new tape record

Tape Has a Place in the Cloud with New Record Set

April 14, 2015

IBM Research and Fujifilm have teamed up to achieve the most recent accomplishment in tape history.  They were able to pack 220 TB on a tape cartridge, storing 123 billion bits of data per square inch.  Imagine holding all that data in the palm of your hand!

Tape, a technology that companies and individuals alike have been saying is dead and doesn’t have a place in the future of storage, continues to stick around due to its advantages.  One of which is its low cost, especially in terms of price per gigabyte.  Contrary to its rival, disk, it doesn’t require the same costs, like cooling and data center real estate, while it’s in production.   This has always made it a cost effective option for storing long term retention data, data that companies need to hold onto due to compliance.

This new tape record and development efforts show me that these companies, IBM Research and Fujifilm, not only want tape to have a place in the future of data storage, but an impactful one.  They worked together to provide a solution that enforces data security by providing built in encryption, doesn’t require the costs of disk to operate, and is an extremely low cost per gigabyte.  One of the major concerns about tape is recovering information on a tape of a previous model that has been sitting around for 7 years.  According to Betanews, data on these tapes can be read after three decades. With all these advancements, they are aiming for tape to have a place in the cloud, as a potential cloud backup option.  With the amount of data that companies need to store, having tape as an option for a storage medium – and a lower cost one at that – should be attractive to cloud businesses.

Companies will continue to hold more and more data, and feel the demand of keeping it stored in case disaster strikes (that includes audit coming around!). Tape has always been a viable method for storing backup and archival data, and now more than ever, it is a practical, reliable, and cost effective method. You can teach an old dog new tricks!

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