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In a new report, Peripheral Research recently announced that though the Tape Drive markets are suffering along with the rest of the economy, and their demise has been forecasted for years, Tape is one of the stronger components of storage.
According to Peripheral Research, the worldwide Tape Drive industry is in a state of transition: the lower performance products such as QIC, Cassette, and Travan products are phasing down, in favor of the DLT, LTO, AIT, and higher performance/capacity products. The industry demands for these higher performance products are smaller, but at $900 to $8,000 the revenue streams are higher per product.
In addition, the overall cost of tape storage (Per MB) in an Autoloader, or Library configuration is lower than disk. Although tape may not be the optimum removable storage medium forever, it appears solid for the next 5 - 8 years.
The report also stated that Worldwide Tape drive revenue will decrease over the next few years from approximately $3.9 Billion in 1999 to approximately $3.4 Billion in 2001, then slightly increase to $3.6 billion in 2003. This is mostly due to the transition in technology to more advanced systems, although smaller in numbers, and the mission of tape has changed from the low intelligence unit to an intelligent autoloader, or library sub-system.