Greener IT Strategies: How Tape Backups Drive Environmental Efficiency, Lower TCO, and Enhance Data Protection


Data backup solutions employ various technologies, from hard disk drives (HDDs) to solid-state drives (SSDs) to the cloud. But there’s one data protection technology that’s been around for decades that often isn’t considered—but should be. 

That technology is tape. Developed by Univac in 1951, tape has stood the test of time, with global tape storage sales projected to grow from $4.63 billion in 2022 to $5.22 billion in 2023, a 12.6 percent CAGR. 

There are good reasons behind the continued growth of tape for data protection. Let’s look at a few. 

Tape Storage Slashes Emissions

A recent article in IEEE Spectrum points out that tape media generates just three percent of the carbon dioxide that HDDs emit. The article also notes that the computing industry represented as much as 1.8 percent of the United States’ total electricity consumption in 2014. 

The numbers IEEE shares say it all when it comes to emissions. HDDs, while faster than tape storage, have a lifespan of about five years, producing about 2.55 equivalent kilograms of carbon dioxide per year based on one Seagate estimate. On the other hand, tape media has a lifespan of more than 30 years, emitting just 0.07 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year, based on an estimate from Fujifilm.

That massive reduction in environmental impacts can go a long way toward meeting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. But tape does more than help the environment.

Tape Data Backup Solutions Lower TCO

Tape can substantially reduce your data storage total cost of ownership (TCO). Tom’s Hardware says that tape storage is typically replaced every ten years, while HDDs are replaced every four to seven years. That reduces e-waste and its associated costs and hardware replacement costs.  

But it’s also important to note that, according to IDC, as much as 60 percent of data could be kept in “cold” storage. Tape fits that bill perfectly. When data storage consultant Brad Johns used Fujifilm’s data storage TCO tool, his calculations illustrated the significance of the potential savings: Storing 100 PB of data on hard disks over ten years costs $17,707,468 while a mix that includes 60 percent tape cuts that cost nearly in half, to $9,476,339

Air-Gapped Tape Ensures Ransomware Protection and Data Recovery

You add another layer of ransomware protection by storing your backups on air-gapped tape—disconnected from your network and unreachable by hackers. The best tape data management software solutions—like Arcserve Tape Backup software—help you protect your high-capacity storage and realize increased efficiency.

Arcserve Tape Backup doesn’t limit your data backup options. It can meet application-specific requirements with backup to tape, backup to disk, disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T), disk-to-disk-to-cloud (D2D2C), and virtual tape library (VTL). 

The software also supports hardware snapshots, multiplexing, and multi-streaming. And you can count on faster, more efficient backups and restores with UNIX and Linux data movers for storage-area network- (SAN) based backups.

Simplify Tape Backup With Sophisticated Functionality, Centralized Management and Reporting

If you suffer a data disaster, Arcserve Tape Backup data recovery software offers efficient, effective disaster recovery thanks to its sophisticated functionality. That includes the ability to incorporate it into your VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer platforms, simplifying system management, providing a view of your entire environment, and giving you the ability to mitigate the risk of data loss on virtualized servers.

You can also increase reliability with the software’s smart restore capabilities and redirect restore jobs to other media containing the same data without manual intervention. 

Arcserve Tape Backup features centralized management and storage resource manager (SRM) reporting. You can monitor the status of all backup activities, find out which nodes are taking the longest, locate backed-up data, and track volume, disk, and memory usage on every production server.

Get the Facts About Tape

Arcserve technology partners are experts in data protection and recovery. They can help you understand how tape can fit into your IT environment and help you cut costs and improve your data resiliency. 

Find an Arcserve technology partner here. To learn more about Arcserve Tape Backup, contact us.

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