Tape Is (Not) Dead -- And These Solution Providers Are Living Proof

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Tape isn't really dead. It just depends on what is being done with it.

There's no doubt the tape business is falling. The Santa Clara Consulting Group, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based research firm, estimated total backup tape sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 amounted to $121.5 million, down nearly 14 percent from the $141.1 million in sales estimated for the fourth quarter of 2013.

Of the total amount of tape sold in the fourth quarter of 2014, the LTO format accounted for just less than 97 percent, the Santa Clara Consulting Group estimated. This is despite a drop in unit shipments of LTO tape cartridges in that quarter to 4.7 million units compared with the 4.9 million units sold in the same quarter of 2013.

[Related: Tales Of The Tape: 6 LTO-7 Technology Strategies]

However, that's still more than $120 million worth of tapes sold. And that does not count sales of the tape libraries and autoloaders that use them, or the services built around the industry.

And it's also a business that is still appreciated by many in the channel.

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