Disk to Tape

What Does Disk to Tape Mean?

Dist to tape (D2T) is a backup methodology in which data is backed up directly from a disk (typically a hard disk) to a magnetic tape. This process is widely applied in enterprises where the archival stability is critical, allowing a disaster recovery plan to recover data.

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Techopedia Explains Disk to Tape

Hard disk storage units are prone to mechanical failure. To prevent catastrophic data loss, backups are made at regular intervals to ensure that a system can be restored from the backed up data.

To back up a hard disk repeatedly requires technology whereby large amounts of data can be stored. One of the ways this is achieved is by using tape storage units. Because magnetic tape is relatively cheap and can hold large data volumes, it is an ideal medium for backing up hard disk units.

Disk-to-tape units can work either live as a continuous backup mechanism, or incrementally, whereby data is added at regular intervals, commonly during the night when the system is acquiescent. A tape library can also be used as a means of making archived data from hard disk units available to users.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.