Before solid state drives, magnetic tape and magnetic disk were the go-to storage technologies used in computers. Despite advancements, magnetic tape in the form of Linear Tape Open cartridges continues to be used for data storage by some. In the past, magnetic tape reels were used to store data files, and as one tape filled up, another one was inserted, resulting in large collections of tapes. However, because tape is sequential, all data needed to be arranged in a certain order. Master and transaction files were sorted into the same order and matched, which allowed for the updating of a master file, such as one containing customer records.
What is Linear Tape Open?
Linear Tape Open (LTO) is a magnetic tape data storage technology that provides a high-capacity and low-cost solution for archiving and backing up large amounts of data.
Why was data arranged in alphabetical or numeric order on magnetic tape?
This was because tape is a sequential medium, and data needed to follow a specific order to be correctly read and accessed.
While old storage technologies like magnetic tape and magnetic disk may seem outdated, they played a significant role in the early days of computing. Compared to today’s solid state drives, they were slower and limited in capacity, but they paved the way for advancements and continue to be used in some industries.