The History of Backup Tape Rotation & Vaulting

Magnetic Backup Tapes

Over time, there have been many developments in the capabilities in technology. Even today, there are constant changes in technology that are pushing the limits of what is possible. The same goes for backup tape storage.

The storage capacity and capabilities of tapes has improved over the years, and they continue to be a secure way of storing information for personal and business information. On top of security, when it comes to cost tapes have the capacity to hold high volumes of data on them at affordable prices.

Microforms are a condensed version of documents, like films or paper, made for transmitting, storing, printing, or reading purposes. Additionally, other common forms of microforms are microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards.

Tapes are one of the oldest forms of storing data digitally. In addition, it’s one of the easiest, cost-effective, and secure methods of data storage. Over the years, tape technology has come a long way in development and capabilities.

Where Backup Tape Rotation and Vaulting Began

Today, tapes are a common method for storing data for personal and business purposes. However, in the mid-20th century, libraries used microfilm tapes as a way of preserving and storing old artifacts and documents.

No matter what the purpose was, technology continues to reach to new heights. Throughout the years, there have been many advances to data storage devices:

Punch Card

The History of Backup Tape Rotation & VaultingThe first way of storing information was the punch card. This was the first mechanical storage device created around the late 1890s, and they could only hold about 80 characters. These are paper cards that have holes in them made by either hand or machine.

Punch cards go through a card reader which is connected to a computer. This computer converts the data into digital information. The computer contains the information which can interpret what the card says.

Although punch cards are now for the large part obsolete, standardized tests and voting systems still use punch cards today.

Magnetic Drums

In 1932, magnetic drums were invented, and could only hold about 48 KB which is really only about 5 .doc files. Essentially, it’s a metal cylinder coated with a magnetic iron-oxide material. The dynamic magnetic polarities store the data on the surface.

There are read-write heads which can hover over to read the data. The read-write heads create electric pulses over the data which interprets as a set of binary digits. Today, it’s more commonly used as an auxiliary storage device.

Williams-Kilburn Tube

This is the first fully electric form of storing data, but it could only hold about 128 KB or characters. Created in 1947, this tube displays a grid of dots on cathode ray tubes. Additionally, this sends a static charge through the tubes which reads the data.

Magnetic Tape Drive

The magnetic tape drive was first developed in 1928. However, it was first used to record computer data in 1950s.

Additionally, this uses motors to wind the magnetic tape from reel to reel. When it passes the head of the tape, it can read, write, and erase information.

In the beginning, the storage capacity was 100 characters per inch on eight tracks total. Through continued development of technology, tapes are able to store around 185 TB of data today.

Magnetic tapes are an essential piece of archiving and storing data. This can be for personal or business information, and it’s important to take care of them. Moreover, this is where backup tape storage and valuing services comes into play.

Backup Tape Storage and Vaulting Today

While technology continues to advance, many people are still using backup tapes as a way to store data. Many businesses still utilize backup tapes for their data capacity and security features.

One of the major functionalities of tapes is archiving. This helps store large amounts of data for individuals and companies. However, it can be difficult to navigate and time consuming to perform rotation schedules and handling of the tapes.

Off site tape storage facilities have climate-control and extra security measures in place to ensure the protection of the backup tapes. Moreover, businesses can rest easy knowing their information is in good hands.

The History of Backup Tape Rotation & Vaulting

Types of Tape Rotation Schemes

Through a rotation service, there are multiple options when it comes to frequency and method of backing up data. This is known as rotation schemes, and some common methods include FIFO, grandfather-father-son, and Hanoi.

FIFO: The most simple method is FIFO (first-in, first-out). This takes a current copy of the data and saves it over the oldest data tape. The only problem with this method is any errors are then copied from tape to tape.

Grandfather-Father-Son: Another common and intricate method is the grandfather-father-son. There are three sets of tapes which are backed up through different cycling systems. In the system, the son tapes are backed up every day, the father tapes are backed up every week, and the grandfather tapes are backed up monthly.

Hanoi: The Hanoi method backs up tapes in a unique way. Through this system, the first set backs up every other day, the second set backs up every fourth day, and the third set backs up every eighth day.

Given the complexity of vaulting and rotation services, it can be beneficial to seek outside help. Services can do the work for you, and rotate the tapes at a rate of your choosing.

Looking for Backup Tape Services? We Can Help

There are a lot of complexities surrounding backup tapes and schemes, making tape services especially useful since they save the time and hassle of having to handle tapes yourself. With our nationwide network of backup tape service providers Record Nations can help you through this process and match you with a local provider that can handle your various requirements.

Start the process by filling out the form, using the live chat button, or giving us a call at (866) 385-3706. Afterwards, you’ll receive quotes from top professionals in your area, and you can choose the best one for you.