Early this year, Batley News in the U.K., reported that Cattles Group, a financial services company, was being investigated, after the firm lost the personal information belonging to a million people, including both customers and employees. You can read the entire article here, but the lost data was on two tapes that went missing. It doesn’t mean that they got in the wrong hands, and it doesn’t mean that the data has actually been accessed by an unauthorized person, or that accounts have been compromised. But under a number of laws that exist in various countries, losing personal information that has been entrusted to an organization is a reportable offense. And so, Cattles Group notified the police and two other government agencies. And they also notified each of the affected customers and employees.
Despite the continued decline in the use of tape, it is, in fact, still in use, and there are a number of applications where tape remains very valuable and a great technology fit. Two of the historical values of tape were that it was removable and transportable. And one tape holds a lot of data. Remember, two tapes held the personal information of a million people. The fact that tape is removable and transportable is also its liability. So it is not unusual to hear incidents of lost tapes and, thus, lost data. In fact, there is an entire website, datalossdb.org, devoted to reporting data losses, and you can search the database for data losses associated with tape media.
If the job of the solution is to get your data from one location to another in a secure and cost-effective way, so that you can restore operations after a disaster, I think the improvements in disk-based replication technology, including point-in-time, application-consistent snapshots, data deduplication, and data compression, make it unlikely that tape will survive much longer as a backup media. Add to that Axxana’s zero-data-loss-over-any-distance capabilities and there’s no compelling reason to stay with tape.