The use of magnetic tapes as an alternative storage medium to the cloud is growing

MADRID, May 3. (Portaltic/EP) –

In recent years, we have seen how some companies have decided to store their data in the cloud to promote hybrid work environments, but this save has not been without attacks by cyber criminals.

Procedures such as ransomware ‘malware’, also known as ‘ransomware’, have been shown to the cloud also presents a number of risks for companies and, despite the fact that many had already migrated their data from hard drives, SD cards and pen drives to these, there has been a boom in magnetic tapes.

The magnetic tapes They are coiled and magnetized tapes that are kept in a plastic case called a cartridge and work like the old cassette tapes.

The main difference from other digital storage media is that they can only read data and write them sequentially and this cannot be done simultaneously.

Furthermore, the reading process it is very slow and to access certain data it must be wound, as if it were a cassette tape, and unwound it, to return to other data entered later.

Currently, these tapes use a technology called Linear Tape-Open or LTO, developed by technology manufacturers such as IBM, HP and Seagate/Quantum and have a storage capacity of up to 45 terabytes (TB) of data.

For its part, IBM highlighted a visit by Portaltic to its laboratory IBM Research in Zurich (Switzerland) that the tape storage it proposes is an evolution of the technology known in VHS videos.

Thanks to the contributions made in fields such as physics, optics or chemistry, the technology company has managed to maintain the success of this storage medium.

Specifically, during this visit, the multinational highlighted the advantages of its use, such as its affordable cost in relation to other technologies such as Flash or external storage disks.

He also highlighted its cyber resilience, energy efficiency and potential scalability, compared to hard disk drives (HDDs).


According to the Swedish firm Sweclockers, storage on this medium skyrocketed in 2021 and grew, compared to the data recorded in the previous year, by 35 percent.

Thus, in 2021 they were sold 148 exabytes (that is, 148,000,000 TB), while in 2020 just over 100 exabytes of magnetic tape were purchased in total.

This indicates that, despite the fact that they are a rudimentary medium, many users prefer them because they are cheaper and offer greater security, since they are not exposed to attacks such as ransomware. because they are not connected to the internet.

“‘Ransomware’ and ‘malware’ are threats that will not go away. Magnetic tape is an established, understood and proven technology that can be an invaluable tool to beat ‘ransomware'”, explained the head of IDC analysis research, Phil Goodwin, in words collected by Sweclockers.

Because they are physical storage media, they can be exposed to other problems, such as fires or floods of the place where they are kept. However, they are stored outside the company, so there are companies specialized in their maintenance.

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