape to store video of court proceedings. In that case, the set up included an all-flash array in front of the tape.
Per HP’s numbers, the price per GB of tNAS works out at 5cents for 190 TB, and 2cents for 1100 TB. When SSD is added, the price drops to 4cents for 190 TB and to 2cents for 1100 TB. Disk, on the other hand, is 40 cents per GB for 190 TB and 3cents for 1100 TB. Based on these numbers, the viability of tNAS increases as capacity rises.
On the performance side, disk performance is better at lower capacities. At 190 TB, disk performance is 600 GB/second while tNAS has 240 GB/s and tNAS with SSD is 320 GB/s. But once you hit 1100 TB, the 1080 GB/s of tNAS and tNAS with SSD beat the 1000 GB/s of disk. “Substituting SSD for HDD in the caching layer shows big dollar-per-GB benefit as throughput performance allows for infrastructure cost avoidance,” said Powers. “For this architecture, however, larger file sizes are better as anything smaller than MB will impact performance.”
He said that organizations should be asking, “Can you wait four minutes on data?” If not, what is the maximum age of the data that actually needs this faster access time? With a real answer to those questions, organizations can determine how to configure their archiving needs.
DDN on Tape
DDN has been a high-performance disk vendor for many years, but as a sign of the times, it is now adding tape to its repertoire. Such an occurrence probably hasn’t taken place for at least a decade – the trend has always been for mainline disk vendors to denounce tape. DDN’s design will add tape as part of an active archive. “Tape not a separate system, it’s just another pool of your storage,” said Molly Rector, chief marketing officer at DDN. “This requires seamless management between media.”
In this solution, flash is used for high IOPS and tape for high throughput, which Rector said is a vital combination for big data.
Spectra Logic has just released a Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) disk product called ArcticBlue which leverages a hybrid storage architecture and SMR media to create an object storage-based disk platform that is said to deliver longevity, efficiency and cost effectiveness along with the performance of online disk. “ArcticBlue creates an on-premise cloud with an Sinterface to make deep storage more accessible,” said Spectra Logic CEO Nathan Thompson.
He added that it has built-in compression and brings storage costs as low as cents per GB for PB of network attached storage. “It gives bulk storage for archiving, backup and unstructured data, but is not for databases,” said Thompson.
Tom Wultich, senior director, Oracle archive product & program management, gave some perspective of how far storage density has come. “Back in 1998, the storage of PB required eight acres and now can be accomplished within 3square feet on tape,” he said.
He suggested that disk could be incorporated into tape solutions as a home for metadata. This would make it fast to find where in the archive the right file resided. It could then be retrieved more quickly from tape. Oracle has done some work on tape and NAS combos with QStar and more announcements should be expected on this line going forward.
On-Prem Storage Options
Not all backup software supports virtual machines (VMs), so if the company is using VMware, Microsoft, Citrix Xen, Parallels, or some other virtualization platform, it is critical to make sure the backup software also supports the chosen virtualization platform.
Popular enterprise-class offerings such as Symantec Backup Exec, Commvault Simpana, Unitrends Enterprise Backup, Zmanda Amanda Network Backup, and similar offerings generally do support virtualization, but not all applications support all formats. For example, Zmanda supports Linux, Solaris, Windows Mac OS X, VMware and Hyper-V, but it does not support proprietary data formats.
Generally speaking, midsize- and enterprise-class backup software will include application integration, such as for Microsoft Exchange or SQL Server, as well as providing deduplication capabilities. Replications and cloud connectivity also are normally found in this class of software, but these capabilities might not be found in software for the small office home office (SOHO) applications.
On-Site Storage Options for SMBs
Today’s on-premises storage hardware options for the SMB range from high-capacity, USB-connected devices, such as the TB Apricorn FIPS 140-that includes a built-in 10-key keypad for complex password access, to ruggedized network-attached storage (NAS) subsystem such as the ioSafe 1513+ that supports up to 90 TB with up to two expansion chassis; it’s also fire-proof for up to 30 minutes and can be submerged in up to feet of water for three days without damage.
On-Site Storage Options for Enterprises
Enterprise-class storage systems sometimes overlap SMB subsystems from a capacity standpoint; it is not unusual to find an enterprise-class system starting as low as 20 TB and going up from there. However, enterprise backups differ in that they offer more connectivity and protocol options.
Traditional SMB storage is normally limited to Serial ATA (SATA), external SATA (eSATA), USB, Ethernet and iSCSI. Enterprise backups use other infrastructure fabrics and protocols designed to meet the requirements of larger and faster networks.
Many enterprise networks today use the SCSI protocol for communicating between drives and the network, often over another protocol, such as HyperSCSI or Serial-attached SCSI (SAS), but other connectivity options also find wide use. Storage area networks often use a Fibre Channel fabric for higher speeds and reliability. Fibre Channel also can be configured as, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP).
While today’s enterprise storage subsystems are generally rotating disk-based, a growing number are hybrids that employ flash memory to increase the performance of the disks. Generally speaking, no more than five percent of the total storage need be flash in order to achieve a benefit, although all-flash arrays are used for some high-transaction data bases and specialty applications, says David Simpson, a storage analyst at the 45Group.
MORE: Selecting the Right Type, Amount & Location of Flash Storage
It is becoming harder to distinguish which enterprise-class systems are destined for on-premises applications and which are headed for the cloud since both environments use the same hardware, he says. However, high-end databases still tend to run locally rather than in a public cloud, although that could change in the future.
On-Site Backup and Disaster Recovery Options
EMC’s VMAX family is an example of high-end storage that could serve corporate or cloud applications. The systems can be configured as all-flash, hybrid flash and disk, or all disk. The VMAXmodel offers the company’s ProtectPoint integrated backup; it’s a backup program that effectively eliminates the backup’s impact on the network by removing the server from the data path, says Colin Gallagher, director of product marketing for the VMAX family.
In many ways, ProtectPoint operates similarly to traditional differential backups in that once a master backup is created, only the changes are backed up after that. However, the traditional restoration process for differential backups is to restore the master first and then each differential backup since then. One lost differential backup can corrupt everything after that point. With ProtectPoint, he says, after the changes are backed up, they are incorporated into the master image so that when the time comes to restore the backup, only one file is required.
Additionally, Gallagher says, if a user requires data during the recovery process that has yet to be restored, the software can identify that data and prioritize it for restoration on the fly. Currently, he says, the software is limited to restoring data from primary storage to an EMC Data Domain system.
Tape-Based Backup Systems
While flash and disk storage still represent the lion’s share of high-performance backup and disaster recovery, the venerable tape backup systems that date back to the early days of mainframes still reside in corporate and cloud data centers. “Tape continues to thrive due to the on-going business value of the technology,” says Simon Watkins, worldwide StoreEver Tape Product marketing manager at Hewlett-Packard. “Tape has made great technological strides over the last decade — from a performance, capacity, reliability and usability perspective. But while feeds and speeds are important, the executive boards of most companies care more about how technology can lower costs, reduce risk and improve productivity in their organization. It is in this business context that tape continues to be viewed as both relevant and important.”
Watkins notes that in the past, accessing and sharing data on tape was not as easy as disk. That changed with the introduction of the Linear Tape File System (LTFS), which makes tape self-describing, file-based, and easy-to-use. “LTFS provides you with the ability to use standard file operations on tape media for accessing, managing, and sharing files with an interface that looks just like a hard disk,” he says. “In addition, LTFS provides the ability to share data across platforms, as you would with a USB drive or memory stick. Simply load a tape into the drive, mount it into the file system, and it becomes visible as a disk,” he adds.
Just last year the company expanded its tape offerings with the HP StoreEver MSL6480 Tape Library that stores data at up to 60.TB per hour with a capacity of 3.PB in a single library.
StorageIO’s Schulz says the market for high-performance tape is still strong, especially for applications with very large data sets that can run from tens to hundreds of terabytes per days. Transferring very large streaming files such as film industry dailies or very large scientific data files is still a key application for tape. Moving these very large files from one physical facility to another also is a traditional tape application that thrives today, he notes.
It can be very expensive, slow and problematic to transfer these large files either via disk or electronically, Schulz says. While the uses for tape have changed over the years, tape’s original core value remains the same: it manages very large files at a very cost-effective price, he says.
Still, just as disk vendors of years past said disk will replace tape, and solid-state memory vendors said flash would replace disk, it appears that all of these technologies still have roles to play in on-premises backup and disaster recovery.
How to choose packaging tape
Packing tapes generally have two applications: sealing storage boxes and sealing shipping boxes. It makes a difference what kind of tape you use in either case. There are three factors to consider when choosing your packaging tape:
Tape dispenser size
Your packaging tape roll needs to be the right size for your dispenser.
This Packaging Tape Buying Guide will help you find the best packaging tape for your office.
Do you need packaging tape for storage boxes or shipping boxes?
Acrylic packing tape is your best bet for storage boxes. Acrylic adhesive can handle a variety of temperatures and setting, including warehouses, garages and storage facilities. Plus, acrylic packaging tape can maintain it seal for more than three years.
Hot melt shipping tape is the best for shipping boxes because of its superior holding power. Shipping boxes are typically subjected to rough handling in transit. Hot melt packaging tape ensures your boxes stay sealed. You can also use hot melt tape to strap boxes together.
Read-Write Tape Machine
Tape storage has an advantage that most hard disk drives don’t,the format is designed to be rugged enough to be stored for up to 30 years, something that cannot be guaranteed for other forms of backup.
Tape technology still has an important role to play in small to medium sized businesses. However, that role has changed from being the primary form of backup, to fulfilling compliance requirements. Many companies must have a secure off-site backups. Tape cartridges can be taken off line and removed from the premises, and data stored on them is also less prone to corruption or sabotage.
Some small to medium business owners can’t afford a large IT staff that can help ensure the safety and security of company data. For such companies, tape technology offers them an affordable line of defense. All they need to do is invest in equipment, such as a QuikStation, that can function as a library.
Proponents of cloud storage are quick to point out that it fulfills those requirement. However, there are some local laws that require data to reside in the country of its origin. Sadly, not all cloud storage companies can guarantee that this will happen.
Why Consumers Are Moving Away From Tape Storage
It may sound like tape is great, and it has many benefits, such as being cost effective and durable. In addition, it can store as much data as a hard disk drive. Nevertheless, with all of that in mind, most consumers see it for what it is, an archaic way to save their data for backup.
The biggest problem with tape backup is the fact that it takes a while to transfer files from. There is nothing quick about restoring an entire system, hard disk drives and cloud services move at a undeniably faster rate.
Tape has its usefulness. Hard disk drives can corrupt overtime and aren’t a good idea for long term backup. The physical media is also cheaper to purchase once the equipment to record and run these cassettes has been purchased. Tape isn’t dead, yet. It still has lots of relevance in the world of business because of its durability and compliance with many local laws.
The Hassle of Tapes
Huge cabinet-size tape libraries, with robots feeding fibre channel-attached tape drives, arranged in a row so that tapes can be passed between cabinets, manually removing tapes for off-site transport? This cannot be the pinnacle of backup technology.
On a smaller scale, tapes must sometimes be swapped daily, which can be a real pain for smaller IT departments. Depending on the amount of data, the compression level, and how many tapes a changer holds, the tape changing burden can be reduced with careful planning. If, however, you wish to have daily off-site backups, tape copies must be extracted from the changer daily.
And then there is tape performance. LTO-tapes, running at a theoretical 240MB/s and storing 800GB uncompressed, simply pale in comparison to 384MB/s (and striped in RAID-0, data transfer rates increase linearly) 2TB SATA disks. We are at a point now where SATA storage is about the same price as LTO-tapes. IT shops often run into a scenario where data cannot be written to tape fast enough, and the backup window extends far into the morning. This impacts performance of live systems, and the only way to alleviate lengthened backup windows (aside from backing up less data) is to have more disk cache where data is temporarily stored before being flushed to tape.
Tapes, however, may be safer. One common backup strategy involves setting aside a certain number of tapes for quarterly snapshots. These tapes contain a full backup of the infrastructure, and are archived for years or longer. With a wholly disk-based backup solution, this is not advisable. Disks fail quite reliably, and if they are powered up for years you can almost guarantee that most will fail. This, then, is a perfect time to think about a hybrid model for backups.
After dropping, extending, and scrubbing the blades of 1different tape measures with 60-grit sandpaper, we found that the best one is the classic 25-foot Stanley PowerLock Tape Measure. It’s our pick after 4hours of research and three annual updates to this guide, including another 1hours of work this year testing against new tools. That’s because the PowerLock delivers the best basic combination of durability, ease of use, and accuracy—and all for a very low price. In fact, the PowerLock is one of the least expensive tape measures that we’ve looked at.
How we picked
After reading what we could, talking to our experts, and taking years of experience using tape measures into account, we found that the most important features of a tape measure are blade durability, case durability, tang (the metal hook at the end of the tape) size, stand-out, and ease of locking lever. Accuracy is important too, but all of the tapes we looked at fell within an acceptable margin of error. Both Clement and DeBoer warned against tapes loaded with additional features like pencil sharpeners. Clement summed things up: “Go simple. Keep it clean.”
DeBoer and Clement agreed that a tape measure that can stand out unsupported for 7-feet is more than enough for at-home use.
The stand-out of a tape is the distance that the blade can extend unsupported from the case and not collapse. In the industry it has become a bragging right to have the tape with the longest stand-out. The current champ appears to be the Stanley FatMax Xtreme which, according to Stanley, can be extended 1feet. This mega distance can be helpful on a jobsite, but it’s really unnecessary for the home. Both DeBoer and Clement agreed that a tape measure that can stand out unsupported for 7-feet is more than enough for at-home use. While DeBoer doesn’t advocate always going for the longest stand-out, he also uses stand-out as a quality marker. “If your tape breaks downward at just 5-feet then it’s likely going to be a product that doesn’t last long in other areas as well.”
A great cloud backup service doesn’t do much good if it doesn’t protect the data on all of your business devices, not just on servers or desktop PCs. In a typical environment, Mac and Windows systems comprise the bulk of laptops and workstations. Linux and Microsoft Windows Server are the most popular platforms for servers. Then there’s that ever-growing and ever-changing morass of mobility. Getting access to data from a mobile device is becoming not just popular but increasingly critical as mobile devices become more sophisticated and not only store more data but create it, too. At a bare minimum, Android and iOS devices should be considered as backup targets, with a potential need for Windows Mobile as well.
In many cases, even small to midsize businesses (SMBs) will be hosting virtualized infrastructure on-site as well as in the cloud and, since this is really just software, it should be backed up along with everything else. However, because virtual machines (VMs) and other kinds of virtual infrastructure have different needs when it comes to restoration, you’ll need to ensure that your cloud backup provider can support these requirements. Citrix, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMWare VSphere tend to be the most commonly used commercial products for creating and running VMs.
Open-Source and App-Specific Options
It’s also important to consider app-specific options. Some back-end business apps might need special capabilities when it comes to backup and restoration, especially complex, database-drive platforms such as big customer relationship management (CRM) apps, large databases and business intelligence (BI) apps, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Popular examples of such business apps include Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, NetApp, and Oracle, which all require special handling. The best options will have native support for backing up and restoring them. Otherwise, you will be left with trying to cobble together a backup solution that only works under the best circumstances, at best. At worst, it might not work at all and will manifest when there is a true failure.
Backup and Recovery
Regardless of the method, backing up to the cloud has often been described by industry professionals as filling a swimming pool with a paper cup. While available bandwidth is rapidly catching up with the huge demands created by enormous data sets, the initial backup is usually by far the worst and subsequent incremental backups are much easier. Many vendors have taken note of this and provide an initial seeding method by way of a shipped hard drive.
Let’s look at how to store your bike indoors.
Without a proper storage solution things can get ugly pretty quickly
There are many permanent bike storage solutions that mount to walls or ceilings, but if you’re renting this could prove problematic. With this in mind, we’ve divided our guide into two distinct sections — permanent and non-permanent — with permanent options needing to be bolted or screwed in place.
Here we’ve focused on functional and readily available solutions, but it’s worth keeping in mind that putting a little ingenuity and a trip to the hardware store to use is always an option.
Also, for many people the floor remains the cheapest and most suitable option. Axle and wheel racks are readily available, which will keep the bikes upright.
Permanent storage solutions
This is a good route if you own your home and have a solid wall or ceiling that can support weight and fixtures.
Permanent type racks are generally the cheapest option and allow for a great deal of tweaking to suit your fleet of bikes. We’ve designated permanent racks simply by the orientation they hold the bike: vertical or horizontal.
Holding the bike by a single wheel, this method is best for storing bikes where width is an issue, but depth is not. It’s the most effective means of storing multiple bikes together and is commonly used in many bike shop workshops.
Generic hooks can be bought cheaply at hardware stores, but Park Tools offers these vertical hooks in a range of sizes that’ll even accommodate fat bikes
Taking the basic vertical wheel hook one step further, there are many options like these that offer a backing plate for the tyre and have secure anchor points. The PRO bike rack (left) and Delta Cycle Leonardo are popular choices
More advanced and secure options include those that bolt to the wall with multiple points of attachment and feature a built-in backing plate, such as models from PRO, Topeak and X-Tools to name a few.
If you’re looking for a permanent vertical hook, the SteadyRack comes at a premium, but is superb
Lastly, the ultimate is something like the SteadyRack (read our review here), which holds the outside of the wheel and will not mark the rim.
Its unique design allows you to swing the bike nearly 180 degrees to get access to others or have the bike sit closely against the wall. The downside? This rack isn’t cheap, especially if you want more than one.
If vertical storage is best for when width is an issue, horizontal storage is ideal for when depth of space is the concern.
Generally holding the bike underneath the top tube, this method requires more wall space.
This rack from IceToolz is an example of a basic permanent-horizontal rack
Basic options include foldable hangers that bolt to the wall, with more expensive options taking the design concept further and creating something that is visually appealing.
Brands such as Feedback Sports offer models with adjustable hooks to fit a variety of frame shapes, while other brands offer racks that double as shelves.
Bicycle hoist systems are handy if you’re looking to store bikes in roof space
For those with plenty of ceiling or wall space out of easy reach, there’s the hoist system.
They’re commonly found in hardware stores to be used for items such as ladders and kayaks, but also work well with a bicycle.
Generally, they are best for people that see cycling as an occasional pastime, rather than a lifestyle — it’s not the quickest system to use and installation is more involved than mounting a fixed hook or bracket.
The most common type of non-permanent off-the-floor rack is the pole type that clamps between floor and ceiling.
Ceiling-to-floor racks are a strong solution for rental properties. The Feedback Sports Velo Column (left) and Topeak Dual-Touch are both great options, with the Velo column being a little more stylish and the Topeak offering a firmer hold against the ceiling
Most common examples are the Feedback Sports Velo Column and Topeak’s Dual-Touch.
These use either a spring or hinge to lock in place, but can easily be removed if needed. Generally, these racks will hold two bikes, with the option to hold a further two with aftermarket kits.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Tape Drives wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Tape Drives
- №1 — SDX500C SONY Internal Tape Drive Compatible Product by NETCNA
- №2 — DW017A HP Ultrium 448 External Tape Drive Compatible Product by NETCNA
- №3 — Cassette Tape USB Stick Flash Drive