I often hear from customers that are sitting on scores of legacy tapes with unknown contents beyond a generic “business data” level, and 99+ percent of them are not known at a granular level. As we all know too well, disaster recovery backups morphed into unintentional data archiving these past 10 – 15 years thanks to litigation and government regulatory investigations, along with general business obligations to retain certain records. The duty to preserve has forced businesses to preserve backup tapes if at least one file on the tape might be under some form of preservation obligation. The IT staff almost never has the equipment or human resources to perform targeted restores of data under preservation and stack it together with other similar data, so they take the easy way out: buy more tape and retain existing tapes vs. overwriting their contents. Companies change backup software providers and migrate to newer backup platforms and get stuck paying maintenance and support for software and hardware they no longer use, but might one day.
Brookhaven National Labs (BNL) has grown from 60 PB of data archived in 2015 to 145 PB of data archived in 2018. In this Fujifilm Summit video, David Yu explains how BNL is using tape storage to cost-effectively manage this data growth. In addition, BNL uses an active archive system to provide easy access to data that is frequently needed by the BNL data center and other research institutions.
In this white paper, Brad Johns explains how “a modern tape solution that incorporates StrongLink, a small disk cache and two tape copies of all data, provides a responsive and much lower cost solution while protecting the enterprise’s valuable information.”
At Storage Visions 2018, held in Santa Clara this past October, I had the opportunity to talk about the future outlook for tape as attendees wanted to know how they were going to store all the data that’s being created. The session I participated in was entitled “Epic Battles with Classic Heros – Flash, HDDs and Tape Slay Data Challenges.” As the title suggests, battling exponential data growth takes more than one storage media type to effectively handle the deluge of data that’s being created (now estimated to be 33 ZB in 2018 and growing to 175 ZB by 2025, according to IDC).
“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” I’m not sure who first coined that old adage, but it certainly applies to used data tape regardless of whether it’s called “recertified” or “reconditioned.” Let’s review some of the facts.
The most efficient data protection utilizes proper archiving, and with the data growth rate almost doubling, tape storage is growing from an archiving standpoint. In this Fujifilm Summit video, Dr. James Cates, SVP of Archive Development at Oracle, discusses the advantages of tape for archiving. Watch it here:
By diversifying your renewable energy mix, you can achieve energy efficiency gains even with data centers which typically carry large power loads. In this Fujifilm video, Craig Lewis, Executive Director of Clean Coalition talks about how tape storage allows us to do more work with more data storage using a lot less energy. Watch it here:
Vice President of Marketing
FUJIFILM Recording Media U.S.A., Inc
Sometimes change can lead to confusion, or at least to a lot of questions. Take changes in the tax laws for example. I won’t get into details, but suffice it to say I feel sorry for tax preparers come 2019!
In the realm of tape storage, we too have had some changes to the traditional roll-out of next-generation LTO tape drives and media. But rather than focus on confusing change, let’s focus on the luxury of having options. That’s exactly what we have in the option offered with the introduction of LTO-8 drives that can use standard LTO-8, LTO-7, or… LTO-7 Type M tape cartridges.
In this video, Brad Johns provides the real cost of ownership of your data storage over 10 years and explains why tape is the most affordable option for long-term data storage. Although many companies use a variety of different storage platforms, tape is the most practical and the most affordable for backup and archive.
For one petabyte of raw, non-compressible data, the cost savings versus high capacity disk is about 74% over the course of 10 years; the savings increase to 84% when compared to the cloud. Brad Johns crunched the numbers and tape is undeniably the cheapest option for long-term storage.
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