Data storage is one of the many important reasons, why computers are used. There are various data storing devices we have discussed in the past, each one of them are built for a different purpose. Today lets take a brief look at Tape Libraries.

Tape libraries come handy to store huge amounts of data ranging from 20 terabytes up to more than 50 petabytes. This amount of data capacity, normally is about one hundred thousand times the capacity of a typical hard drive, which even exceeds capacities achieved with network attached storage.

Tape libraries are made up of tape drivers which are slots to hold tape cartridges. There will be a bar code reader to identify these tape cartridges. Tape Libraries automate the procedure of loading tapes. The cost criteria is less on a typical entry level solution costing around ten thousand dollars and high-end solutions go upto more than seventy thousand dollars.

Slower access time as a result of mechanical manipulation of tapes is a known compromise. Thus accessing data may take anywhere from several seconds to few minutes.

Primarily they are used as backups and as final stage of digital archiving due to their slow random access and huge capacity. Tape libraries are typically used in organization’s for auditing and in hierarchical storage management.

There are a few package for commercial purposes. Open-source packages include AMANDA, Bacula, which I’ve heard a lot of praises for.