DEC's TU-60 cassette tape drive was initially intended as a replacement for the paper tape systems that were still common in the late 70s. Each cassette, exactly the same dimensions as a standard audio cassette, but with a different oxide formulation and a larger pressure pad, was capable of holding several tens of thousands of bytes of data.
Each TU-60 supported a pair of cassette transports; the example here only has drive zero operational.
On various operating systems, DEC's RT-11 and assorted diagnostic monitors the tape was capable of containing a rudimentary "file system".
These devices were sometimes used as a backup system in "budget" minicomputer
installations through the early 80s. They have since been supplanted (for
their original role) by high capacity mini-floppies and (for backup purposes)
by large capacity tape storage subsystems.