Long-term data retention in the Digital Age For several generations of storage professionals, tape backup has been the IT equivalent of Sisyphus forever pushing a huge boulder up a hill. It still is. Despite vendors’ best efforts to innovate, data quantities always seem to grow faster than tape capacity. This is truer than ever today. Digital Business is driving an exponential expansion of data volumes, to the point where the average backup hovers at around a petabyte. The trouble with tape backup. How about an alternate scenario: Eliminate tape drives and offsite rotation completely, and archive data on disk drives.