We have heard the assertion many times in the past that ‘tape is dead’, but the recent rumblings in the media about the manufacturing future of Enterprise tape libraries could help to bring that prediction a little bit closer? For what it’s worth, I think the concept of a removable storage media could still have legs for certain use cases – although given the massive advances in modern technology, I’m not sure that the answer going forward would be best served by tape.


One of the issues with tape is not necessarily the technology itself, but the cost and human effort that goes into properly managing it. Quite simply businesses have much more pressing and important things to do with their time, money and resources. Another issue is finding the data you’re looking for years after it was backed up and moved to an offline warehouse somewhere. With the deadline for the EU’s GDPR now only just over one year away, businesses are going to need to protect and manage their data in a much more stringent way than the loose backup regimes of the past.


For me, using the cloud for backups is the obvious solution to eliminate the hassle of managing tapes – plus from a compliance perspective you maintain a clear bi-directional audit trail of what was backed up, when and where. Which is exactly where NetApp’s AltaVault Cloud-Integrated Storage comes in.


AltaVault is available in three different form factors: a physical appliance, a virtual appliance, or as a Cloud based Appliance in AWS or Azure. And, the great news is that in majority of cases NetApp AltaVault integrates seamlessly with your existing backup software. It also compresses, de-duplicates up to 90%, encrypts, and streams data to the cloud provider you choose. AltaVault intelligently caches recent backups locally while vaulting older versions to the cloud, allowing for rapid restores with off-site protection. This results in a cloud-economics-driven backup and recovery strategy with faster recovery, reduced data loss, ironclad security, and minimal management overhead. Other approaches where even higher levels of data control are required is to either combine AltaVault with your own on-premises NetApp StorageGRID Webscale object storage or use one of NetApp’s Certified Backup as a Service Partners to get them to manage the data for you.


For customer references click the following links: Seminole, King County, INHS/Engage.


Whether we’re still having the discussion about tape in 10 years remains to be seen, but in my mind the cloud seems such a perfect use case for backup and recovery that it’s hard to imagine…


As the saying goes ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ so why not try AltaVault for yourself with a free 90 day trial.

Martin Warren

Martin Warren is EMEA Cloud Solutions Manager at NetApp. Based in the UK, Martin has many years of experience working in data protection, data storage, virtualization, cloud, big data and networks. In his current role, Martin is responsible for NetApp’s EMEA cloud strategy and solutions with a focus on driving business growth and aligning NetApp’s cloud offering with customer and partner demand.

Martin is a specialist in private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, including the aspects of data storage and data management. He provides advice to businesses on the advantages and impact of different cloud and data storage solutions, helping them to meet their goals. In addition, Martin is a subject matter expert on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Prior to joining NetApp, Martin held positions at Symantec, Sun and StorageTek. He also worked at IT service delivery and consultancy companies Misys and 4Front Services, advising businesses on adopting IT services specifically from a blended approach.

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