In 1928 Fritz Pfleumer was granted a patent in Germany for the application of magnetic powders to a strip of paper or film; 'tape-recording' was born. Prior to this steel wire was used which was wound around a spool in a manner similar to how tapes work today; tape has been used as a medium for the storage of data since the 1930’s.
Tapes are available in a variety of formats including:
Data can be recorded to tape in three main ways:
The data capacities for tapes range from about 1 MB to 5 TB and tape is still a popular format for the storage of data, particularly backups or archives, due to its comparatively low cost, encryption support and robustness. Tape backup formats include: TAR; cpio; MTF; Arcserve; NetBackUp; NetVault; DantzRetrospect; Dump & Restore; QIC; Onstream and Time Machine.
The most common types of tape failure are input / output errors and mechanical failure. We can successfully recover data from failed or failing tapes.