If you really think about it, the career arc of Aerosmith is pretty amazing. The band rose to rock god status in the mid-to-late 1970s, fell off the map in the early part of the ’80s, came back later that decade, only to suffer another setback in the 1990s. And, now, lead man Steven Tyler is perhaps more famous than ever before as he serves as one of the three judges on American Idol, the reality television show that tops the list of guilty pleasures for millions of Americans.
It may sound crazy, but that features more than a few parallels with the history of tape technology for data storage. While tape does not make up half the Toxic Twins tandem – a moniker given to Tyler and lead guitarist Joe Perry to describe their hard-partying, rock ‘n roll lifestyles – the medium has endured for 60 years since being introduced by IBM in 1952.
Between No. 1 hits, flops, breakups, reunions and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, the bad boys from Boston of Aerosmith sure have been through a lot. But tape too has proven it can hang with the best of them.
As innovative as it was upon its debut, tape has undergone several revivals along the way, all of which have added to the fact that it remains many companies’ go-to solution for data backup and recovery. But new roles have also been introduced in recent years – not unlike a band naturally changes its sound throughout a prolonged career.
As other technologies have sought to challenge tape’s standing in the enterprise sector, companies are finding that its use can go beyond mere backup and recovery. Popular now is the use of tape as a long-term archiving solution thanks to its low cost and proven reliability. Among other things, that development has allowed IT departments to combine tape with hosted technologies to reap the benefits of both.
Still, stakeholders in the tape industry want to be sure the platinum status of the technology endures. So many of the top tape vendors in the United States have banded together to both promote tape storage technology, as well as commemorate its 60 years of serving companies of all sizes, working within all industries.
After all, it doesn’t appear that anything will stop tape from rocking on for another 60 years or more.