Tape backup isn't dead: 152.9 exabytes of tape shipments in 2023 alone, an increase from 2022

Magnetic tape is a storage method still used today, with the manufacturers behind Linear Tape-Open (standard) shipping 152.9 exabytes of tape in 2023.

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If you thought magnetic tape backup was dead, you'd be wrong... with the manufacturers behind the Linear Tape-Open (standard) shipping 152.9 exabytes of magnetic tape capacity (compressed) in 2023 alone, and increase of 3.14% over 2022.

Tape backup isn't dead: 152.9 exabytes of tape shipments in 2023 alone, an increase from 2022 305

If you're old enough, tape backup has been around for decades and was slowly fading out of the market as a digital storage medium. Zip drives were disappearing, and external HDDs were meant to replace LTO tape for backup and archival storage. We've got tens of terabytes inside of external HDDs, terabytes of ultra-fast Gen4 and Gen5 SSDs, cloud storage, and other forms of storage... but tape backup isn't dying.

Tape backup has a massive capacity, it's durable, and can safely store data for up to 30 years. Better yet, once the data is stored and doesn't need to be accessed, it can last for decades without maintenance or checking on them. They're cheaper than external HDDs, and can be stored away safely from ransomware infections.

But... if you feel the need for (storage) speed, then tape backup isn't your go-to storage method. Accessing and restoring data from tape backup can take a very, very long time. However, with LTO capacities hitting 152.9 exabytes in last year, compared to the less than 40 exabytes of LTO backup shipped in 2011 is a very surprising number to see.

Seagate shipped 99 exabytes of hard disk drives in a single quarter recently, and there are multiple storage companies on the market, so LTO isn't taking over by any means... it's just not dying the death everyone thought it would.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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