Tape Backup Unit

What Does Tape Backup Unit Mean?

A tape backup unit (TBU) is a unit of tape media, usually a cartridge or other similar container, that holds a specific amount of tape for backing up data. These individual units of tape are often part of a comprehensive plan to secure valuable data, often for long-term storage.


With the rise of new cloud hosting solutions and other off-site data backup and storage possibilities, lots of IT managers and others are asking questions about whether tape backup is still a relevant strategy. However, many companies still use tape backup as a viable way to provide data security.

Techopedia Explains Tape Backup Unit

One of the big benefits of a tape backup solution involves the longevity of tape media and its portability. For example, where data on a hard disk may be vulnerable to degradation over time, and where it may be hard to secure this digital data, tape backup units may be used to make secure copies that will remain in good condition for decades and can be transferred to secure vaults or other high-security areas.

Another benefit of tape backup is that businesses have control over their secure data. It’s true that cloud hosting solutions offer a range of unique benefits to businesses, but part of the downside of cloud systems is the loss of control involved in handing over proprietary data to an outside vendor and letting it flow to a distributed destination or other off-site storage location. Here, tape backup may be used to keep all of the data physically inside a particular business location and in the hands of in-house staff.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…