What are Tape Drives and where are tape drives used ?

Earlier I spoke about Tape Libraries and its usage, today I’ll speak a bit about Tape drives and where they are use.

Tape drive is a data storage device which is used to read and write data that is stored on a magnetic tape. Tape drives are also known as ‘streamers’. Typically, Tape Drives are used for archival storage of data stored on hard drives.

The data capacities on these tape drives ranges from a few megabytes to several gigabytes. Their transfer speeds also vary considerably. Today you can find Fast tape drives in the market which can transfer as much as 20MB per second.

Tape drives come with sequential-access of data, which makes it slower to read/write data. ie..A tape drive spends significant amount of time winding tape between reels to read any piece of data on the drive. The advantage of hard disk drives over tape drives are that they allow random-access to data. ie..the read/write head moves to any random part of disk platters in a jiff. Thus rendering tape drives slow in the average seek time. however, regardless of slow seek time, they can stream data to tape very quickly.

The interfaces used to connect tape drives to a computer are SCSI, IDE, SATA, USB, FireWire to name a few. Tape drives assist autoloaders and tape libraries in loading, unloading and storing multiple tapes to increase their archiving capacity. So i guess its safe to say that tape drives have certain uses and are not outdated in some respects.

What Are External Hard Drives ? What Is The Advantage Of External Hard Drive Over Regular Internal Hard Drives

One of the main reasons for the computers to come in existence is to manipulate and store data along with solving complexities. Hard drive is the component that holds the data in a computer. In most common cases, Hard drive is an internal store for operating system and user information.

The ever increasing need for storage capacity, coupled with threat from the outside world when exposed through internet, has surfaced external hard drive to be a better solution over traditional internal hard drives.

An external hard drive has its own enclosure and sits outside the computer. It is normally connected to a computer via a high-speed interface cable. This interface cable allows data to flow to and fro from the external drive to the computer. Most generally used interfaces are USB, eSATA and FireWire.

The external hard drive allows user to store backup of online or offline activities. Rendering capability to hold music files, movies, disk images, and even a backup of the contents of hard drive. The external hard drive could be turned off when connected to internet. Advantage of hard drives over flash drives is that they last much more cycles when compared.

These external hard drives are portable and operates on plug-and-play basis. Thus any computer which supports USB or Firewire or any of the other interface capability will recognize the external hard drive as storage device, with just assigning a drive letter to it. Once recognized the external drive can be accessed like any other normal internal hard drive on the system they are hooked onto.

These external data storage devices makes your life simple when you really are on the move!