There is an abundance of innovation taking place in the storage industry today; high capacity disk drives, flash , cloud, software defined storage, tape and integrated systems that combine elements of each. However, when crafting a solution for the long term storage of digital data, an essential aspect of the solution has to be cost effectiveness. But as important as cost may be, it can be a challenge to sort through all the different technologies and cost components to develop a reliable estimate of the cost of storing digital information over an extended period of time; there are so many variables, and different technology life cycle considerations. However, by establishing some initial cost estimates, and making a set of projections, it is possible to develop a reasonable assessment of the long term costs of storing file data.
After developing some reasonable estimates and projections, it's clear that over a 10 year period a file retention solution that includes tape has a substantial cost saving potential versus a solution based on high capacity disk drives. For the tape solution, the total cost is $ 234,525, for the disk solution, the total cost is $519,904. The total cost of the tape solution is 55% less than the high capacity disk solution. In addition, the energy consumption of the tape solution is over 90% less than the disk solution. While there are a several estimates and forecasts in this analysis, they are certainly reasonable based on current technology trends. It is clear that for long term data storage, a solution that incorporates tape is likely to substantially reduce the overall cost of storing important file data