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Virtual tape libraries vs. tapeless backup

Virtual tape libraries satisfy the need for disk without changing softwar. But how long will it be before even the emulation of tape goes away and backup goes straight to disk?

Virtual tape libraries (VTL) are selling like hotcakes, but the lifespan of the technology is already winding down. VTL's allow disk-based backup systems to emulate tape libraries so users can add disks to the process without changing their backup software.

Some users mistrust tape altogether, and want to move beyond it, using off-site disk storage for emergency backup. Others are comfortable with tape emulation, but don't believe VTLs that offer bare-bones functions without add-ons like deduplication are a non-starter. The complete, eventual abandonment of tape in favor of disk would make data managers' lives much easier, and several vendors are working on products to do just that. But for the time being, virtual tape is as close to tapeless backup as many data centers are going to get.

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