What You Need To Know About Tape Drives

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A tape drive like IBM TS2260 is a piece of hardware used to back up and archive information on a computer system using magnetic tape. A tape drive is a device similar to a tape recorder that stores information on a rewritable loop of celluloid-like material.

Both linear tape technology, in which the recording and playing heads never physically contact the tape, and the more conventional helical scan are used by tape drives. There are two types of industries: those that automatically rewind after a session and those that don’t.

Positive Aspects Of Tape Drives

Tape drives have many advantages, particularly for preservation and backup purposes. The following are some of them:

· Capacity

Data storage capacity on tapes is far higher than that of HDDs.

· Value For Money

When compared to other forms of data storage, they are cheap.

· Existence Time

Tapes have a long shelf life if kept in the right conditions, making them ideal for archival preservation.

· Transportable

Tapes are portable, offline storage options that may be transported from one location to another.

· Security

Tapes today offer varied degrees of data protection and support encryption standards like Advanced Encryption Standard-256.

· Rescue From Disaster

Tape is frequently used when it comes to data backup and disaster recovery. By removing the tape cassette from the drive, vital systems and data are isolated from vulnerable systems, making them less susceptible to cyber-attacks.

Which Tape Drive Technologies Are Most Often Used?

Data on tapes can only be accessed one at a time. That factor slowed read/write times in the early days. Both linear video and helical scan systems, the two most common types of tape technology today, have improved tape performance to the point where they are on par with disc drive systems. While the drive performance of these technologies has improved, they are often incompatible.

· Linear Tape

Data is recorded in parallel tracks on a linear tape, which increases the tape’s capacity. Data can be read and written similarly to several read/write heads. There is only ever one spool of video in a tape cartridge. The tape’s end is threaded onto a take-up spool when the cartridge is placed in the machine. About half an inch is the typical width of linear tape media.

· Helical Scan

Using two tape reels in a single cartridge and a medium just a quarter of an inch wide, helical scan devices can record data in angled strips down the tape. The data storage density offered by this technology is higher than that of linear video. But the spiral scan cartridges might not be as extensive as the linear tape versions.


Modern drives employ complex methods to boost storage capacity into the terabyte range and offer data transmission rates of up to 400 MB/s.

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