LTO vs. Cloud Storage: Which is Right For Your Business

by Sachin

Cloud storage has become a multi-billion dollar industry over the past decade. In fact, according to a recent report by Allied Market Research, the global cloud storage market was estimated to be worth $21.17 billion in 2015 and is expected to hit an amazing $97.41 billion by 2022.

Nevertheless, cloud storage isn’t the perfect solution for every business. The reality is LTO (linear tape open) storage remains the right choice for many companies. If you haven’t heard of LTO storage, surely you’ve heard of and most likely used, it’s predecessors. Tape has been in use since the beginning of computers as a storage method—think VHS and Cassette tapes. Although the technology was declared ‘dead’ decades ago, the reality is thousands of companies still store valuable data on LTO storage every day. 

Today we are going to discuss the pros and cons of both LTO and cloud storage in order to hopefully help you decide which is right for your company. 

The Costs

Depending on data needs, time constraints, and the amount of access to data required, either LTO or cloud storage could be the cheaper option, it really depends. This is because LTO storage has higher upfront costs, but superior per GB storage rates. 

This means if your company has a lot to store for a long time, then LTO storage is the cheaper option. However, if you aren’t storing large video and audio files or other large forms of data, then it may be more logical to choose cloud storage from Amazon Web Services or another major market player. 

That being said, many cloud storage companies charge anytime you download data from the server. This means if you need to access your data regularly, LTO storage may actually be the lower-cost option, in spite of upfront costs. 

Daily Use

On the other hand, despite the lower cost of LTO storage when your company needs to regularly access the data, cloud storage provides quicker access to your data and easier methods for sharing it.

LTO is usually used for long term storage solutions. That’s because LTO storage components have a shelf life of over 30 years. You can imagine how valuable this might be for a company that needs to store data long term but doesn’t want to pay thousands for cloud storage over the years. A one-time upfront cost can take care of their expenses in regards to data storage for years.

Security Concerns

When it comes to security LTO offline backup and archive is the clear choice. The data can’t be corrupted unless the physical tape is destroyed or damaged, and the units are hacker-proof because they are offline. 

Cloud storage, no matter how well protected by security software, will always be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. And with 58% of cyber attack victims being small businesses, according to a 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, many smaller businesses choose LTO storage to protect themselves from data loss. 

The best LTO storage companies, like Archiware, also provide error correction, read-after-write, servo tracks, air gap, and other security features that assure data integrity over the long run.

Hopefully, this article helps you decide what the best storage solution is for your business. Remember not to just go with what is trendy, but instead try and actually evaluate which storage solution is right for your business’ needs. The difference could be thousands of dollars in increased costs over the years, or even worse a data security breach. 

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