physical tape drive

Tape drives are mechanical devices used to sequentially write, read, and restore data from magnetic tape media. Generally used for data protection and archival purposes, tape drives are deployed either as a standalone units or housed within a robotic tape library. Some of the most common types of tape devices are Linear Tape Open (LTO), Digital Linear Tape (DLT), Advanced Intelligent Type (AIT), Digital Audio Tape (DAT), and 8mm Helical Scan.

virtual tape device

A disk appliance that has special software to make the appliance appear as a tape drive or tape library to backup software.