Magnetic tape is supposed to be dead as a digital storage medium. However, the people and organizations who use it apparently never got that memo. Manufacturers behind the Linear Tape-Open (standard) shipped 152.9 exabytes of magnetic tape capacity (compressed) in 2023. That’s actually 3.14 percent greater capacity than in 2022.”

Tom’s Hardware, May 27, 2024

“With shipped capacity remaining high in 2023, LTO tape technology proves to be a choice solution for mitigating common challenges created by the proliferation of unstructured data due to recent advancements in technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).”

HPCWire, May 24, 2024

“‘The latest annual tape capacity shipment media report signifies the continued importance of LTO tape technology in the digital storage hierarchy not only today, but also far into the future as storage needs evolve in complexity and cost,’ said Tom Coughlin, Storage Analyst and President, Coughlin Associates. ‘LTO tape will endure as a critical component of storage architectures across the enterprise, especially as tape technology itself continues to improve to handle even larger volumes of data and more intensive workloads.’”

Datanami, May 23, 2024

“‘LTO tape technology continues to realize annual gains. LTO tape utilization is poised to expand even further as customers increasingly require higher storage capacity and recognize the benefits of the technology,’ said G. Kyle Fitze, Vice President, OEM & Partner Enabled Products, HPE Storage. ‘We remain dedicated to improving and innovating further around LTO tape technology for the fast-evolving needs of organizations now and in the years to come.’”

InsideHPC, May 23, 2024

“Guess what? Tape continues its steady growth, marking a 3.14% growth over 2022 results. And it’s no wonder with the likes of HPE, IBM, and Quantum Corporation as LTO Program Technology Providers.”

StorageReview, May 23, 2024


“The air-gapped nature of tape is providing to be a major advantage when it comes to ransomware attacks. Unlike always-on data replication systems, which can destroy backups by replicating the ransomware malware from the primary system to a secondary system, tapes cannot be so easily corrupted.” 

IT Jungle, September, 2022

“Magnetic tape is the most cost-effective storage media with tape media costs at less than a penny a GB (<$0.01/GB). Magnetic tape is widely used for data archiving and is also promoted as enabling an air-gap for off-line data on magnetic tape, which can be important in recovering from various malware.”

Forbes, September, 2022

“Beyond their use as an archival tool, the new LTO tapes — from the current ninth generation up to generation 14 — provide a benefit that HDDs might not: They have the same form factor and will use the same equipment.”

TechTarget, September, 2022

“According to IDC data, the magnetic tape market grew at robust 10.5% in 2021, driven by the needs to defend against ransomware, store large volumes of data at low-cost, as well as data centers pivoting to ‘green’ technologies.”

IDC, September, 2022

“…Tape has its place in the tiered storage hierarchy: be it in cold storage (either for cloud backup or cloud storage), as a data loss protection tool to combat ransomware via air-gapping and as a regulatory compliance mechanism (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA) via its WORM (Write Once, Read Many) feature.”

TechRadar, September, 2022

“Already a threat before the pandemic, ransomware surged in the last two years as attackers took advantage of remote workers’ more vulnerable cybersecurity. Tape cartridges, though, provide an inherent air gap from online attacks, as well as immutability and isolated recovery.”

TechTarget, April, 2022

“It’s been a stellar year for LTO, too. According to an LTO sales report (via Sweclockers), using data from the companies responsible for manufacturing LTO tapes, 148 exabytes of total tape capacity was shipped in 2021. That’s far more than 2020, where 105 exabytes was shipped, or the previous record year of 2019 with 114 exabytes of capacity.”

PC Gamer, April, 2022

“Tapes offer some advantages over their other storage medium counterparts — advantages which compound alongside the total storage footprint. Besides being lower power, they’re easier to maintain, usually provide higher data longevity than other popular storage mediums (such as HDDs and SSDs), consume less resources when scaling is required, and perhaps more importantly, offer increased protection against ransomware attacks due to their cold storage, offline, and offsite usage.”

Tom’s Hardware, April, 2022

“As business and technical leaders around the globe continue to monitor new trends in data storage and management, LTO tape technology addresses the massive data growth of mainly unstructured data, with reduced costs. At the same time, this helps with environmental initiatives and sustainability, while ransomware and malware continue to evolve and emerge in ways that no one can predict, making cybersecurity a top concern for organizations.”

IDM, April, 2022

“The shipped capacity growth in 2021 reflects increased sales of higher capacity tape cartridges in 2021 as well as some increase in unit shipments. Magnetic tape remains the lowest cost storage media and is mostly used for data archiving.“

Forbes, April, 2022

“Despite the significant business disruptions and uncertainty in 2021, LTO tape capacity shipments achieved the largest increase since 2006, surpassing the previous record set in 2019. We’re continuing to see organizations return to tape technology, seeking out storage solutions that offer high capacity, reliability, long term data archiving and stronger data protection measures, especially as threats to cybersecurity soar.”

TechRadar, April, 2022

“Demonstrating itself to be a tool in the fight against cybersecurity, LTO tape technology offers an inherent air-gap, which is essential to denying the physical connectivity criminals need to access, encrypt or delete data. New ransomware trends are also reinforcing the need for organizations to adopt the 3-2-1-1 backup rule, which involves at least 3 copies or versions of data stored on 2 different storage mediums, one of which is off-site and one that is off-line.”

Storage Newsletter, April, 2022

“Magnetic tape is an established, understood, and proven technology that can be an invaluable tool for defeating ransomware. LTO tape is unique in its ability to meet all five best practices for addressing ransomware and giving organizations the best chance of recovery and avoiding the consequences of an attack.”

IDC,  January, 2022

Migrating ‘cold’ data from HDD to tape could reduce CO2 emissions related to data center by 43.7% with a cumulative savings of 664 million metric tons by 2030.”

IDC,  January, 2022

“Linear tape-open, or LTO tape is, most likely, every organization’s best bet against ransomware.”

TechRadar, January 25, 2022


“As Hyperscale Data Centers (HSDC) strive to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, moving inactive data to tape storage provides many compelling benefits. In addition to energy efficiency, the LTO program has been fueled by a decade of strong technological development and continues to play a major role in traditional backup, active archive and disaster recovery applications in addition to effectively addressing many new large-scale storage requirements.”

Whitepaper, Horison Information Strategies,  March, 2021

LTO tape is the most cost-effective archive solution available given it has the lowest $/TB price and TCO of any storage option. With a media life of 30 years or more, LTO is best suited to address archive requirements among today’s storage choices.”

Whitepaper, Horison Information Strategies,  March, 2021

“Tape helps address data sprawl because it can be used as the common storage factor across the organization. Tape can be used to ensure that data is captured and retained in a consistent, recoverable manner.”

Whitepaper, IDC Analyst Connection, March, 2021

“While many criminals now also exfiltrate data to use as leverage in negotiations, in some instances, businesses are able to recover without negotiating with the hackers thanks to comprehensive backup…, tape acts as an important weapon in the data backup arsenal; because it is not internet-connected, tape is immune from software-based threats that might compromise other forms of backup.”

TechRadar,  August 18, 2021

“The LTO group has been promoting magnetic tape as providing an inherent air-gap for data stored on tape, which can be used to provide a path to recover data encrypted by ransomware. Magnetic tape is a common storage media used for long term storage (archiving) of digital data.”

Forbes,  August 27, 2021

“The cloud, though offsite and a good spot for backups, is still online. According to the “3-2-1” backup strategy, organizations should have three copies of their data, on at least two different media, with one offsite. The modified “3-2-1-1” backup strategy calls for one copy offsite and one copy offline.”

TechTarget,  September 20, 2021


“The new LTO generation 9 and LTO generation 10 will be a welcome surprise to data hoarder alike. According to the giant tape vendors, LTO-9 will offer up to 25 TB of native capacity and LTO-10 will offer 48 TB native capacity.”

DTC Computer Supplies,  February 28, 2020

Tape is also becoming faster. LTO-8 tapes can manage 360MBps data rates, or 750MBps compressed. That is fast enough for systems such as business intelligence or analytics to read archived data from tape, as well as to cut backup and recovery times.”

ComputerWeekly,  September 17, 2020

“LTO-8 has a compressed transfer speed of 900MB/s, which is significantly faster than most any backup you’re going to send to it. It’s definitely faster than any incremental backup that will be sent to it, and that comprises most backups.”

NetworkWorld, September 20, 2020

“Adding tape’s ability to provide improved security in the form of air-gapping, encryption, etc., to the mix makes it a great medium that is tough to match for the safe handling of the data deluge.”

Enterprise Strategy Group,  October, 2020


“There’s something else that tape offers that no other storage medium currently offers and that’s on-the-fly, transparent compression which can go up to 2.5:1 and works best on text files (rather than multimedia which is already heavily compressed).”

TechRadarPro,  September 24, 2019

That air gap of being disconnected from the network is critical as ransomware even has a way of getting into backups now. When you’re talking about a tape stored safely away in a library, that’s not going to happen.”

TechTarget,  August 29, 2019

“Incremental indexing reduces the tape space needed for the index data so more data can be written to the tape, and also reduces the index writing time. Both are particularly helpful when small files are written to the tape. The LTFS people have IOT sensors generating small files of data which can now be written more efficiently to tape.”

Blocks and Files, July 7, 2019

The advent of Linear Tape File System (LTFS), a format developed by IBM and adopted with variations by HP, Quantum, and the LTO Consortium, makes the use of LTO (an open-format tape storage technology) magnetic tape both fast and compatible with more modern systems; with an LTFS operating system extension deploying a graphical file manager and directory tree for rapid access to data on an LTO tape cartridge.”

Computer Business Review,  April 9, 2019

“Tape still commands a large chunk of the backup market, and with good reason: it’s the cheapest method of backing up data, and people are familiar with it.”

IT Jungle,  March 27, 2019

“Storage industry experts maintain tape backup remains one of the most reliable and cheapest ways to retain data, and it’s the best way to store a golden copy of data safe from malware. Tape vendors continue to improve the core technology and add services revolving around it.”

TechTarget,  March 18, 2019

“Tape has always stayed competitive in areas that require long-term data retention. Today it’s becoming even more relevant because it combines durability, performance, efficient management, and low cost – making a huge difference to companies dealing with massive data and active retention.”

Enterprise Storage,  March 7, 2019

“In an increasingly digital world where the cloud is vulnerable to hackers and cyberattacks, tape offers secure offline storage. Tape also has price working in its favor. A 1-terabyte portable hard drive costs about $50, but a tape cartridge with the same capacity only costs $5.”

Quartz,  February 27, 2019

“[…] it’s an excellent choice for long-term retention, archiving and disaster recovery. In fact, ESG found that 67 percent of companies that use tape use it mostly for archiving.”

IT Pro Today,  February 7, 2019

“[Tape] has retained its use case for certain industries (such as healthcare) were archiving, long-term retention and compliance are key priorities. Tape is still one of the cheapest available forms of storage and provides an ‘air gap’ on-site for security purposes, particularly when critical data is at stake.”

Information Age,  January 25, 2019

“When it comes to protecting data from entropic damage, monitoring and managing data stored on tape must be considered. Technology exists to scan LTO-stored data to validate its integrity and takes the necessary steps to protect it by automatically making a new copy of the data on a fresh tape.”

TVTechnology,  January 23, 2019


“Increasing tape’s areal density has other benefits. It’s not only the price per gigabyte that’s falling as more data is written to each cartridge; cost of storing the media is falling in sync.”

Cloud Pro,  December 12, 2018

“There have been plenty of backup mediums to compete with tape over the years. Magnetic tape storage maintained its dominance for the better part of half a century because tapes are comparatively cheap, they are portable and they have high capacity.”

TechTarget,  December 12, 2018

“In a renewed security best-practice scenario backups are copied on to tape, which are kept on site in a library as a “secure, offline copy” to protect against malware. Beyond eliminating the cost of third-party vaulting services, this strategy has major financial benefits because tape is the least expensive media.”

Data Center Dynamics,  November 2, 2018

“Consider tape backup. Sophisticated remote and cloud-based data backup services can be costly, whereas tape can be a cost-effective alternative, especially for data that is not needed daily or even hourly for business operations.”

TechTarget,  October 15, 2018

“Tapes are also a good choice for organizations that need to ensure the security and integrity of their data backups. As previously noted, tapes can be stored offline, thus preventing ransomware from being able to attack backups. However, there are other security advantages. Tape encryptionhas been supported since the release of the LTO-4 standard.”

TechTarget,  July 24, 2018

“With the release of LTO-8 and recent reports that total tape storage capacity continues to increase dramatically, tape is a strong option for long-term retention. But even tape advocates say it’s going to take a comprehensive approach to storage that includes other forms of media to handle the data influx.”

TechTarget,  July 12, 2018

“[LTO tape] still presents a valuable backup and archiving opportunity. LTO features high capacity, durability and portability for a comparatively low cost.”

TechTarget,  June 21, 2018

“Tape is tried and true. Time over, it has proven to be a safe, persistent and trustworthy content storage medium – having been around for decades with a robust roadmap. Relegated to the archive spot in a workflow for many years, its use cases have transformed again, mainly because of its price point and ability to scale to meet current and future content storage needs.”

The Broadcast Bridge,  June 4, 2018

“The automation and retrieval of long term archival content from LTO 8 devices enables clients to retrieve content overnight and have it ready ready to go for the next working day. Efficient, fast and on site. This we believe is still the fastest way of working today, especially with tighter budgets and faster turnaround times.”

The Broadcast Bridge,  May 28, 2018

“Tape is no longer general-purpose storage, but it serves an important purpose for active archives and long-term backup retention and archival.”

Enterprise Storage Forum,  March 29, 2018

“Demand for tape technology is being fueled by widespread data growth, tape’s highly favorable economics, the industry’s lowest energy requirements, and mounting pressure to address the surging wave of cybercrime.”

Digitalisation World,  March 29, 2018

“If you suffer a data breach, the intruder can get at anything on your hard drive storage arrays, but there’s no getting at a tape cartridge sitting in a holder. It’s physically disconnected from anything, and even if it were seated in the reader, tape drives are not readable like a hard disk.”

Network World,  March 20, 2018

“Magnetic tape continues to play an important role in many data centers due to its low cost for adding digital storage (current media cost is considerably less than 1 penny per GB) and for its low operating costs (when media isn’t being used it requires no power).”

Forbes,  March 14, 2018

“Imagine for a moment you suffer a massive ransomware attack and lose a significant amount of data. Let’s also assume the ransomware destroyed your disk-based backups. In a situation like this, the tape backup remains unaffected because even the most advanced ransomware can’t overwrite a tape that isn’t mounted in a tape drive.”

TechTarget,  March 8, 2018

“Unlike buzzing, whirling hard drives or power-dependent SSDs, magnetic tape cartridges simply sit on a shelf, patiently waiting to be called back to action whenever the need arises. Keep the tape cool and comfortable, and its backup data will be fully readable for years, perhaps even decades.”

TechTarget,  January 31, 2018

“[LTO-8] doubles data capacity from previous generation LTO solutions, shortens data access times by 20 percent and drives media costs below the half-cent per GB barrier.”

Enterprise Storage Forum,  January 15, 2018