If you intend to search for any particular information within a magnetic tape, the retrieval mechanism will always have to go sequentially, starting from the very beginning of all stored data until the specific data is found. This is what is referred to as sequential access or serial access, which is quite different from random access.
In random access, the retrieval mechanism would make prior calculation of where the specific information is located within a storage device, and then go straight to the exact location without having to start from the beginning of all data stored in the device. This is something that you would typically find in disc and hard drive storage media.
Perhaps, you are now wondering how sequential access can ever be useful when you can just as easily perform the same action through random access and spend less time doing it. Well, there are several reasons that still make magnetic tape quite useful, based on the seemingly inefficient sequential data access.
One reason is that systems that require particular precision in maintaining a sequentially organized list of information would definitely work well with serial access. This is why magnetic tape has been particularly suited to batch processing systems involving payrolls and preparation of utility bills. Processing payments with sequential access ensures that every single bit of data is read; hence, safeguarding against any missed wage or bill payment. Definitely, your employees and creditors would be glad that you have a fool-proof system to ensure nothing goes wrong.
Greater advancement has actually been made to the serial access setup, through the LTFS. This is a data filing system that enables tape storage medium, such as the HP LTO 5 cartridge, to mimic much of the characteristics of random access systems.
Other Features That Make Magnetic Tape An Excellent Back-Up Storage Device
Whenever you seek out any digital devoice, you shouldn't just think about the most recently introduced innovation. Indeed, there may be countless new devices that come on to the market, but being new doesn't necessarily mean that they would solve the specific needs of your business. This is something you must consider keenly, especially if you're in search of a back-up storage device.
There are various critical aspects, necessary in any good data back-up media, which the LTO magnetic tape possesses. This storage medium has been progressively improved, with newer and better versions being introduced to offer even greater advantages.
One critical aspect of good back-up that you're sure to find in the LTO cartridge is permanent storage of data. You definitely want to know that the integrity of your data would be assured for many years to come. You want to know that the only time such stored data would be erased is when you manually choose to do so. Without such an assurance, your data storage medium would prove worthless.
In order to further ensure long term permanency of your data, you should ensure proper care and handling practises such as avoiding close contact with electronic equipment, as advised by the Council on Library and Information Resources.
One other important factor in a good back-up solution is a non-volatile medium. You definitely wouldn't want some or even all of your stored data to get erased in case your computer loses power. With the LTO tape, you are sure to avoid such volatility. In fact, this storage medium would be immensely useful in off-line storage.
Stutch Data offers high quality data storage solutions. Through Richard's expert guidance, you're sure to find the most suitable storage solution. Check Stutch Data website for more tips and ideas about tape drive.