Being of a certain age, I have had a relationship with tape most of my life. It started when I was 15, I asked my dad my for a tape recorder for Christmas, I suppose it was my own fault, i should have been more specific! What I really wanted was a tape cassette recorder that I could play music on. What I got was a second hand (that was nearly the same age as me) reel to reel tape recorder that was the size of a modern day cooker hob! You couldn’t buy ready-made music tapes for it, so I have to place the microphone next to the radio and record off that. It was horrible!

My next recollection was when I joined my first Royal Naval Ship (HMS Coventry) and bought a Sony Walkman. This was really cutting age and cost me £99.00 which was a lot of money back in 1980. I remember the demo tape that was a train going through a tunnel and the sound went from one ear to the next – stereo we called it back then. I had never heard anything like it and would listen to it over and over (we were easily pleased back then) I loved that machine because I could lie on my bunk and listen to my music without anyone else hearing, that was until it chewed my first tape. I remember trying to unravel the tape and thinking can I fix it, so with a ballpoint pen and a bit of patience I tried and would it all back, great, until the next time it hit that part of the tape and the same would happen again. After that, between the Walkman, my numerous car cassette players and various other devices I have lost lots of music cassettes.

tape recorder

My first tape recorder…    Cassette player What I really wanted

A few years later, I used to sell dictation machines (Dictaphones) which recorded you speech on to tape. Mostly used by lawyers and doctors, this is how they produced all their correspondence, which in turn was passed to a secretary to transcribe onto a PC (or in some cases a typewriter). I think during this period was the first time I saw a grown man cry after hours of work had been lost by the tape getting chewed in the Dictaphone.

Since then, I have had very similar experiences with backup tapes. They only last a certain amount of time and the more you record over them the more they wear away and eventually snag or snap and bam, you have lost your data backups. A lot of the time they don’t give you any indication these days, they just fail to record the data. As an IT Manager or Administrator you won’t know this until you try to restore the data and find it incomplete.

So with 30 odd years’ experience of tape, you can probably tell I don’t like it or trust it, you may have heard me in full swing when I pontificate about my dislike of tape!  So, I am really surprised when I still hear of companies backing up their data to tape! If you are one of these, you are trusting you company data (intellectual Property) to 50 year old technology. What is even more surprising, is that tape is more expensive than disk backup, more difficult to restore data and impossible to replicate to another site or to the cloud.  In my opinion the only need for tape in the modern day is for archived data and even then I would argue against it.

So, if your business is still using tape, you really should be looking at doing something different.

Unleashed have a range of backup options that can suit every size company and every budget. Get in touch today, to speak to one of our backup experts and finally put your mind at rest that your backups are working and are efficient.  But more importantly, if you have a disaster or failure you can get your data/systems back quickly and efficiently with minimal downtime.