5 Key Differences Between Tapes And Disks You Must Know

One thing a user must understand that although both tapes and disks are used for storing data, they are completely different from one another. They use different formats for storage and they each hold certain advantages over the other when it comes down to individual features. Thus it is very important for you to quickly grasp the differences between them so that you can make the correct decision when faced with a storage dilemma.


    1. Format for Storage

      Both tapes and disks utilize a different format when it comes to data storage. In the case of tapes (also known as data cartridges), the format of storage is to use digital recording onto a magnetic tape present inside the data cartridge. This method of data storage has been present for more than 40 years and is still used today. The format for storing data onto a disk is to actually make changes to the surface of a rotating disk. These changes can be in the form of electronic, mechanical and even optical changes. It is not necessary for the changes to be on one disk but it can be on two disks as well.


    1. Data Transfer Method

      In case of the tape, if you want to access a specific bit of information than the data cartridge must be winded to the particular place on the tape where the data was stored. This does take some time to do but once the data is found on the device than the transfer process is very fast. For example the LTO-6 Data Backup Tape has a transfer speed of 160 MB/s. As for the disk, there is no such restriction when transferring information to and from the device. However at the same time the transfer speed is not as fast as a tape. masking tape manufacturer


    1. Application

      The application of the backup tape is mostly in long term data storage, offshore backup and archiving. It is used mainly in companies for archival purposes. On the lower level come disks which can be used both commercially and professionally. However it is best not to use them as a long term storage solution due to their relatively lower archival life and durability especially if the information does not need to be accessed frequently.


  1. Reliability

    In general the reliability of tapes is more than the reliability of disks. The main difference is the loss prevention. In case of tape, any damage results in a part of the data being lost. Also if the tape is split than it can be spliced back together. Consider the Imation 29080 LTO-6 Data Cartridge. Of the 2.5 TB of space you could lose just a few hundred MB. On the other hand, in case of a disk, the entire data is lost and usually cannot been recovered.

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