IBM sees tape backup as solid cloud option

IBM and Fujifilm are now able to pack 220 TB of data on a tape cartridge. IBM is arguing that tape is a strong backup option for cloud applications.

Mark Lantz, an IBM scientist, is one of many convinced that tape is a good cloud backup option. Credit: IBM

IBM is taking one of the older backup storage technologies -- tape -- and giving it a cloud spin. Big Blue along with partner Fujifilm have advanced the technology enough to argue that tape is a good option to backup cloud applications' archives.

According to IBM Research and Fujifilm, they can now pack 220 TB on a tape cartridge. That amount of storage is comparable to 220 million books or 1.37 trillion mobile text messages.

IBM will be highlighting the tape cloud storage advances at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

According IBM, tape is ideal for cloud applications to migrate archive and backup data because it has encryption built in, has no power consumption and can be read for three decades at a cost of a few pennies per GB.

IBM and Fujifilm last year announced that they were able to advance the storage capabilities of tape.

How popular tape becomes as a cloud backup option remains to be seen. IBM, which has a knack for reinventing the mainframe, now is betting tape can be hip again.