Vast SOHO market an 'impossible dream'

Vast SOHO market an 'impossible dream'

It is estimated that 60 to 70% of servers are currently connected to some form of tape backup system, however, only 7% of SOHO systems have any form of backup to the main hard disk.

It would seem that a huge market exists for tape drive manufacturers to offer cheap and reliable tape backup.

The problem is, they already do. Several vendors provide relatively inexpensive tape solutions, but it appears that users remain willing to backup vital documents on floppy disks, and leave their operating system at the mercy of the PC's hard disk.

However, the reliability and size of modern hard disk systems, combined with some laziness on the part of SOHO users, is working against companies like HP, which has a range of desktop tape drives.

Perhaps the only way this acceptance will rise is if the drive is bundled within a CPU case, like a CD-ROM drive. But according to HP, it seems that buyers would prefer more RAM, a bigger hard drive or software, rather than something as unexciting as inbuilt tape backup.

Robert Hill, the marketing manager for HP's Computer Peripherals division in Bristol, UK, described winning over this market as "an impossible dream".

He said companies like 3M and Colorado had tried to educate the home market about the virtues of complete system backup, but "modern drives are pretty reliable".

Meanwhile, education at the server level is not really necessary, he said, as 60-70% of servers are connected to tape backup.

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